2012 ticket prices have a familiar ring
Our colleagues over at London 2012 always knew that the headline from their announcement today of their ticket prices would most likely be "what's the most expensive?" So even if the bulk of the tickets are available at a reasonable price, it's the figures the media narrative would call "eye-watering" that would, well, catch the eye.
Now all is revealed, and you could say it's certainly a bold gesture. The top price for the opening ceremony will be £2012, while some of the lowest price tickets for the Games will come in at a similarly-branded 20 pounds and 12 pence. And as someone who has 2012 as part of his office phone number, I can hardly complain about the use of "2012" as a gimmick.
There are other potentially smart PR moves too, like the "pay your age" idea for young people at some of the sessions - with a 10 year old paying £10 and a 16 year old paying £16, and discounts also for the elderly. (No, 80 year olds don't pay £80.)
But the real story here is about the mass audience numbers between £2012 and £20.12. That's where regular people will have to pay the going rate, and London 2012 have always been clear that they have financial targets to reach. As the sports minister Hugh Robertson has said on the BBC News Channel, this isn't about making a profit in any conventional sense: it's about meeting the costs of running the Games, just like the commercial sponsorship issues we've discussed here before.
So for the greatest number of tickets there's quite a steep rake where the lower-priced tickets - aiming to come as close as they can to London's early promises - are balanced by the higher-priced ones.
For "Super Finals" in the Stadium, in which you'd include the 100 metres, the range is from £50 to £725. The theory being (in what's close to a modern political consensus) that the well-off can pay more, thus allowing more tickets to be made affordable. Whether that market mechanism works, we shall see; but on a quick look at the full list there are lots of events where £20 tickets are available, including football at its various venues around the UK, and shooting seems to have top-price tickets of only £40 for the final.
The Bird's Nest Stadium in Beijing was packed for the 100m final
- 8.8m tickets available for the Olympic Games
- 75% of these tickets will be on sale to the public from March 2011
- 90% of these tickets will be priced at £100 or under
- Two thirds of these tickets will be priced at £50 or under
- 2.5m tickets will be priced at £20 or under
The questions now are who will buy and at what price, and can London sell-out as many of the venues as possible? Because the key to a successful Games is passionate, packed crowds. So it would be good to hear your views.
Have the London 2012 organisers got it right? Will you be in the queue when sales start next year? Or has this dashed your hopes of a day out at the Olympics? Let us know.