Olympic first: Official `fan-to-fan marketplace' for reselling or donating
Vancouver 2010 tickets online

More tickets available to public than originally projected

VANCOUVER, Dec. 21 /CNW/ - Ticket holders in Canada who want to sell their tickets for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games will now be able to post them for sale to winter sport fans around the world at www.vancouver2010.com, or donate them to community groups in Metro Vancouver and the Sea to Sky region.

The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) released details today on the fan-to-fan marketplace reselling initiative and other exciting ticketing options for Games' fans, including: ticket donations through the Celebrate 2010 program, auctions for some great seats at high-demand events, and single event luxury suites at Canada Hockey Place for select ice hockey sessions. For more details, including on-sale dates and pricing, see below.

Along with these new additional ticketing options, VANOC confirmed today that it has exceeded its goal of ensuring at least 30 per cent of the seats at high-demand events are available to the public for purchase - the highest ratio in recent Winter Games history - and is now targeting 40 per cent. Overall, the Organizing Committee estimates 75 per cent of all 2010 Winter Games tickets will be available to the public instead of the originally estimated 70 per cent.

The fan-to-fan marketplace - which is now live - enables ticket holders to simply sign into their existing Vancouver 2010 ticketing account and click the "sell my tickets" option for the seats they want to sell. Ticket holders can set their selling price and buyers can browse for available tickets in the same location as other tickets sold at www.vancouver2010.com. Not only does this system help ensure there will be full venues at Games times, it also guarantees all tickets sold through this official channel are valid.

This marks the first time both Canadian and international clients can purchase tickets at www.vancouver2010.com - a transaction they can make knowing tickets are valid and legitimate because the website is operated by the Organizing Committee in partnership with tickets.com, the official ticketing services supplier for the 2010 Winter Games. It is also the first time customers can donate their tickets to local community groups.

"We know that well over 90 per cent of Canadian ticket account holders plan to use all their tickets for the Games but a secondary market will exist where people will want to buy, sell and donate tickets," explained Caley Denton, VANOC's vice president, ticketing and consumer marketing. "The fan-to-fan marketplace will be the safest and most secure way for Games' fans in Canada and worldwide to purchase Vancouver 2010 tickets from fellow fans in Canada as we guarantee the tickets purchased through our fan-to-fan marketplace have valid bar codes and are legitimate.

"In the first few days initial prices will likely be high as people test to see what the fan-to-fan marketplace will bear. We encourage people to check back often as the lowest priced tickets usually sell quickly," he added.

"Our ticket auction, single event luxury suite sale and donation options also give Games' fans another opportunity to purchase their dream tickets, or give to others the experience of a lifetime at Canada's Games. We're especially pleased to confirm that we're closing in on making 40 per cent of all seats at high-demand events accessible to the public to purchase and that overall 75 per cent of all 2010 Winter Games' tickets will be in the hands of the public - a much higher number than previous Winter Games."

Additional details:

    
    -   Fan-to-fan tickets are available ONLY at www.vancouver2010.com and on
        a first-come, first-served basis. Visa is the only payment card
        accepted.

    -   There is no limit on the number of seats ticket holders can post for
        resale through the fan-to-fan marketplace or a ceiling on how much
        they can charge for their tickets. Sellers can adjust their asking
        price at any time, or remove posted tickets entirely from the
        marketplace.

    -   Both the ticket seller and buyer will be charged a 10 per service fee
        to cover the costs of hosting and developing the fan-to-fan tool.

    -   Buyers are encouraged to check back often as new tickets are expected
        to be posted frequently.

    -   If fan-to-fan tickets do not sell by 24 hours before a session's
        start time, VANOC will cancel the posting and the tickets will remain
        in the seller's account.
    

Ticket donation to Celebrate 2010

Another option for ticket holders who are unable to use their seats is to donate them at www.vancouver2010.com to community groups in Metro Vancouver and the Sea to Sky region through the Celebrate 2010 program. There is no fee for the service or tax receipts issued.

