World

High demand crashes Beijing Olympics ticket website

Overwhelming demand caused the computer system selling tickets to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games to crash on Tuesday.

Overwhelming demand caused the computer system selling tickets to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games to crash on Tuesday.

Eight hours afterthe tickets went on sale, the ticketing website flashed a note saying the system was busy and to check back later.

"The speed of the ticketing system is relatively slow," the Beijing Olympics organizing committee (BOCOG) said in an announcement on its website. "It is temporarily unavailable… those who want to buy tickets through Bank of China branches or the telephone hotline need to try again later."

Those trying to buy tickets by telephone and outside banks also faced delays.

About 1.8 million tickets were on sale on a first-come, first-served basis for opening and closing ceremonies and all sporting events.

More than two million tickets already went on sale in the spring, but only for those whose names were picked in a lottery.

On Tuesday, organizers were working to fix the problem, the BOCOG website said. It asked ticket buyers to be patient and to avoid constantly refreshing the online ticketing site.

Within the first hour of sale, the website was visitedeight million times and received more than 200,000 ticket requests per second, BOCOG said.

It's unclear how many tickets were sold Tuesday, but BOCOG said 9,000 were sold within the first two hours.

BOCOG's media department director, Shao Shiwei, said the ticketing department was refusing to comment on the situation.

With files from the Associated Press