By Petrina Crockford
The president of Ticketmaster China last week predicted that this summer’s Beijing Olympics will sell out, a historic first for the world games.
“We predict that this will be the first Olympics that it’s a ‘sold out’ Olympics,” Jonathan D. Krane told reporters during a press event in China. Ticketmaster is the official ticket provider for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
According to Krane’s prediction, Ticketmaster will sell all 6.8 million tickets, though he did not give a date by which the historic sale would be completed. By contrast, the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece only sold two-thirds of the 5.3 million available tickets. With a population of 1.3 billion people China has a larger potential ticketing base than previous host countries.
“Certain events are always sold out during the Olympics, but I think that to have every event sold out, that’s something that’s very positive and doesn’t always happen,” Krane added.
Demand for tickets has been so high that ticketing services crashed the first day Olympic tickets were made available. Since then, ticket sales have remained brisk, and as reported earlier this month by Olympics officials, tickets for domestic events in Beijing have already sold out. The remaining tickets are for events in other cities such as Shanghai and Hong Kong.
The Beijing Olympics is Ticketmaster’s first time operating in China. Last year, Ticketmaster acquired Krane’s Chinese-based ticketing and promotion company Emma Entertainment. In the past, Emma Entertainment has brought international concert performers such as The Rolling Stones and Celine Dion to China.
“What China represents is a new market, an emerging market that they can develop,” Krane said.