The Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee (BOCOG) announced details of how the second round of 2008 Games tickets would be distributed.
On October 30, the system crashed due to the first-come-first-served basis online and in Bank of China (BOC) branches. Red-faced officials had to deal with an angry and frustrated public when ticket sales were suspended.
Days later, the Olympic ticketing centre issued an apology. The then director, Rong Jun even stood up and bowed to the media during a press conference.
Today the new director made his appearance. Zhu Yan explained that due to public comments, the ticketing centre is now reverting back to the lottery system for some 1.8 million tickets, and taking applications from December 10 to 30. Ticket requests can either be made online or at 1,000 designated BOC branches.
However, each applicant can only make requests for up to "two competitive game sessions", getting up to four tickets each. That means the maximum number of tickets each person can ask for is eight.
It's a definite drop from the original 50 in the ill-fated first-come-first-served policy. A BBC reporter asked if it was because officials were concerned about people selling their tickets to make a profit. Zhu replied that while it was a concern, their main aim was to make more tickets available to more people.
He also couldn't promise the seats would be together, and that children two and under didn't need a ticket.
Another asked if it was possible to find out which events were already sold out. Zhu stopped short of naming specific events, even saying that high demand events had a few seats left. He promised information would be made available on the website, without giving a time frame.
The director added that the public was so enthusiastic about the Olympics and that they should also support the less popular sporting events. That way they could have a high chance of getting tickets.
It was a big hint that BOCOG needs more bums on seats.