The donation window will close 24 hours before each individual ticketed session starts to facilitate the distribution of the tickets through the Celebrate 2010 program, which is designed to ensure thousands of people with limited financial means are able to share in the dream of attending Canada's Games. Ticket recipients will include children and families, Aboriginal peoples, and residents of Vancouver's inner-city neighbourhoods.

Additional details:

    
    -   The program was created by VANOC and its community and Games
        partners, including Jet Set Sports, Official Supporter of the 2010
        Winter Games, which is making a significant cash contribution.

    -   The Organizing Committee is currently working with a range of
        community implementation partners including BC Housing, the BC Non-
        Profit Housing Association, the Four Host First Nations Secretariat,
        and various Spirit of BC Committees supported by 2010 Legacies Now to
        distribute the Celebrate 2010 tickets.

    -   Ticket recipients will be identified by the community organizations
        or social agencies with whom they interact and tickets will not be
        provided to individuals directly. The great majority of the tickets
        will be distributed to residents within a two-hour drive of Games'
        venues because of accommodation and transportation logistics.
    

Vancouver 2010 ticket auction

A limited number of seats offering some of the best views in the house at high-demand sport and ceremony events are now available to the highest bidder at www.vancouver2010.com.

The tickets include prime seats in the judges' chairs at the figure skating gala, behind the players' benches at the ice hockey semifinals, centre ice at the gold medal ice hockey games, and prime viewing spots at the snowboard halfpipe competition, as well as the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Additional details:

    
    -   Tickets will be listed at a small percentage above the regular face
        value. There is no cap on bid amounts but depending on the session,
        increments will be as low as $10.

    -   New auction items will be posted every week and will typically be
        open for three days. Funds generated will go towards staging the
        Games.

    -   All of the auction tickets will be delivered to the ticket holder via
        Purolator Courier.

    -   All tickets sold to Cypress Mountain and Whistler-area venues will
        also include the cost of pre-booked transportation on the Olympic Bus
        Network.

    -   The auction is similar in scope to one successfully conducted during
        the Salt Lake 2002 Winter Games.
    

Single event luxury suites at Canada Hockey Place

For select ice hockey sessions at Canada Hockey Place, single event luxury suites are available for purchase per game. The suites located at Level 200 in the arena permit 20 people premium viewing of the game. For more information, visit www.vancouver2010.com/tickets to fill out a request form. Interested parties will be e-mailed with information on available sessions and pricing, which starts at $5,000. For in-demand sessions a lottery will be held. Food and beverage are not included in the price.

Other tickets to Olympic and Paralympic sport events released

VANOC released today a limited number of tickets for select city events and will continue to do so leading up to the Games as venue configurations become finalized. Tickets may be purchased at www.vancouver2010.com, by phone at 1.800.TICKETS (1.800.842.5387) or TDD/TTY 604.629.7140, as well as in person at Main Ticket Centres in Vancouver and Whistler.

A limited number of partially obstructed view seats were also released today and are available for select city sessions at up to a 10 per cent discount while supplies last. They are only available for purchase at VANOC's two Main Ticket Centre locations, or by phone.

An obstructed view seat is one where the entire field-of-play may not be visible for part of or an entire session because of a railing or platform, for example. Obstructions are different depending on the seat, venue and event.

Olympic tickets also remain for all Whistler-area competition venues including events at The Whistler Sliding Centre, Whistler Creekside and Whistler Olympic Park. They are only available for purchase at the Whistler Main Ticket Centre and do not allow travel on the Olympic bus network from hubs in Metro Vancouver. To purchase Whistler Olympic tickets, customers must provide government issue photo identification and have an address in the Sea to Sky region or proof of accommodation in the area.

For more information on ticketing, visit www.vancouver2010.com.

About VANOC

VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the X Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler from February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler will host the Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit www.vancouver2010.com.

SOURCE VANCOUVER ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2010 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES

For further information: For further information: Media Contact: Greg Alexis, VANOC Communications, (604) 403-1627, greg_alexis@vancouver2010.com

Organization Profile

VANCOUVER ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2010 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES

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