diamond geezer

 Thursday, May 12, 2011

London 2012  Olympic update
  Paralympic tickets anyone?

You remember the Paralympics. The parallel event to the big one. The Olympics' smaller sibling. The event where aspiration overcomes adversity. All the sports that nobody watches for three years and fifty weeks. Anybody want any tickets?

Probably not enough people, if the just-released schedule is to be believed. Whereas tickets for the Olympics started at £20 and hit the stratosphere, half of those for the Paralympics cost £10 or less. Other than the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, nothing costs more than £45, while children get in for a fiver. They're almost giving these two million seats away for nothing - which is precisely what the organisers of most previous Paralympic Games have felt forced to do. At least in London there's some expectation that great sport merits paid-for tickets. But these rock-bottom prices hint at an underlying assumption that the Paralympics will be particularly hard to sell.

Here's my ever-so-simple summary of what events are on where, and how much the tickets cost.

Paralympic Games (29 Aug - 9 Sep 2012)
VenueEventPricesDay pass?
Olympic ParkOpening/Closing Ceremonies£50-£500 
mostly £15(5 sports)
Judo/Table Tennis/Volleyball 
mostly £15(6 sports)
The DomeBasketballmostly £15 
Eton DorneyRowing£10 
Greenwich Park Equestrian£10
There are some real bargains here. Tickets for the Olympic equestrian events are over-subscribed, whereas here you'll be able to see a similar level of competition (it ain't the horses that are disabled) for a tenner. The Olympic Stadium will only ever be used for 18 days of top-level athletic competition, but here you'll be able to get in and see half of them on the cheap. And there are two extra-special 'day passes' available, both for a tenner. Spend all day at the Olympic Park watching whichever of five sports takes your fancy, or instead a day at ExCel watching six. The experience might be similar to wandering around the outside courts at Wimbledon, missing out on the big names and queueing for the best seats, but it'll still be a unique day out.

People of London, the Paralympics are to your advantage. Your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to say "I was there". A chance to enjoy the Olympic Park experience on the cheap. World class sport, for less than the price of a West End cinema ticket. All this plus a one-day Travelcard thrown in for nothing on top. Tickets don't go on sale for another four months, so be patient. But if you don't get your Olympic first choice over the next few weeks, here's a super dead-cert back-up.

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