China is hatching a nation of sports collectors as the Beijing games continue. They’re snapping up ticket stubs like kung pao chicken.
They’re winning the race for gold medals and with a few notable exceptions, China has proven to be a pretty good host for the Summer Olympics.
It’s a sports-crazy nation that apparently isn’t short on collectors. The Chinese news agency reports that used tickets for many of the events are finding their way to eBay-like websites and into private collections.
Ordinary used tickets to track-and-field venues were going for $7-8 each, while stubs for popular events like the early round matchup between the US and China were finding buyers for $40-50.
When China met the United States on the basketball court in Wukesong Sports Center on August 10, many Chinese collectors lined up to buy tickets from spectators leaving the stadium. Taking a page from their American eBay addicts, many of those tickets quickly found their way into a growing online market for Olympic souvenirs.
On Internet bulletin boards, offers to buy used tickets significantly outnumbered offers to sell, according to the agency . "A ticket to the opening ceremony might bring its owner thousands of yuan," said Market News on Tuesday. That would be hundreds of U.S. dollars.
Xu Jian, president of China Collection magazine, said it would be virtually impossible to have a complete Olympics ticket collection. He advised collectors to focus on tickets that are likely to grow in value, such as those to the opening ceremony.
While the fervor over US Olympic memorabilia sometimes wanes once the Games are over, it’s apparently a different story in China.
Cao Xuetao, owner of an online store at Taobao.com, said some ticket owners hoping to hang onto them in hopes of seeing a financial appreciation over time.
He suggested collectors to be patient and said the tickets were not a good bet for short-term speculation but should be seen as a long-term investment.