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SBD/August 6, 2012/Olympics
Some IOC Officials Prevented From Attending Games Due To Sensitivity Over Ticketing
Published August 6, 2012
THE FINAL SWIM: YAHOO SPORTS’ Martin Rogers noted tickets for the men’s 4x100m medley relay, the final race in Michael Phelps' Olympic career, were the "hottest seat" of the Games so far and Saturday were “changing hands on the black market for the incredible price of nearly $10,000.” One ticket scalper said, "It is all because of Phelps. We have even started quoting prices in American dollars because all the people interested are Americans who want to see him one more time." The only available tickets prior to Saturday’s race were “mainly for the highest-priced level, hence the drastically inflated asking price from scalpers.” When the tickets were released, the top ticket “sold for $704, with other levels at $461, $289, $149, and $78.” Another ticket scalper said, "Normally, I make my money by paying face value for tickets from people who don't want them anymore. This is a unique event. I am paying way, way above face” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 8/4).
TECH SAVVY: The WALL STREET JOURNAL’s Speri, Orwall & Bryan-Low noted fan Adam Naisbitt “ended up becoming a martyr for one of this city's most aggrieved demographics: the thousands who've been unable to buy tickets for the Games.” But “unlike most, Naisbitt, a tech entreprener, had the know-how to come up with a plan.” He designed a program “to automatically send his girlfriend a text when gymnastics tickets became available on the official website.” It worked “so well that he decided to share his services with the public and developed a ‘spider,’ a device that monitors the site for ticket updates every three minutes, notifying Twitter followers when they become available.” Naisbitt's Twitter handle, @2012TicketAlert, “soon had more than 7,500 followers -- all of whom were getting a time advantage in the race for tickets.” But his spider handle on Thursday “was blocked and stopped working.” Official LOCOG ticketing partner Ticketmaster Friday said that Naisbitt has “been blocked, but stressed that he wasn't targeted.” The company said that it was a "consequence of its continuing efforts to track unusual activity from individual Internet addresses” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/4). In London, Victoria Ward notes when Ticketmaster established Naisbitt’s handle “was legitimate, it was immediately reinstalled.” The Twitter alert now has over 24,000 followers (London TELEGRAPH, 8/6).