SBD/February 15, 2011/Olympics

LOCOG Releases Ticket Prices, Schedule For '12 Olympics

Tickets for the Opening Ceremony range from £20.12 to £2,012
The '12 London Games' competition schedule, session times and ticket prices were made public today, with tickets "going on sale on March 15, giving fans time to start planning their strategies for securing tickets -- and saving up to cover the cost,” according to Owen Gibson of the GUARDIAN. While LOCOG “insists that prices are largely divided equally between the different ticket bands for most events, the cost of some seats remains eye-watering.” The “best seats” for the men's 100m final cost £725, with cheaper tickets available for £50. For the Opening Ceremony, the "cheapest tickets will cost £20.12 and the most expensive £2,012." LOCOG officials indicated that 90% of tickets “are priced at less than £100, with tickets starting from £20 in every sport and special prices available to young people and those over 60 in more than a third of all sessions.” Gibson notes more than 2.2 million people “already pre-registered” for ticket information. Fans who are “less fixated on a particular sport, but keen to sample the Olympic experience, are encouraged [to] apply for tickets to non-medal winning sessions to maximise value and their chances of getting in.” LOCOG has said that it will “pursue a ‘fans in front’ policy in order to ensure that ordinary ticket holders rather than sponsors are in the front rows, and has shortened session times to avoid the embarrassing shots of empty seats evident in Beijing.” Applications for “oversubscribed sessions will go into a ballot.” To “increase their chances,” fans will be able to “select their first choice price but also indicate if they would be prepared to pay more or less for the ticket.” LOCOG also “plans to launch a resale website where people can trade unwanted tickets at face value,” but that is “unlikely to be operational until closer to the Games” (GUARDIAN, 2/15).

AND NOW, A WORD FROM THE CHAIR: In a special to the London TELEGRAPH, LOCOG Chair Sebastian Coe notes fans between March 15 and April 26 “can apply for tickets.” Coe adds, “You do not have to sit by your computer at an exact time and hope to be among the first to apply -- it is not a first-come, first-served system. At the end of the application period, we will allocate tickets. If sessions are oversubscribed we will hold an automated ballot -- and by the end of June you will be notified whether your application was successful.” He continues, “Along with a wide range of sport, there are a wide range of prices to consider. Those at the higher end of the scale enable us to have millions of tickets at the lower price range. … In addition, each ticket to events in and around London includes a Travelcard in the price. If you are applying online you will need a Visa card” (London TELEGRAPH, 2/15).

PRICING DETAILS: AROUND THE RINGS’ Matthew Grayson noted the ticketing guide released by LOCOG “lists the date, time, venue and pricing options for each of the 26 sports and 640+ sessions spread across the 17 days of competition.” Top tickets for track and field’s “showcase events are the priciest sports events” of the London Games at US$1,165 apiece for “evening sessions on Aug. 5 (men’s 100m and women’s 400m), Aug. 10 (men’s 4x400m and women’s 4x100m) and Aug. 11 (men’s 4x100m and women’s 4x400m).” The “cheapest finals” are in race walk (US$32-48), skeet shooting (US$48) and mountain biking (US$32-72), which "has a mere four hours of racing split between two afternoons of competition" (AROUNDTHERINGS.com, 2/14).
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