Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Olympics: London 2012 Sells 3.5 Million Tickets

London. More than 3.5 million tickets have already been sold for next year’s London Olympics, a figure that is unprecedented according to one Games insider.

Sports-mad British fans who missed out in the first round of sales have bought over 750,000 tickets in the second round, according to figures released by the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).

“Our goal is to get as many members of the British public to the Games as possible,” LOCOG commercial director Chris Townsend said. “We now have at least 150,000 more successful applicants -- and they and their friends and families are now going to the Games.”

According to LOCOG, more than 3.5 million tickets have been sold and there will be a further ‘second chance’ sale for the 700,000 applicants who were successful in all or part of their first round ticket applications.

This new opportunity to purchase tickets will last from July 8 at 6 a.m. local time to July 17 at 6 p.m.

But now the only tickets remaining are for football, volleyball and wrestling (freestyle), with no more availability for any other sports.

While recent ticket sales were on a first come, first served basis, the initial round was done on a lottery basis.

That led to widespread criticism from many British sports fans, who endured frustrating delays in their quest for tickets.

But Michael Payne, who worked for the International Olympic Committee for 21 years, said London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe and his team deserved praise for selling so many tickets a year before the Games.

“As a former director of the International Olympic Committee, I helped oversee the design and development of these Olympic ticket programs,” Payne told the insidethegames Web site. “The international sports community and international media looks on at the London Olympic ticketing program, with utter amazement and total disbelief.

“They have never before seen an Olympic Games sell out 23 out of 25 sports [excluding football], never mind achieve this, with one year to go to the Games.

“This does not even normally happen by the time of the Closing Ceremony.”

Payne, an Englishman who lives in Monaco and now works as an advisor to Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone, added: “Never before in the 115-year history of the Olympic Games has the world ever seen such a successful Olympic ticket programme -- validating I believe the IOC’s original decision to bring the 2012 Olympics to London to ensure full stadia packed with knowledgeable, passionate fans.”

Also read:
London Olympic 2012 Tickets Went for Sale
No World Tour for 2012 Olympic Torch Relay
1.2m of 1.9m people miss out on Olympics tickets

Agence France-Presse

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