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Lengthy lines for tickets likely

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Tickets to some of the hottest acts to ever hit the Utah scene are going free to anybody willing to wear a wristband.

And while the wristbands may be a comfortable fit, because ticket numbers are very limited, the lines to get them are likely to be anything but comfortable.

Smith'sTix and the Salt Lake Organizing Committee announced Friday the procedure they will use to distribute 62,000 tickets to the nightly ? and free ? medals-presentation ceremonies and concerts at the downtown Olympic Medals Plaza.

Acts like Dave Mathews Band, Barenaked Ladies, Creed, Sheryl Crow and Marc Anthony will perform each night of the Winter Games at the plaza.

The opportunity to obtain tickets to the medals ceremonies will come in three "waves."

Here's how it will work:

Those wanting medals-ceremonies tickets must first obtain a wristband at Smith'sTix. Each wristband will enable the holder to receive four tickets to one show in its respective wave.

For instance, in the first wave are tickets to Dave Matthews Band, Foo Fighters, Macy Gray, Barenaked Ladies and one act to be announced. People getting wristbands for the first wave will be able to choose from only these five acts.

Those who do not receive a wristband can still try to get tickets the day the tickets are distributed for each wave, but those with the wristbands will have priority, said Smith'sTix general manager Deirdre Hill.

The first of the three waves of wristbands for tickets will go up for grabs at 10 a.m. Monday. The second wave will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday and the third will be at 10 a.m. Friday.

Wristband holders, depending on the wave, will then return to Smith'sTix to pick up their tickets Thursday for the first wave, Jan. 14 for the second and Jan. 15 for the third.

Upon returning to the store where they received the wristband, a "magic" number will be drawn. Each wave at each store has 100 wristbands. If the magic number drawn is 45, then whoever is holding the number 45 wristband will get first pick of the acts available in that wave. Then the number 46 wristband picks what he or she wants and so on, until all wristband wearers have tickets.

There will be no limits on trying to get tickets for more than one wave.

The Olympic Medals Plaza will accommodate about 20,000 spectators per night. Other medals-ceremonies tickets are being distributed to sponsors, volunteers, persons who purchased sporting-event ticket packages from SLOC, and other groups.

For those who miss out on getting wristbands, all hope is not lost. Hallmark, which is sponsoring the Olympic Medals Plaza, will distribute 19,200 medals-ceremonies tickets through its stores. The distribution procedure for Hallmark stores has yet to be announced.

SLOC President Mitt Romney also announced earlier that some medals plaza tickets would be distributed at the venues to enthusiastic fans.

E-mail: pthunell@desnews.com; sgiles@desnews.com