Saturday 18 June 2011

Olympic tickets: I'm one of the lucky few!

Up until a few days ago, I thought I was one of the many thousands of disappointed people who didn't get any Olympic tickets.

After looking at my monthly bank statement which arrived last Thursday, it turns out I was successful after all. I noticed I had £46 taken out of my bank account. I'm not sure what I've got, but I think the tickets are either for an afternoon session of athletics or a preliminary round of basketball.

There's still a number of tickets left which you can buy in the second round of sales on a first come first serve basis. Having looked at what's available, the options are limited. You've got very little chance of getting reasonably priced tickets for popular sports, like athletics, cycling, diving, gymnastics and swimming.

Don't get me wrong, I feel privileged to get any tickets - but that doesn't mean to say I agree with the process.

When two thirds of people who applied for tickets failed to get anything at all, then you have to say the ticketing system used was totally flawed.

I've had this discussion with other people and I don't understand why the tickets couldn't have been allocated on a first come first serve basis.

People would still have missed out, but plenty of other events work on the same principle, so why is the Olympics any different?

Today I was reading some thoughts by the the former England rugby union star Brian Moore in his Daily Telegraphy blog.

He made some interesting points about 75% of tickets being made available, with a further 8% going to Olympic sponsors. That leaves 17% of tickets unaccounted for. His question quite rightly is where are these extra tickets being allocated, and why have the public not be adequately informed about the true number of tickets available?

I know there's no perfect system, but I think it would have been better if the sale of tickets had be staggered over a period of a few months, and that each individual buying tickets were limited to a set number of sessions they could purchase.

There surely must have been a better system available whereby more people could have purchased tickets for at least one event they applied for.

On a personal note, I live within 20 minutes walk of the Olympic stadium and I'm in one of 5 official Olympic boroughs. It's probably asking too much to expect that some of the tickets be reserved for local residents in those 5 boroughs.

We're now going to have a situation whereby the majority of residents in East London, will have the world's greatest sporting event taking place on their doorstep, and they'll have no opportunity to attend it. I don't think that's right.

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