Olympic Tickets ‘Going Fast’

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ Looking for front row seats to the 2002 Olympics? Tuesday could be your last chance.

Midnight Tuesday is the deadline for early ticket purchases, which get preferential treatment for seat assignments.

Regular ordering will be open until December 12, but after Tuesday, all tickets will be on a first-come, first-served basis. During the first two weeks of ordering, which started Oct. 10, all ticket buyers have an equal chance of getting into the front row.

“My advice is, get in early,” said Mitt Romney, head of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. He said the tickets are already going faster than the committee expected.

More than $40 million worth of tickets has been sold to U.S. buyers, nearly 60 percent of the overall in-country goal of $68 million, according to the SLOC. More than 20,000 orders had been placed by Friday and an additional 17,000 potential buyers had downloaded the online ticket forms.

More than half of the seats for freestyle skiing, figure skating, giant slalom, snowboarding and skeleton, a type of headfirst luge, have been snapped up.

Not everything has been rosy, however.

Customers have complained about ticket prices, which run as high as $885 a seat for the opening ceremony, and large families have struggled with the SLOC’s limit of four tickets per order for some events. And the time-consuming ordering process has drawn complaints, as well.

Hotel reservations also haven’t been easy to come by, partly because the SLOC has reserved many rooms and won’t cancel unneeded reservations until about a year before the games.