Londoners are the latest residents of an Olympic city to complain about the ticketing system, which has apparently left hundreds of thousands without any tickets in the recent ballot. This is nothing new. Look at what one Australian newspaper wrote in 1999, in the months before the highly successful Sydney Olympics:
Two months ago, Sydney’s 2000 Summer Olympics seemed on track for a gold-medal performance next September. Then, “the roof fell in on us,” said Milton Cockburn, general manager for media at the Sydney Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG). Since mid-October, the Sydney Olympics organizers have been pilloried by an Australian public outraged by secret plans to sell hundreds of thousands of choice tickets to corporate and private customers for premium prices.
Is this what has happened in London for 2012?
Thousands of queue jumpers
Ticket applicants have been infuriated by Visa’s highly-efficient ‘process’ which has left them to search for credit card payment evidence that they have been fortunate to get at least some Olympic tickets – but still without knowing which events they have ‘won’. There’s nothing clever (or fair) about leaving paying customers wondering – for weeks -what it is they have bought – and paid for. If they can collect the money, the organisers can send out confirmation of what they have taken the money for.
It is clear that the offer for tickets may have been at least 100% oversubscribed and some events many times more that. This may be primarily due to three specific factors:
- The large number of reserved Olympic official and competitor tickets.
- The disturbing system whereby the UK’s hundreds of local councils each have the pre-emptive right to purchase 100 tickets – at taxpayers’ expense.
- Pre-sold tickets to corporates including the wide range of sponsors, and other organisations (as per the Sydney report above).