Olympic tickets

The deadline for you to apply for Olympic tickets is 11.59pm tonight. Click here to apply.

The wide range of events and ticket price categories means that the application process is fairly complicated and you will need a Visa card. The BBC's James Pearce has written a helpful guide to the application process on his blog, which is worth consulting.

Brockley Central is excited just to be in the host city during the Games, but we also decided that we didn't want to miss the chance to actually go. With the exception of the equestrian events (which we just can't get excited about, despite the fact they're closest to us) we're agnostic about what sports we see. So our decision-making process was as follows:
  • We want to see a sport where Britain has a half-decent chance of winning a medal (so no beach volleyball)
  • We want to go to something in the Olympic Park itself, since it's the heart of the event (so no rowing or football)
  • We want to go to something outdoorsy, since we don't like sitting indoors on a sunny day and we're hoping that the London Olympics will have decent weather (so no cycling or swimming)
  • Our young kids, turned on to the Olympics via Mario and Sonic, are likely to get bored by sports that involve participants standing around a lot or which are determined by technical criteria, like who grabbed whose lapel first (so no track and field)
These considerations led us to the BMX events, so that's what we've gone for. What about you? We've added a poll to the South East London forum.

[Full disclosure, the consultancy I work for, Edelman, works for LOCOG, though not on ticket promotion]

39 comments:

mb said...

As I've got a day off I went a bit ticket crazy. Apparently you can sell them on (at face value) on an offical site next year so hopefully I wont be lumbered with all the ones I've gone for.

Track (picked a day wehn the Heptathalon is on - Go Jessica)
Gymnastics (gos I dont believe those people can be real - it makes me wince when they doo half that stuff)
Cycling (women with big thighs in lycra)

olga da polga said...

We've also applied for the last day of the women's heptathlon (go Jess!), plus showjumping (I like the idea of walking to an Olympic event!), gymnastics, table tennis and hockey.

It'll be over £1,500 if we get everything (and we've gone for mid-range prices, which increases our chances), but we figure it's the chance of a lifetime, and we probably won't go away on holiday next year.

Hugh said...

Went for the big ones: sprint finals on the track and footie finals. Oh, and swimming, since we do a lot of that.

Have to say, Nick, your decision-making process was well Guardian-reader-never-dun-no-sport-but-rah-luvie-we-simply-must-go-so-we-can-say-we-went, yeh.

Brockley Nick said...

@hugh - I don't think so. I have worked half my career in sport.

Here's me and a load of Olympic pundits, including a gold medal winning athlete, chewing the fat about 2012 only two weeks ago, since you asked: http://bit.ly/hyPkVL

Also, The Guardian does excellent sports coverage, particularly its MBMs.

D said...

Now i know it's not local, but people should just save their money and go and see the cycling time trials over in Kingston.

Personally I've gone for a couple of £20 tickets to watch some gymnastics from row z somewhere so it makes no difference if I don't get them as the view will be the same either way. Plus it's so bloody far in advance I'll have forgotten that I even have tickets by the time it comes around so I'll forget to turn up.

D said...

Nick - Had you just said something to offend Jason Gardner?

Everyone else - Jess Ennis will get injured a week before the games. It would be un-British of her to do anything else.

Brockley Nick said...

Perhaps I spelled his name wrong? ;)

jerry l said...

Jason Gardener: stick a wig and a pair of glasses on him - ta dah! It's Moss from the IT Crowd.

Robert said...

We went for the the Cross Country/Eventing at Greenwich Park, and the BMX finals, followed by high board diving heats the same evening.

£350 in total if we get all of those tickets.

Ed CPZ said...

Beach volleyball (Horse Guards Parade), basketball (not boring), BMX (early midlife crisis), and showjumping (Greenwich).

CarFreeHousing4FlatsByTheStation said...

interesting

BeingAbleToParkWhereYouWant said...

Quite.

Tamsin said...

Thanks, Nick, for reminding us all - clocked it with the Today programme this morning but then got distracted by work. But now signed up and applied.

