diamond geezer

 Sunday, June 19, 2011

London 2012  Olympic update
  Second chance sales

So, if you applied for Olympic tickets but got none, and you're at your keyboard at 6am on Friday morning, what leftovers can you buy? London 2012 have kindly provided a 45 page pdf with lots of boxes crossed off, plus an overview dividing the sports into good, low and no availability. I thought you might prefer some alternative categorisation, in case it helps.

Ordered by availability

» Sports with absolutely no tickets at all, so don't bother looking: Badminton, BMX, Canoe Slalom, Diving, Equestrian (Eventing), Equestrian (Jumping), Gymnastics, Modern Pentathlon, Shooting, Swimming, Tennis, Track Cycling, Triathlon, Water Polo, Opening and Closing Ceremonies
If these are the only events you applied for, now perhaps you can see why you came away empty-handed. When even the ridiculously overpriced top tier tickets sold out, for every single session, what hope did you have of getting your £20 ticket? It's no surprise that the cycling and pool events sold out, thanks to Chris and Rebecca and Tom. Many of the rest sold out because there were hardly any sessions, which concentrated demand. Canoe Slalom takes place only five times, Modern Pentathlon four, BMX three and the ceremonies once each. Some sports sold out because the venues are so small. Gymnastics at Wembley has an audience of only 6000, and the Water Polo only 5000. But some of these sell-outs reveal unexpectedly high levels public interest, across a very large number of sessions. Olympic tennis never normally sells out, but has. Ditto twenty-four badminton sessions and fifteen rounds of shooting. Seb'll be chuffed, even if you're not.

» Sports with a handful of expensive tickets and nothing else: Archery, Athletics, Fencing, Judo, Rowing, Sailing, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Weightlifting
Yes Cinderella, you can still go to the ball. But only if you get in quick, and only if you're willing to pay top whack. Those leftovers for Fencing, Judo and Taekwondo start at around £50, for example, but only while limited stocks last. As for Athletics, a few morning sessions remain at under £100, but you probably weren't planning to spend that much. It's time to decide what's more important - your bank balance or saying "yes, the Olympic Stadium, I was there."

» Sports with a fair number of expensive seats, but no cheap ones: Equestrian (Dressage), Mountain Biking (women's), Synchronised Swimming
Here's your last chance to get inside the Aquatic Centre. All the swimming and diving sessions have gone, but stump up £50 and you can still watch svelte ladies in bathing caps waving their legs artistically in the air.

» Sports with some cheap seats, but most mostly expensive ones: Basketball, Beach Volleyball, Boxing, Handball, Hockey, Wrestling
These multi-session sports mostly sold out, but you'll have no problem finding a preliminary round to spectate. In most cases your chances increase if you're willing to watch women instead of men, because the first round of balloteers appear to have been remarkably sexist in their choices. You don't have to get up at 6am to grab these tickets, they'll still be on sale long after breakfast.

» Sports with loads of tickets for almost all sessions: Canoe Sprint, Volleyball, Football
It's time to say to yourself, "I don't care what I see, I just want a ticket." Canoe Sprint should be interesting, out at Dorney Lake near Windsor, but was presumably overlooked in the early stages by people who thought rowing sounded better. Volleyball is the big hope for anyone who hasn't got a ticket yet - a proper sport across 40 remaining sessions in a 15000 capacity arena at Earl's Court. Tell yourself it'll be fun, go, enjoy yourself. And then there's the Football, which has almost three times as many unsold tickets as all the other events combined. Come December, when ticket sales are finally opened up to the wider British public, expect these still to be hanging around like a pile of stinking fish.

Ordered by price of cheapest remaining ticket

£60+: Athletics (£65, 1 session), Dressage (£65, 2 sessions)
£50-£55: Rowing (£50, 2 early rounds), Synchronised Swimming (£50, 4 sessions), Judo (£55, 7 quarter-finals), Sailing (£55, 4 sessions)
£40-£45: Beach Volleyball (£40, evening session 29th July), Mountain Biking (£45, women's), Fencing (£45, 4 sessions), Taekwondo (£45, 4 preliminary rounds), Weightlifting (£45, 4 sessions)
£30-£35: Archery (£30, 3 sessions), Boxing (£30, 4 sessions), Table Tennis (£35, 2 sessions)
£20: Basketball (2 women's preliminaries), Canoe Sprint (2 heats/semis), Handball (3 matches), Wrestling (6 sessions), Hockey (9 matches), Volleyball (18 matches), Football (33 matches)

Gold medal sessions ordered by price of cheapest remaining ticket

£295: Athletics (men's shot put, women's 10000m)
£185: Beach Volleyball (men), Boxing (women)
£95: Basketball (women)
£80: Synchronised Swimming (duets)
£65: Fencing (epée)
£55: Sailing (4 sessions)
£45: Mountain Biking (women), Weightlifting (4 sessions)
£35: Canoe Sprint
£30: Football (women)
£20: Wrestling (2 sessions, women)

Five top tips for desirable leftover sessions

1) Athletics (10:00–12:20, 6th August, £65): It's by no means cheap. But it is the holy grail event, in the stadium proper, and you'll get to see early rounds of the 800m, discus, 100m hurdles, 1500m and shot put.
2) Basketball (9th August, from £35): Later rounds of the Basketball are being held at the Dome, with greater capacity, so neither of the two women's semi-finals has sold out at all.
3) Canoe Sprint (mornings of 6th & 7th August, from £20): If you can get to Windsor for 9:30am, you can watch the heats and semi-finals on the cheap.
4) Handball (evenings of 8th & 9th August, from £20): Although most of the Handball has sold out, one men's quarter final and one women's semi-final totally haven't.
5) Paralympics (29 Aug - 9 Sep 2012): World class athletics, dead cheap tickets, massive availability... ideal, so long as you're not a sporting snob and don't mind waiting a few months.

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