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August 08, 2008


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Good post - I'm considering going to the Vancouver games in 2010 to see some ice hockey, skiing, etc and this might help me out.

Great advice, thanks! We live near Seattle and are planning on going to the games in Vancouver. We'll be staying in Bellingham with friends (30 min outside of Vancouver) to save money. We'll definitely be following your advice on purchasing tickets on the street. Thanks again!

Beijing used bar-coded tickets that are attached to their buyers, like airplane tickets, and requires a photo ID to enter the stadium - ostensibly for security reasons. This makes the tickets pretty much impossible to scalp.

Since the technology now exists, one wonders if other Olympic sites will use it...

I used the first tip for Athens. However, I found out that the costs were still astronomical. Instead I flew into Paris, made a most excellent trip through France and Italy and ended up in Athens a few days later. Even though it was about 2-3 days of travel, I wouldn't give up my experiences AND I still saved about $1000 even with the extra travel (Paris $600 + $300 in travel/food/lodging, Athens ticket was $2000+).

Another not safe, but great thing. Camping in the Olympic city. Australia was HUGE about this and it was really great for people there. Athens really didn't offer much, but I ended up spending 8 nights at the Acropolis near Mars Rock for $0/night, stored our heavy bags in internet cafe's for about $5/day, and didn't have to pay the $90/night for a hostel in which I would have had to share a room with 14 other people.

Finally, talk to people. We met some Americans that had family that didn't want to go to the games that evening, so they had a couple extra tickets. They invited us to join them, we got almost perfect tickets for free to the event that my buddy did in college (Mens 3000m). Not only that, but we had great company and have an experience to talk about for the rest of our lives. Never forget to be friendly and talk to those around you. Also, remember the free stuff can be a perk, but most often won't happen don't try to be a mooch. Just delight in the new friends and acquaintances you will make.

@ Foobarista

Beijing only used the photo technology for the Opening & Closing ceremonies, not for individual events. Certainly they may extend the technology, but likely tour companies, sponsors, and Olympic delegations will fight against it.

It was much harder to get cheap tickets in Beijing than at other Olympics, however it was still possible. The people of Beijing were very excited about the Olympics (much different attitude than at past Olympics where locals often skip out of town to avoid the perceived crowds) and a such went wild over tickets. It was still possible to get into many events for $15 or $20.

@ Otis
Great comment. I've never thought about camping. I agree build relationships and sometimes you will be surprised with free tickets. It happened to me several times in Athens. In Beijing the relationships didn't end in free tickets but they did lead to finding tickets at a good price.

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