My son is too laid back to care - so I "removed" the Basketball that I had put in for. (Like Marvin - "don't try to engage my enthusiasm, I haven't got one".) My daughter, though, was dead chuffed at the idea so trying for the showjumping (dressage we've seen before and eventing too spread out to get any sort of view), fencing and rowing.

Hugh said...

Cheap and nasty chairs, Nick. Raise your game, lad.

mb said...

Make sure you check your confirmation email. Accidentally bought two £200 cycling tickets....hasty cancellation and re-booking....phew!

Gone for the mountain biking instead.

Alex Crane said...

Went for some obvious and heavily over-subscribed events such as athletics, track cycling, swimming and something which sounds like it could be good, handball!

Just over £300 worth which was about as much as I wanted to pay if it all comes in.

Anonymous said...

Handball....sounds a lot like dodgeball.

Brockley Jon said...

Damn it, left it to the last minute and now the site is not playing ball!

Anonymous said...

Why is Seb Coe and chums sooo cagey about the number of ticket applications?

It was reported because were unsure which tickets they'd get they applied for a number of events.

Applicants have to have in their accounts suuficient money to cover the cost of ALL tickets applied for, which could be thousands of pounds.

Then it won't be till 2012 ticket holders will be able to obtain a refund for unwanted tickets.

another anon said...

yes...that just about sums it up. I think thats clear to most people. Don't apply for tickets you cant afford. You don't have to over order to increase your chances, if you do there is an opertunity to sell them at face value next year or, lets face it, for all but the most obscure of events you'll be able to shift them unofficially.

Seems like a resonable system where there are 60m people on this island and only a few hundread thousand tickets.

Why? do you suspect a conspiracy or do you think people are a bit thick?

Anonymous said...

Half the tickets are going to corporates, sponsors etc. and I'm not 100% sure that figure is final, so maybe they don't want to talk numbers yet.

The fact that you'll be debited in May and told what you've got at the end of June suggests that they'll be looking to distribute tickets at a price level rather than what you've chosen. So they might choose to stiff you for 2x£40 tickets and 1x£20 rather than 3 of the £20 ones. I'm sure there's a formula to make sure it works out the best for them.

It's all a bit scummy really (I'm surprised the only realistic option of paying easily, via Visa, is even legal).

Anonymous said...

So a conspiracy, massivly illegal and counter to the small print. I'm sure a journalist will be all over that.....unless it's bull.

A large portion were always going to corporate, it's that or a smaller event or greater public subsidy. A bit unsavory but there you are.

I doubt there a big criminal enterprise going down.

Tamsin said...

What's really scummy - and made my work colleague change her mind and cancel the application she had put in for getting some tickets for her family - is the fact that you can't take any food or drink with you on site. So no home-made sandwiches, chocolate biscuits or bottles of water for the children. She would have had to queue for ages (probably) to buy at whatever hyped up prices the food concessions choose to levy.

I would have thought the food concessions would have made enough anyway without having to have such punitive prohibitions made on their behalf.

She is also clued up enough to check out the small print. How many people are going to be caught out by learning of this only once they have got their tickets, and how many more might not realise until their picnics are confiscated on the way in? I know that sounds very emotive, but if you are having such a prohibiton presumably it would be enforced.

Brockley Nick said...

@Tamsin - if you want to host the Olympic Games, that's one of the IOC's conditions you have to adhere to, the logic being that it enhances the value of the sponsorship contracts, which in turn helps to pay for the Olympics and the Olympic movement. That's the argument.

Tamsin said...

Yes, I certainly see the logic and understand the need to attract and then keep sponsors happy, but I do wonder that the rules have to be so very strict. (I also wouldn't be surprised if it turns out to be something like so many EU regulations that the up-tight British rigorously impose while other countries are a bit more laissez-faire.) As said, I would have thought that the concessions would be secure enough anyway without having to be granted this total monopoly.

