The Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games could sell a record 1.5 million tickets, the president of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said on Monday.
"The initial estimate on ticket sales by BOCOG (Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Olympics and Parlympics) is around 1.5 million. But, personally, I would expect this can be increased above 1.5 million," Philip Craven told Chinese reporters.
The record for ticket sales at the Paralympic Games was set in Sydney 2000, where about 1.2 million tickets were sold. The Athens Paralympics in 2004 sold around 850,000 tickets.
Craven, who is in Beijing on the occasion of the IPC governing board meeting, said that at the last four Paralympic Games, winter or summer, the actual figure of ticket sales has doubled the estimated figure.
"So, don't work on estimates, work on the outcome figure, which I believe will be higher than 1.5 million," he said.
Craven said that the IPC was in the negotiations with BOCOG on the 2008 Paralympic ticketing program and would unveil the details in the near future.
In an effort to make the Beijing Olympics affordable to average Chinese residents, about 58 percent of the Olympic tickets are priced at 100 yuan (13 US dollars) or less, and 14 percent of all tickets would be reserved for Chinese students for 10 yuan (1.3 dollars) or less.
Craven said the ticket prices for the Beijing Paralympics would be even lower than those for the Olympics.
"I know the tickets will be far cheaper than the Olympic tickets, but I can't give you the prices yet," he said.
(Xinhua News Agency April 24, 2007)