London Olympics 2012 Ticketing Process: what a bloody farce.

28 Apr

The deadline for entering the lottery to buy London 2012 Olympics tickets just passed. Having looked forward to it for years, I somehow managed to completed miss the fact that the deadline was approaching, put off by the ridiculous lottery system, which meant that you could end up with 20 tickets or none, depending on how the chips fall.

Given that I grew up in London, and used to live in Stratford (where the Olympic Village is), it would be fair to say that I’m really disappointed. The BBC are reporting that demand was huge (surprise surprise), but one Seb Coe line in particular really annoyed me:

“”What is most encouraging is that the majority of applications are for multiple tickets and for several sports, which shows that friends and family are planning to go to the Games together.”

No Seb. What it shows is that the ticketing system was ridiculous, and that you forced people to play a weird guessing game in order to stand a chance of getting tickets. We understand that events are going to be over subscribed, but to treat the lottery for every event as if it exists in a vacuum is just amateurish. Of course people are applying for multiple sports: you didn’t give them any option.

The way it worked was that you would select the events you want, then they would run a lottery for each event.  If you applied for the one event you really wanted to see, but didn’t get lucky in the lottery, you were out of luck.  So what people did, of course, was to play the field somewhat: ‘I really want to see the 100 meters, but it’s going to be massively oversubscribed so I’m going to put in for fencing and archery tickets also.’ making in entirely possible that you end up with 100 meters, fencing AND archery tickets, or just one, or none.

The mind bogglingly simple solution to that is that you should have been able to select the events you wanted to attend, then select alternates that your #1 choice would default to if that choice sold out. Pretty simple stuff.  It was ticketing system designed for the event organizer’s convenience instead of one that got the fans to the events they wanted to see. That would be one thing if it were a private enterprise, but given how much public money has gone into the Olympics, I personally think is a bloody disgrace. For a more eloquent (and much more angry and sweary) description of what was wrong with the process, check out Scott Pack’s post.

And in the meantime, if anyone has spare tickets to the cycling, kayaking, track and field or tennis, hook me up would you?

Anyhow, here’s Ovett handing Coe his ass in the 1980 Olympics. Say what you like, but it makes me feel a bit better:

Suck it, Seb.

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One Response to “London Olympics 2012 Ticketing Process: what a bloody farce.”

  1. james June 22, 2011 at 8:39 am #

    I got some tickets and it has been a rip off. They took all the good tickets and left the rubbish. we have been mugged in a fixed lottery. Cheats

    Boycott all the sponsors. I will now never use my Visa card, never buy a BMW, never drink Heineken, never drink Coca Cola, never buy a Acer computer, never use Atos, never Origin, never buy GE good, never eat at McDonald’s, never use Omega, never buy Panasonic never buy Samsung, never
    buy addidas, never use EDF Energy, never sue Nortel, never use Deloitte, never eat Cadbury.

    they have cheated us the citizens. we should now hurt them in the pocket. Everytime I think of the olympics it will be with disgust with the sponsors. They cheated us all.

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