diamond geezer

 Friday, March 18, 2011

Alternative ways to get London 2012 tickets, number 1

Fancy a ticket to the Opening Ceremony? You can guarantee yourself one, come September, if you book an Olympic "short break" with Thomas Cook. For just £6499 per person you can get to see...
» Opening Ceremony - Olympic Stadium
(27 July - 19:30 to 22:30) [Seat Category A - normal price £1600]
» Table Tennis - Men's & Women's Singles Preliminary Rounds - ExCeL
(28 July - 9:00 to 12:45) [Seat Category A - normal price £85]
» Volleyball - Women's Preliminaries - Earls Court
(28 July - 20:00 to 23:30) [Seat Category B - normal price £55]
...along with three nights at a 5 star West End hotel. Meals are thrown in, as is a coach to whisk you to and from your Olympic event. What with Thomas Cook being official London 2012 sponsors, your coach might even get to whisk along the segregated lanes of the Olympic Route Network (you VIP you). But at a price almost £5000 greater than the total face value of the three tickets, your guaranteed seats come at a huge premium.

Or if £189 is more your budget, how about...
» Basketball - Women Preliminaries - Olympic Park
(5 August - 20:00 to 00:00) [Seat Category D - normal price £45]
» Athletics - Men & Women - Heats/Qualifying Rounds - Olympic Stadium
(6 August - 10:00 to 12:20) [Seat Category E - normal price £20]
...along with one night at a budget Heathrow hotel? There's no coach this time, only a free Travelcard, but boy is that Travelcard going to be necessary. The basketball ends at midnight (in Stratford) and the athletics starts at 10am (in Stratford), so somehow you'll have to exit the arena, catch the specially-extended late-night tube, return to the hotel (20 miles away in Heathrow), get some sleep, have breakfast, check out, ride the tube back to the Olympic Park and get through security, all in ten hours flat. You don't have to wait until September to book this clunker, you can book it now.

Rest assured, most of Thomas Cook's 800 Olympic package holidays aren't quite this eye-wateringly expensive or impractically compact. And they do guarantee official tickets and a hotel room for the night, which may be in short supply in London at Games time. But Thomas Cook do seem to have a lot of tickets for the less desirable preliminary rounds of non-premium sports, so you will be paying well over the odds to see some fairly bog standard events.

If you're not successful in the Olympic ticket ballot, you live outside London and you have money to burn, you might want to bear Thomas Cook's short breaks in mind. But if you're not successful in the Olympic ticket ballot, that could be because thousands of the tickets aren't available to the general public at all, only to corporate packages and official sponsors. Best not complain, because ticket sales are an important part of the funding for the Games, and without big business hospitality we'd be contributing even more of our taxes to the event.

(Today's post is especially for the two readers who complained yesterday that I'm writing too many Olympic posts at the moment. Have another one. And keep your fingers crossed for tomorrow)

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