Salt Lake City, UT, June 1, 2000 (AP by Vania Grandi)--Interested in a front row seat at the 2002 Olympic hockey finals?
Click on www.SaltLake2002.com and get a first crack at the 730,000 tickets available to the public for the 2002 Winter Games.
For the first time, Olympic tickets are going on sale over the Internet.
While you might not be able to get that front-row seat, SLOC president Mitt Romney assured Americans _ Utah residents in particular _ that anyone who signed up quick would be virtually guaranteed a ticket.
``I don't think we've ever had an event that's been able to involve so many people,'' Romney said.
About 50 percent of the total 1.8 million tickets have been snapped up by corporate sponsors, Olympic VIPs and diplomats, Romney said. But that still leaves plenty for others.
At least 20 percent of the 730,000 tickets available to the public will be reserved for Utah residents _ a reward for helping finance construction of the ski jump, bobsled and other venues.
``Three Super Bowl stadiums full of Utah residents will be able to participate,'' Romney said.
Anyone interested in watching the games can register on SLOC's Web site to receive information on ticket prices and availability. SLOC will return an e-mail.
Ticket orders will be taken starting Oct. 10.
At a news conference in downtown Salt Lake City, Olympians Hilary Lindh, 1992 silver downhill medalist; Andy Gabel, 1994 silver medalist in speed skating; and Denise Parker, 1988 bronze medalist in archery, became the first fans to sign up for ticket information.
``The most amazing thing happened when I crossed the finish line and realized I was second,'' Lindh said, recalling her silver medal at the 1992 Games in Albertville, France. ``I got this giant grin and started jumping up and down and shrieking''
``I encourage people to come to the Games and watch athletes accomplish their dreams,'' said Lindh, a Park City resident who grew up in Alaska.
Ticket prices range from $20 for short track speed skating to $425 for the gold-medal hockey game. Opening and closing ceremonies are going for a whopping $885.
In addition to individual tickets, SLOC is offering special packages that will include tickets for an array of different events _ some more popular than others.
Also, starting Sept. 6, tickets for such high-demand events as opening and closing ceremonies will be sold to the highest bidders in an Internet auction.
SLOC hopes to raise $180 million on the ticket sales. Half is already in its coffers through sales to sponsors, VIPs and diplomats.
Copyright (c) 2000 The Associated Press