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VANOC cancels another 20,000 Cypress tickets

Another day, another cancellation on Cypress Mountain.

More Olympic standing room tickets for snowboard and ski cross events have been cancelled as rain continues to turn the troubled venue into a muddy mess.

Another 20,000 tickets holders won't get to see the events they planned after Vancouver Olympic organizers announced today that the continuing rains have made the standing-room area unsafe.

The events cancelled are men's and ladies snowboard halfpipe for Wednesday and Thursday, ski cross on February 21 and 23 and snowboard parallel giant slalom on February 26 and 27.

Another 8,000 standing-room tickets were cancelled earlier.

The weather in Cypress has been a major concern for more than a month as a paucity of snow has been made worse by rain.

Organizers spent weeks hauling snow from as far away as Yak Peak, two hours to the east, and constructed the courses there with bales of hay covered in the imported snow.

The standing room area was built the same way, but with thousands of pairs of feet pounding down the snow and combined with the rain, the hay has become exposed and there is a danger of people falling into the cracks between the bales, said Caley Denton, the organizing committee's vice-president of ticketing.

He said there is a danger of people falling through up to their knees or sometimes further.

"It's not a case where we want that to happen," said Denton.

The standing room section accounted for about 40 per cent of the spectators at the events. The tickets were priced between $50 and $65.

The ticket price will be refunded, as will the price of the bus ticket up the mountain.

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