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Ticket sales
Beijing 2008: Estimated $140 million
Athens 2004: $228 million

When Ticketmaster made tickets for the 2008 Summer Games available in the United States, they sold so quickly that they crashed the company's system, according to Eric Baker, CEO of online ticket exchange Web site Viagogo and founder of StubHub.

That's because of the enormous demand - and low ticket prices. Chinese Olympic officials made a huge effort to keep primary ticket prices extraordinarily low, according to Baker. Over half of the 6.98 million tickets were sold for $12 or less, and the average ticket price was approximately $20.

The low prices translated into lower admissions revenue for the IOC and local organizing committee than in 2004. But the high demand has created a sizable secondary market for tickets. Tickets are currently being scalped for ten times face value, Baker said.

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Last updated August 08 2008: 10:37 AM ET
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