Tickets go on sale today for the first of two Olympic trials that will take place in Philly next year.

These are for USA Table Tennis, which will hold its national team trials at the Daskalakis Athletic Center on Drexel's campus from Jan. 10 to 13.

Individual tickets are $10; a 3-day pass will cost $20. Admission will be free for the open qualifying event on Thursday, Jan. 10.

Dr. Eric Zillmer, Drexel's director of athletics, said in August when the event was announced that they didn't expect to use the building to its capacity of 2,500. He was anticipating from 500 to 1,000 people per session.

The competition is expected to feature a dozen male and a dozen female competitors in a round-robin format. Four men and four women will advance to an April finals against the best players from Canada in Vancouver, with the qualifiers for the Beijing Olympics in August advancing from there.

Tickets are available at the Drexel ticket office, on Market Street between 33rd and 34th streets, or via telephone at 1-866-437-3935.

Other Olympics-related events coming to the area include the U.S. gymnastics trials, June 19 to 22 at the Wachovia Center, and a USA Boxing event. Group seats for gymnastics have been on sale for months; individual tickets likely will go on sale sometime in January 2008.

No details have been released on the boxing event or a public celebration here that will mark the Opening Ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics. Those begin Aug. 8. *

- Paul Vigna