It's all part and parcel of the sponsorhip/concession tail wagging the sporting dog. Like the exclusion zones on food and drink trading around football grounds. The local economy takes a massive beating, getting nothing in exchange for the disruption suffered.

Brockley Nick said...

It's not a uniquely British thing, no. Other hosts have taken it just as seriously (they have to) and, like tickets, it's always something that proves to be controversial.

It's not just the Olympics either. If you, for example, run a football club that competes in the Champions League, for the evenings of your games you have to go around eradicating any non sponsor brands in your stadium, eg: applying black tape to the little logos on any tv sets you've installed in the concourses.

Sport is an industry. One that creates 1% of all jobs in the UK and one in which we are among the world leaders, believe it or not, and it's an industry that relies heavily on sponsorship.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't go just because I couldn't bring my own mung bean sandwiches and asparagus cordial...

pip said...

Well, most sessions are only 2 or 3 hours - maybe take a packed lunch/dinner and eat it before you go into the venue? And/or secrete the odd packet of peanuts about your person to keep you going in an emergency? You'll probably still have to buy a drink or two, but it will limit the cost. No doubt the prices inside venues will be outrageous.

Anon One said...

The IOC is probably the most severe in protecting sponsors rights, for good reason: Nike kicked off ambush marketing around the Olympics.

Ahead of the Opening Ceremony in Beijing there was a team of people going round checking logos on the teams' uniforms. Quite a few people marched with black insulation tape covering up logos. There was also at least one athlete who had problems over a tattoo before the Games. One good thing is that there are no sponsors logos plastered round the field of play, unlike football.

Couple of things to expect: there'll be Daily Mail outrage at the list of what you can't take into the venues (Scottish/Welsh flags always an interesting one) and someone will have clothes confiscated.

Anonymous said...

"Sport is an industry. One that creates 1% of all jobs in the UK"

Interesting fact. Is this figure just sport, or sport and fitness, i.e. gyms etc?

Tamsin said...

Good idea about a picnic to eat after you've travelled and just before you go in. And (even though I've gone for the value for money longer sessions - some are four hours) my daughter and I would get by - perhaps just shelling out for some water if it is really hot.

Who I feel sorry for are the parents of a couple of eight year olds who have got in with relatively cheap - the much trumpeted "just pay your age" -tickets, but then then have to double that by paying a fiver for a muffin and £3 for a bottle of coke when the kids get tired and need a sugar boost.

What would be really nice - and, Nick, you might know if it will happen - is to have guided tours when nothing is going on. Just to have a good close-up look at what's been built on our doorsteps. I can see that for security this would not be done in advance, but straight afterwards before things start changing, being sold off and dismantled would still be worth a trip.

Brockley Nick said...

@Anon - not sure, I would imagine it's a broad definition, which includes gyms / fitness.

Here's the link:
http://bit.ly/cYEO2p

pip said...

Well, I've got SOME Olympics tickets, as I've seen how much money has come out of my bank account, but I now can't get into my Olympics account to remind myself what I applied for, and to try and work out what I've got! In fact it's telling me there is no account registered under my email (which there clearly is as they keep sending me emails). Has anyone else had similar problems?

fed up said...

I applied to two tickets for penthalon heat. I thought I don't want to be greedy or expose myself to too much debt. I didn't even get those...
Guess it's wathcing the marathon.

Monkeyboy said...

pip, yes me too. I understand the reason for the lottery to get tickets but don't see why they need to keep it a secret which tickets you've got once they've taken the money.

Got two, think it may be mountain biking or possibly the individual dogging, although I'm not sure how that works?

Brockley Nick said...

I appear to have got no Olympics tickets.

Fizzy said...

Went for three events ... Greenwich Park Equestrian wander around, and lower heats of Diving and Gym. Zilch. On this post, did anyone get anything?

Lou Baker said...

I bid for loads - £2500 worth, 40 tickets.

I had less than £100 taken out of my account - which I think is for two tickets for an event outside the Olympic Park.

Very disappointed.

Monkeyboy said...

Cheer up, we could be sitting next to each other.

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