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Olympic Tickets Now Available Via The Internet

March 5, 1996

ATLANTA (AP) _ The Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games started selling tickets on the Internet Tuesday and more than 600 purchases occurred in the first hour.

Despite glitches that occasionally upset computer users, getting seats to the Summer Games now should be a lot easier, Olympic officials said. The ticket system, part of the committee’s site on the World Wide Web, will operate all the time.

``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.″

IBM helped design the system but one of its executives got hung up twice while demonstrating it to reporters.

``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,″ said Bill Guilfoil, project executive for the ticket system.

A short time later, however, the tickets became available online and users had no apparent troubles.

After selling tickets by mail last year, the Atlanta Committee made tickets available by telephone last month. They added an automated ticketing option to the phone system as well as the Web-based ordering Tuesday.

The automated phone system takes orders from 6 a.m. to midnight daily, while the regular phone system _ which is 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 Web browser software that contains a so-called ``Secure Sockets Layer,″ often referred to as simply SSL. Most major browser software, such as Netscape’s Navigator or IBM’s SelectExplorer, have that feature. The ordering process also requires 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 is http://www.atlanta.olympic.org.

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