diamond geezer

 Monday, May 21, 2012

London 2012  Olympic update
  Last chance tickets?

If you didn't get tickets to the men's 100m final and are angry about it, you probably have very little understanding of the laws of probability. But if you didn't get any tickets to the Games at all, or did but fancy some more, then this is the week to take action. More than a million tickets will be available, most for the Paralympics rather than the Olympics, but still providing plenty of opportunity to get inside a venue and lap up the atmosphere. If you're still whingeing next week, either your cash reserves are too low or your expectations are too high.

Paralympic leftovers: Over a million tickets go on sale this morning at 11am. That's not great if you're at work in a non-internet environment but, this being the Paralympics, it's very unlikely that events will sell out really quickly. No specific details of session availability will be made available in advance, so you'll have to dig around on www.tickets.london2012.com to discover precisely what's available and at what price. But expect tickets to start at only £10, in a variety of events, with the greatest availability in Athletics. Yes, Athletics. If you fancy a trip inside the Olympic Park and inside the Olympic Stadium, then Paralympic Athletics is your golden ticket. Other venues in the Park with decent availability include the Aquatic Centre (yes, honest, for Swimming) and the Basketball Arena. Even the Opening and Closing Ceremonies have half-decent availability, although maybe at a price. The Paralympic Closing Ceremony is essentially a dressed-up Coldplay concert, if that's of any interest. At the other end of the availability scale, the Archery and Shooting in Woolwich are almost sold out already. At only £10 a ticket, these might well be events to target at 10:59am this morning before they all disappear. Also at only £10, day passes (with sport) will be available for the Olympic Park or for ExCel, which may be well worth considering. The full availability summary is here. Don't be sniffy, grab yourself a bargain.

Olympic leftovers: These go on sale this Wednesday at 11am. They're the same tickets that were available last week to ticketless applicants, or at least all of those that haven't yet sold out. Expect most of the leftovers to be in the expensive price brackets (for example no Athletics tickets below £400), or to be in Football (which not enough people genuinely care about). Again it's first come first served, and open to anyone, so best get in fast.

Fresh Olympic tickets: The following go on sale next Tuesday 29th May at 11am.
a) Cycling Road Race: £15 or £10 gets you into special enclosures either at Box Hill or at Hampton Court. Or it's free (and ticketless) everywhere else between here and The Mall.
b) Tennis: £10 gets you onto Henman Hill to watch Olympic matches on a big screen.
c) Orbit: If you have a ticket to the Olympic Park, and only if, you can buy an ticket up the big red observation tower for £15. Tickets will probably be for a specific time on your particular day, but that's not yet confirmed. At least there'll be something decent to see from the observation deck this summer, which may not be the case when the tower reopens 18 months later.
d) Olympic Park Pass: This is ideal if you only want to get inside the Olympic Park for the atmosphere, not the sport. Alas, expect ridiculously few of these to go on sale, no more than a few thousand a day.

And then soon, sometime between late May and July, everyone's tickets will start to arrive. They're being delivered by Royal Mail, and they'll need to be signed for. And that may cause a few problems...

» Your tickets are being sent to whatever address LOCOG had in their system on February 6th. If you've moved house since, bad luck. Royal Mail will still attempt delivery to your old address, and only your old address, unless you've previously set up a redirection service.
» Anyone at the designated address can sign for your package. That's probably good news... unless you've moved house since, in which case it's very bad news.
» Royal Mail will send email notification on the day your tickets are due to be delivered. But there'll be no earlier warning, so you won't be able to rearrange your schedule to be at home that day.
» If you're not at home when the tickets are delivered, they go back to your local sorting office. You can arrange redelivery, but only to the same address. After 18 days at the depot your tickets go back to LOCOG. Once they've been returned, you can only pick them up at a London 2012 ticket office. These will be open at venues at Games time, including on the day of your event.
» Only when your tickets arrive do you finally discover which seats you've been allocated. A list of seating plans is available here. If you opted for the cheapest tickets, don't be surprised to find yourself in the cheapest most far-flung seats.

It has to be said, the entire London 2012 ticketing system has been opaque, perverse and seemingly made-up by the organisers as they went along. Deadlines have slipped by months, understandings have entirely altered, and the actual sizes of ticket allocations have been suspiciously concealed. The whole enterprise has done nothing to engender feelings of fairness, that's for sure. But if you still fancy taking part, this week's your best chance to mop up what's left.

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