London Olympics Ticket Deadline Won't Be Extended Despite Website Crash
LOCOG officials said that they "won't extend the ticketing deadline any further after their Olympic ticketing website experienced severe problems in the final hours of the six week ballot preventing last minute applicants from submiting their orders" for the '12 London Games, according to Jacquelin Magnay of the London TELEGRAPH. LOCOG "extended the deadline" to 1:00am local time this morning, "an extra 61 minutes beyond the original 11:59pm deadline as the site was overwhelmed with millions of last day applications, including hundreds of thousands of orders in the final hours" (TELEGRAPH.co.uk, 4/27). A message on the website told customers to "try again later." Earlier, LOCOG CEO Paul Deighton said of the demand, "Applications have been steady but at a high level, which is in line with operational expectations -- but this week it has hit the roof. We have got a massive number of orders, which is not surprising, because people have taken on board that it's not a first-come, first-served system. ... In the last week we have been getting three or four times the applications above and beyond what was coming in for the previous five weeks -- and the sky's the limit based on the pattern that I am seeing at the moment" (THETIMES.co.uk, 4/27).
SUPPLY & DEMAND: LOCOG officials are "increasingly confident they will hit their goal of bringing in 80% of their total ticket revenue target of £500m by the end of the public ballot process." But they also have conceded that the target "may not be met until they have conducted further rounds of sales, which are likely to continue until the end of the year and involve going back to those who have failed to secure tickets for certain events and offering them alternatives." The GUARDIAN's Owen Gibson notes archery and rhythmic gymnastics "were among the surprise hits as applications for Olympic tickets surged before the deadline." Sports such as volleyball, basketball, field hockey and handball, which have "lots of sessions at venues with relatively high capacities," are understood to be "unlikely to sell out in this first ticketing phase." Soccer will present the "biggest challenge," with more than one million tickets "to be sold to the men's and women's competitions just weeks after Euro 2012" (GUARDIAN, 4/27).