Exclusive: We have learnt lessons from London 2012 ticketing policy, admits Glasgow 2014 chief
Tuesday, 24 April 2012
April 24 - Glasgow 2014 chief executive David Grevemberg has admitted his team has already learnt lessons from the controversial ticketing policy adopted by London 2012 – which has proved one of the most problematic areas for organisers in the lead-up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
London 2012 has been widely praised following a largely smooth build-up to the Games.
But organisers faced a huge wave of criticism last year for a perceived lack of transparency in the first round of ticket sales after fans had money withdrawn from their bank accounts without knowing which events they would see.
Further problems emerged in the second round when the London 2012 official website struggled to cope with overwhelming demand leaving thousands of disappointed fans unable to access it.
Another embarrassment occurred again earlier this year when 10,000 extra tickets were sold in error for the synchronised swimming sessions following a data foul-up.
But while Grevemberg (pictured below) refused to be overly critical of the London 2012 ticketing policy, praising the amount of interest the Organising Committee has created in attending the Olympics and Paralympics, he stressed Glasgow 2014 will be looking to avoid similar pitfalls when tickets go on sale for the Commonwealth Games.
"We have already done our lessons-learned assessment, and LOCOG (London 2012 Organising Committee) has been great with sharing knowledge and advising what they could have done differently if they had the chance," Grevemberg told insidethegames.
"We have taken a lot of that on board within the appropriate context.
"We have already gone out to tender with our ticketing in the search for a [suitable] ticketing agent.
"We really want to get that balance right between meeting our revenue targets, getting full stadiums and, of course, being an inclusive and accessible Games.
"That is what we are trying to pull together."
He added: "It is obvious there are lessons to be learnt from LOCOG.
"But I am talking in terms of both the challenges and the successes.
"I mean, it has had some real successes with its ticketing in that it created enormous demand – particularly in the Paralympics where it has already sold a huge amount of tickets before the Games, which is unprecedented.
"That is a real testament to its effort, marketing and advertising.
"And we want to do the same."
Grevemberg continued: "We are optimistic because I think London 2012 has shown that the United Kingdom has a real passion for sport and that people want to watch it.
"So if we can have that same type of demand that would be fantastic.
"But we are going to do our best to manage it as effectively as we can."
Grevemberg said that although his team will be in London for the Olympics and Paralympics, it will not be looking to kick-start a major ticket selling campaign during the Games or attempting to muscle in on the publicity that the event will attract.
"We will be in London in an observer capacity but there will not be a Glasgow 2014 House or anything big like that," he said.
"We want to keep it all fairly low key and discreet because we don't want to rain on anyone's parade.
"There will be a little bit of work in terms of making the world's media aware that it is next stop Glasgow 2014 but as far as a big presence goes, that is not what we are about.
"This is London's time and London's celebration, and we are 100 per cent behind it."