Reuters - Tue, 16 Feb 23:36:00 2010
Olympic organisers ripped up thousands more tickets on safety grounds, denying fans standing room access on Cypress Mountain.
The rain washed away up to a foot of snow in the general admission standing area where around 4,000 would-be spectators on Monday and Tuesday faced the potential of sinking through what snow is left into the straw base below.
Crews have been battling since mid-January to replace snow repeatedly melted away by some of the warmest weather on record, but with Games competition under way they can no longer bring in snow from other mountains.
"You can't beat Mother Nature, I guess," said Vancouver Organising Committee executive vice president Dave Cobb, saying the first priority for the remaining snow stockpile is to protect the competition area.
The weather has forced some events to be postponed, but this is the first time it has meant that some ticketholders will not get to see the events they wanted. The standing area holds about 40 percent of the spectators for snowboarding.
At a price of C$50 per ticket, the cancellation will cost organisers about C$400,000, and officials are waiting to decide if some of the tickets for freestyle events at Cypress later in the week will also have to be cancelled.
The ticketholders will get refunds after the Games, and people holding tickets in grandstands at the venue will not be affected.
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