By Duncan Mackay

Olympic silver medallist Michael Jamieson helped Glasgow 2014 launch the first day of its ticket sales by diving into the newly revamped pool at TollcrossAugust 19 - Glasgow 2014 officials claimed that they were "delighted" with the response as tickets for next year's Commonwealth Games went on sale for the first time today even though the website struggled to cope with the demand. 

Scottish organisers said they "appreciated the patience" shown by customers as high demand led to waiting times of more than an hour.

But Glasgow 2014 insisted there was no need to rush as the public had four weeks to place requests for tickets.

After that period, tickets will be allocated by a "fair and simple draw".

"We've been really delighted with the enthusiastic response to the first day of Glasgow 2014's ticketing programme," said a spokeswoman for Glasgow 2014. 

"We have already processed many thousands of applications through our website and continue to do so as quickly as possible.

"We appreciate the patience shown by customers during periods of high demand.

"But this is not a sprint - everyone has until September 16 to make their choices and get their applications in and we encourage everyone to get involved in Scotland's biggest-ever festival of world-class sport."

Sir Chris Hoy had helped launch the ticketing guide for Glasgow 2014 Sir Chris Hoy had helped launch the ticketing guide for Glasgow 2014

Although the situation evoked memories of what happened before London 2012 when the ticketing system was severely criticised, the response also demonstrated that the appetite to watch top-class sport in Britain remains as high as it did during last year's Olympics and Paralympics. 

A million tickets are available for the Games, which are due to open on July 23 and last for 11 days, and which will see 4,500 athletes compete in 17 sports across 14 venues.

An official ticket guide was released last month and the first phase ticketing process runs until the middle of next month.

Olympic silver medallist swimmer Michael Jamieson marked the start of sales by diving into the refurbished pool at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre.

"People have been very excited and have put in lots of applications," said Ty Speer, deputy chief executive of Glasgow 2014.

"I think the British public got a great taste last summer of world-class sport, with a real celebratory atmosphere, and the Commonwealth Games is going to be the next multi-sport event in the country for the foreseeable future.

"People are extending that fun and want to be part of it – it's fantastic for us and the athletes who are going to be competing in it.

"There will be big crowds and the city will have a great atmosphere.

"The Glasgow 2014 main website went down for about two minutes, but once the ticketing site went up at 10am we haven't had any major problems, just queues, but that's the kind of volume that we need to manage."

Each sport has a minimum entry price of £15 ($23/€17), while 60 per cent of the tickets are priced at £25 ($39/€29)or less, with concessions for under-16s and over-60s just £7.50 ($11.60/€9.40).

However, the more popular sessions could cost much more than that.

Spectators hoping to witness prized events such as the 100 metres sprint final at Hampden Park, which could feature Jamaica's Usain Bolt, will pay between £30 ($45/€35) and £90 ($138/€107).

Glasgow 2014 posters may warn people "not to hang around" for tickets but officials claim there is still plenty of time to buy themGlasgow 2014 posters may warn people "not to hang around" for tickets but officials claim there is still plenty of time to buy them

"There is no advantage to putting your application in on the first day, a day in the middle or at the end," said Speer.

"We will not process any applications until that phase closes.

"Our advice to everybody is go online or grab a copy of our ticketing brochure, sit down with family and friends and work out what works for you."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
July 2013: Sir Chris Hoy leads Glasgow 2014 one year to go celebrations
July 2013: Glasgow 2014 encourages ticket-buyers to change children's lives with UNICEF donation
May 2013: Glasgow 2014 launches "family-friendly" ticketing strategy and competition schedule
May 2013: Ticketmaster appointed to sell tickets for Glasgow 2014 despite London 2012 controversy