By AUSTIN CONSIDINE Although the 2008 Summer Olympics, being held in Beijing from Aug. 8 until Aug. 24, are still a full year away,...

By AUSTIN CONSIDINE

Although the 2008 Summer Olympics, being held in Beijing from Aug. 8 until Aug. 24, are still a full year away, making plans to attend the games has already come down to a roulettelike gamble of hurry-up-and-wait, with choices narrowing as time goes by.

The most important task is securing tickets, which can be difficult. Only a certain number of tickets are allocated to each country, and direct ticket-buying in each is only available to local residents.

If you would rather pay a bit extra to get tickets now, the resale market is already an option. Don’t expect to find many sales by individuals on sites like eBay until next July, when tickets are distributed. However, professional resale brokers, who often buy their own tickets or have prearranged deals for the unused tickets of wholesale buyers (like corporate sponsors), are already selling tickets by the thousands at Web sites like www.TicketLiquidator.com, an aggregator for resale brokers, often with buyer guarantees. . .

One reason for the exceptionally high demand already seen for Beijing’s Olympics is the comparative affordability of tickets, said Don Vaccaro, chief executive of www.TicketLiquidator.com. “Beijing is tougher because they took special care and effort to make the pricing low enough to make sure that most of the events — if not all of the events — would sell out,” he said. “They didn’t want what happened in Torino — where Olympians were playing to far less than packed houses — to happen in Beijing.”

Full Story: http://www.ajc.com/travel/content/travel/otherdestinations/int_stories/2007/08/17/beijing_0817.html