Facebook Twitter

Transportation worries lead to ticket restrictions

SHARE Transportation worries lead to ticket restrictions

Tickets for Olympic mountain events using I-80 are no longer readily available to people living in the Salt Lake Valley. It's all because of transportation worries.

Olympic organizers are so worried about-transportation troubles up Parleys Canyon, they're restricting ticket sales.

Olympic organizers have been warning that I-80 is going to get extremely congested, especially during certain days. Now, they're taking another step to reduce the number of cars on this road.

A thrilling Olympic athletic competition at a spectacular mountain venue. It's a one-of-a-kind experience that has many folks buying Olympic tickets.

What's the best way to get to venues? SLOC addresses that on its Website at www.saltlake2002.com. Click on "Visitor Info", "Transportation" for SLOC's ideas.

But some, like Karie Henderson, are being turned away even though there are still tickets available.

Monday, the Salt Lake City resident got on the SLOC Website to try to buy tickets. She clicked on a cross-country ski event, a box popped up which read: "Due to transportation constraints on I-80 (Parley's Canyon), this event is ONLY available for purchase at the Smith's Tix outlets in Cache, North Davis, Summit, Utah, Wasatch, Washington and Weber counties."

Obviously not Salt Lake County.

"It was confusing," said would-be ticket buyer Karie Henderson. "Originally I wanted to buy tickets because I have a sister coming in from California and friends coming in from Colorado and I was thinking, if they saw that they'd be discouraged from buying tickets. In the second place, if I were to buy them how am I going to get there?"

Most recent Olympic Games, like Sydney, moved spectators with free public transportation.

But Salt Lake organizers developed a system depending heavily on private vehicles. Now they're tinkering with their plan.

Organizers recently warned of heavy Olympic traffic, with four hour trips to certain venues. They say they need a 20 percent reduction in overall traffic to avoid gridlock.

Ten days ago, they made buses a more appealing option by reducing the cost of the so-called mountain venue express from $20 to $5. Organizers say reservations for those buses are now going fast, but they still want to reduce traffic more.

That's why they issued Salt Lake Valley ticket restrictions for six different days.

Fraser Bullock/SLOC Chief Financial Officer: "So we still have capacity available at Soldier Hollow, but the roadway is so busy that we don't want anymore traffic on I-80," said Fraser Bullock, SLOC chief financial officer.

Meantime, Karie Henderson says she's reconsidering her plans.

"Sure, I felt discouraged," she said.

There's no word from SLOC about how many tickets are left to sell for those events. But it's clear they're taking every measure they can to try to avoid problems on the road which they say is their number one transportation worry.