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Salt Lake Residents Don’t Want Tix

June 18, 2000

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ Only 15 percent of Salt Lake County residents intend to buy tickets to the 2002 Winter Olympics, according to a poll commissioned by the Deseret News and KSL-TV.

Of 410 residents polled June 7 by Dan Jones & Associates, 15 percent said they definitely will buy Olympic tickets, while 25 percent said they probably will.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percent.

Salt Lake Organizing Committee president Mitt Romney doesn’t see the poll results as bad news.

``This is not an election, where you need a majority to win,″ Romney said. ``The number who want to go is vastly larger than the number of tickets we have.″

Fifty-four percent of respondents said they wouldn’t buy tickets, including 35 percent who said they had definitely made up their minds against buying tickets.

The remainder of respondents said they didn’t know or cited stipulations about buying tickets.

Romney said the 15 percent of Salt Lake County residents who plan to buy could translate into some 600,000 tickets, depending on whether each buyer gets at least two tickets.

There are 730,000 tickets available to the public, with SLOC setting aside 160,000 for Utah residents. The rest of nearly 2 million seats will go to Olympic officials, sponsors and the media.

Organizers will begin taking ticket orders Oct. 10. Prices will range from $20 for tickets to some speedskating events to $885 for seats at the opening or closing ceremonies.

Romney has said tickets for popular events, such as the men’s ice hockey gold-medal game, will be nearly off-limits for the public. That’s because Olympic sponsors get first choice on buying the best seats.

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