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Monday, September 18, 2000
Ticket sales set Olympic record

 SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- The successful first weekend of the Olympics and the biggest single day of sales Sunday have helped Sydney set an Olympic ticket sales record.

 More than 85 percent of Sydney's tickets have been sold, compared with the previous record of 82.3 percent for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

 Sydney Games organizing commitee ticket manager John O'Neill said ticket-buyers had been swept along by the Olympic spirit.

 "There's been an alignment of the stars," O'Neill said. "We've been blessed with stunning weather."

 People waited in line for up to three hours at box offices Sunday as 65,000 tickets were sold. Tempers flared when many potential purchasers found that tickets to several events were not available.

 More than 5.5 million tickets to events in Sydney and nearly 650,000 to soccer matches in Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane have been sold. About 1 million tickets remain available.

 O'Neill would not say whether the late ticket rush would reduce the organizing commitee's shortfall of about $65 million to $70 million.

 "We are cautiously optimistic given the booming ticket sales, but we won't know exactly what our budget position is until we finish selling tickets at the end of the games," he said.
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