Two million apply for London 2012 tickets
Saturday, 25 December 2010
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year
December 25 - Two million people have signed up for tickets for the London 2012 Olympics, chief executive Paul Deighton revealed today.
Organisers are steeling themselves for the "mind-boggling" task of masterminding the ticket sales, as well as planning and managing seats for the 8.8 million tickets, which are vital to raising £2 billion ($3 billion) from the private sector to stage the Games.
The London 2012 organisation needs to get 25 per cent of its revenue from ticket sales.
The 6.6 million tickets for the public go on sale in March and, according to Deighton: "The sheer scale of this is mind-blowing.
"One of the key things for us in March is to make sure that things go smoothly.
"Making sure that everyone understands there is no advantage in submitting applications on the day. With two million people [on the database now], and probably nearer 2.5 million by March, it is also about making sure they are transferred into the ticketing system.
"It is a year of extraordinary demands in getting ready for the Games and in terms of operational delivery."
London 2012's ticket strategy, dubbed the "fans in front plan", is to have full stadia of screaming fans as "it works for the athletes, it works for television and the atmosphere", Deighton said.
Data from the two million registered people so far shows that "by and large more females than males" have signed up and many are opting to try to see several events.
Deighton said this means "they want an Olympic experience" and "may be hedging their bets so if they cannot see Tom Daley in the diving, they will try and see someone in something else".
In the run-up to London's bid for the Games, officials promised that ticket prices would start at £15 ($23), but they have since said this is not possible because of the economic conditions.
Tickets for an Olympic event now start at £20 ($31) and up to £725 ($1,120) for the showpiece 100 metres athletics final, which is set to feature triple Olympic and world champion Usain Bolt (pictured).
To be at the opening ceremony will cost up to £2,012 ($3,106) a ticket.
Deighton defended the high price of some of the tickets and insisted said it had been necessary to make "adjustments" to the pricing structure.
"Those people who say they are not cheap enough are the people who would be complaining if we could not sell enough tickets that we would have to go back to Government [for more money]," he said.
"In general, through all we have actually done, I think that we are pretty much on the money."
November 2010: London 2012 guarantee tickets for athletes' family and friends
November 2010: Tickets for Troops deal guarantees 10,000 seats for heroes at London 2012
October 2010: Coe warns London 2012 tickets must not end up on black market
October 2010: London 2012 announce Olympic ticket prices
July 2010: London 2012 will have full stadiums for Olympics claims IOC