More than 435,000 tickets will be on offer to Australians this Saturday October 15, in the next phase of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games ticketing program.

For the first time, the general public will be able to purchase individual tickets on-line at http://www.melbourne2006.com.au/, over the phone on 1300 00 2006, or at over 100 Ticketmaster outlets across Australia.

Announcing details of the general on-sale of tickets, Games Chairman Ronald J Walker and the Minister for the Commonwealth Games, Justin Madden, urged Australians to get in now to buy the remaining 437,067 tickets to experience this once-in-a-lifetime event first-hand.

“All Australians can now buy tickets to a huge range of events, including tickets to see the world’s fastest man, Jamaica’s Asafa Powell, in the 100m final on the night of Monday March 20 at the MCG,” Mr Madden said.

“In fact, there are almost 260,000 tickets to prime athletics events still available, starting from just $15.”

Organisers also unveiled the ticket designs, including the special commemorative design for tickets purchased through the Ticket Ballot and Special Ticket offer. Ticket Ballot applicants will receive notification of their seating details by the end of October. They will receive their commemorative tickets in December – in time for Christmas.

“It has always been the aim of the Organising Committee to produce a ticket that will become the ‘keepsake’ of one of the world’s best sporting events,” Mr Walker said.

“I still have my ticket from the 1956 Melbourne Olympics that brings back fond memories of that wonderful event, and this Games ticket is robust in strength and reflects the colours of Victoria.”

Mr Madden said more than 800,000 commemorative tickets would be sent to successful ballot applicants nation-wide in December .

“Customers who purchase their tickets through the Melbourne 2006 Call Centre (1300 00 2006) or website (http://www.melbourne2006.com.au/) from Saturday will receive a different, but equally unique and collectable ticket,” Mr Madden said.

“Those customers who choose to purchase tickets through Ticketmaster outlets will receive a standard Ticketmaster ticket.

In other highlights from today’s announcement at the MCG:
· A total of14,072 tickets have been purchased by over 150 groups across Australia as part of the Group Ticket Offer; 
· Woolworths have agreed to extend the Group Ticket Offer incentive until November 30, which rewards eligible groups who purchase a minimum of 20 tickets with an additional two tickets courtesy of the supermarket retailer;
· A range of tickets are still available, including more than 30,000 for the spectacular Opening and Closing Ceremonies; more than 250,000 for Athletics at the MCG; and more than 60,000 for the action-packed Rugby 7s at the Telstra Dome.

Mr Walker said around 800,000 tickets had already been snapped up by Australians through the Ticket Ballot, Special Ticket Offer and Group Ticket Offer.

“We are delighted by the support and response from the Australian public to the ticketing program,” he said.

“We have already conducted the most successful Ticket Ballot in Games history and we are confident the public will respond favourably to the release of additional tickets on Saturday.

“I am also pleased that supermarket retailer and Games sponsor, Woolworths, will extend the incentive for Groups to be a part of the action until November 30.”

The Games are declared under the Sport Event Ticketing (Fair Access) Act 2002, and anyone  caught scalping faces fines of up to $6000.

Ticketing timetable:
Oct 15 General on sale begins and Flinders Street Station Ticket Booth opens
By Oct 30 Letters sent to successful Ballot and Special Ticket Offer applicants
December Tickets dispatched to Ticket Ballot and Special Ticket Offer applicants
March 15 Games begin!

The Games will be a unique opportunity to witness 4500 elite athletes from 71 nations taking part in the XVIII Commonwealth Games to be held from 15-26 March 2006. For further information on the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, go to http://www.melbourne2006.com.au/

For further information:
Simon Frost -Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games +61 0419 495 468
simon.frost@melbourne2006.com.au 
Michelle Coffey -Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games +61 0400 914 516
Michelle.coffey@melbourne2006.com.au