posted on Aug, 6 2004 @ 11:36 AM
ATHENS, Greece - The line snaked in front of the marble stadium, moving at a painstakingly slow pace. One woman stood with her dog. Others waited for
hours, fanning themselves in the blazing midday sun.
This snapshot of people lining up to buy tickets for the Athens Games was encouraging to Olympic organizers. But such scenes have been all too rare
Though ticket sales have picked up in the last week, less than half of the 5.3 million tickets for the Athens Games have been sold. Now, a week before
the opening ceremony, officials are appealing to Greek pride as they try to sell the rest.
One ad running on local TV shows a Greek guy sitting at home on the couch. An overseas relative calls and leaves a message saying he guesses the guy
must be at the Olympics. Feeling guilty, the Greek guy is next shown sitting in the stands at an Olympic venue.
"Until now Greeks have shown that they are enthusiastic about the return of the Olympic Games in Greece," said Seraphim Kotrotsos, an Athens 2004
spokesman. "We are sure that in the days left until the Olympic Games every day they will buy more and more tickets."
Organizers have so far sold about 2.3 million tickets. A one-day Athens record of 53,997 tickets were purchased this Thursday, as compared to an
average of just 4,000 per day in June and July.
[Edited on 6/8/04 by TRD]