Olympic Tickets Now Available Via The Internet
ATLANTA (AP) _ Like an Olympic runner stumbling then getting up again to win a medal, Atlanta organizers said their new Internet ticket ordering system will overcome an uneasy debut.
Proving that even computer whizzes get the blues, an IBM executive got hung up twice while demonstrating the system to reporters Tuesday and finally gave up trying to order tickets. The problem apparently was heavy traffic on the Internet.
``The system works extremely well _ you’ll have to take my word for it,″ said Bill Guilfoil, project executive for the ticket system. ``It’s been working the last three hours, and of course now given the opportunity to share this with the media we have these problems.″
Real customers seemed to have better luck. Once the Internet system officially opened later Tuesday, 600 transactions were completed in the first hour, IBM spokeswoman Karyn Marooney said.
Despite the type of glitches that occasionally confront computer users, getting seats to the Summer Games now should be a lot easier, Olympic officials said.
The ticket system, part of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games site on the World Wide Web, operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
``Using the Web as a ticket outlet gives Olympic fans nationwide even more flexibility,″ said Scott Anderson, ACOG’s ticket chief. ``It also allows ticket purchasers to view all event tickets that are available, which can change from minute to minute.″
After selling tickets by mail last year, ACOG made tickets available by telephone last month.
On Tuesday, organizers added an automated ticket ordering option to the phone system. The automated system takes orders from 6 a.m. to midnight EST, while the regular phone system _ staffed with 40 live operators _ takes orders 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.
To use the Internet system, customers must have a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)-enabled Web browser, a Visa credit card, a U.S. mailing address and an e-mail address.
Internet ticket buyers will have their orders confirmed via e-mail within one business day. Telephone customers may receive instant confirmation.
Though the hottest events of the 1996 Olympics _ such as track and field, men’s basketball, gymnastics and the opening and closing ceremonies _ are sold out, about 3.5 million tickets are left.
Among the sports still available are women’s basketball, baseball and soccer.
To order Olympic tickets by telephone, call 404-744-1996.
The Internet address for Olympic tickets is http://www.atlanta.olympic.org.