The Washington Times - August 19, 2008, 08:26PM

SHANGHAI — Plagued by low attendance, especially for lower-profile events (i.e. sports other than swimming and gymnastics), ticket scalpers outside stadiums and gymnasiums throughout China are helping frantic fans watch events that were sold out months in advance.

Many tickets have been booked by either government or corporate sponsors only to have spectators not show up. This leaves huge blocks of seats with no one in them (see photo below of Shanghai Stadium during a semi-final soccer match between Germany and Brazil).


Chinese authorities are trying to make up for the embarrassment also by paying for Cheer Beijing Workers to fill up large swaths of empty seats and cheer in a very orderly fashion.

In this video I shot below, camera-shy scalpers outside the Worker’s Stadium in Beijing offer last-minute tickets for the men’s quarterfinal soccer match between Italy and Belgium.


Carrie Sheffield, The Washington Times