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Fans scurry to score 2002 Olympics tickets online

The Sydney Games have just ended, but Olympics fans are already turning their attention to the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City.

The Sydney Games have just ended, but online Olympics fans are already turning their attention to the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City.

Tickets for the event went on sale Tuesday through the Games official Web site. The site has been inundated since then, with $23 million worth of ticket requests Tuesday and more than $30 million to date, Olympics organizers said.

"First-day sales have blown away our projections," Mitt Romney, chief executive of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC), said in a statement. The organizing committee initially projected first-day sales of some $8.1 million, representatives said.

Although organizers of the just-ended Summer Games in Sydney and the 1996 Games in Atlanta have sold tickets online, this marks the first time an Olympics has launched its ticket sales using the Internet.

The sales come as the organizing committee gears up its Web site to handle not only ticket requests, but information and news on the Games. In August, SLOC announced that LogicTier would host the official Salt Lake City Winter Games site.

The site will accept ticket requests until Dec. 12. For the most popular events, Tickets.com, which is managing the ticket sales, will pool all requests and randomly select ticket recipients.

Tickets.com will notify customers by early February which tickets they will receive. The company will credit customers for tickets that they requested but were not awarded. The company will not ship tickets until fall 2001. Tickets.com may resume sales later next year if tickets are still available after the initial sale, company representatives said.

The Olympics committee is also selling tickets to the Salt Lake Games over the telephone and through the mail.