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'Year to Go' landmark approaches

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Roger Mosey | 14:48 UK time, Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The great ticket issue has resolved itself into two apparently incompatible positions. On the one hand, much of the sporting world has looked on in admiration as London 2012 has broken records for selling out most sports more than a year ahead of the event.

On the other, many in the UK still feel bitterly disappointed that they missed out and critics will never be reconciled to the system that was chosen.

I understand that some of the polling about public approval for the London Olympics has had a blip downwards that reflects the ticketing debate - though it's a relatively shallow dip rather than signs of a major crisis.

And one statistic that needs to be borne in mind is that although two million people in the UK tried to buy tickets, 50-odd million didn't.

Crowds celebrate in Trafalgar Square as UK wins Olympic host city

Trafalgar Square will once again be a key spot for celebrations with a year to go to the Games. Photo: PA

So while recognising there's no antidote for the people within the two million who are still ticketless, the London organisers have no option other than to put their best foot forward - and focus on the next landmarks in the journey to 2012.

Within touching distance is one of the biggest: "One Year To Go" on Wednesday 27 July.

We can now share some of what's being planned by the BBC and externally.

Our key TV and radio programmes will be in the Olympic Park from breakfast-time on the 27th to see the latest state of construction and talk to the decision-makers, but the main attention at lunchtime will be the Aquatics Centre - which we'll see from the inside with water in the pools for the first time.

Then in the early evening, Trafalgar Square comes into play with an event being organised by the GLA in association with Locog.

There will be a special programme on BBC One (broadcast globally by BBC World News) from 7 to 7.30pm which will bring together the central London location with the Aquatics Centre, and we can expect four main elements:

  • The president of the IOC, Jacques Rogge, will invite the world to send its teams of athletes to London in a year's time
  • World champion Tom Daley will perform the inaugural dive into the Olympic pool
  • There will also be a race at the Aquatics venue
  • The design of the London 2012 medals will be revealed

It's more than six years since London knew it would host the 2012 Games. At that time there was just a contaminated industrial wasteland in Stratford where the Olympic Park has been built.

The most intense period of all is about to begin, but what we'll be seeing later this month with 2012 hopefuls in real venues - casting an eye at the medals they could win - is just how close we are to the OIympics coming to town.


  • Comment number 1.

    "50-odd million didn't" - sorry to pick you up on this Roger, but on the the 30th June the BBC reported that the UK population was 62.3 million, meaning your statement should be "60-odd million"..... Doesn't say a lot regarding your command of simple facts.....

  • Comment number 2.

    I currently live a stones throw away from the Olympic Park at Stratford and my £2500 worth of ticket applications in the first round resulted in zero tickets.

    I decided to give the 2nd round of tickets a miss. Getting up at 6am on a Friday to buy tickets for U21's football in Manchester is not exactly what I had in mind when I finally started showing an interest in these games.

    How they can justify using two different methods for the two sales periods, I do not know. On the one hand I feel pleased that we have managed to shift all the tickets - it ultimately takes some burden of the tax payers (or at least it should do). However, on the other hand, we've shifted them all so far before that I cannot help wondering whether we should have taken a little longer with the process to ensure a fairer method that did not see individuals getting 20+ tickets whislt others got nothing, but saw 20 individuals get a single ticket.

    Anyway, you can forget about it now. It's done and dusted. As such, I've decided to use the £2500 I was perfectly willing to spend on the Olympics, on a 3 weeks holiday to Japan for the period the games will run. I'm not even a big Olympic games fan actually, so maybe this is all a blessing in disguise.

    The London 2012 Olympics will be a wonderful event and party for those lucky enough to get their invites. I hope everyone has a lovely time. I'll just wait for Rio in 2016 - much like South Africa last year (and for all the same reasons) there will be no problem getting tickets there, that's for sure.

    Oh, and NO you may not use my flat. I'd rather it sat empty, made me no money and gave you a hotel booking headache.

  • Comment number 3.

    It's great at this point in time to be looking at the competent delivery of the infrastructure to support the games - the venues. It does look like we can deliver large projects on time and we should take a sense of pride in that. The IOC seems more than happy with the arrangementsa and it's to a large extent, in tickets sales terms, sold out. A year to go - I can't wait, it will I hope, be a truly great gathering of the worlds athletes’ in our country - I hope that we will all be welcoming to our guests.

  • Comment number 4.

    1.At 11:02 13th Jul 2011, nigelscaife wrote:
    "50-odd million didn't" - sorry to pick you up on this Roger, but on the the 30th June the BBC reported that the UK population was 62.3 million, meaning your statement should be "60-odd million"..... Doesn't say a lot regarding your command of simple facts.....

    So you're using the fact that my two children under the age of 10 didn't apply for tickets as evidence of the apathy of the nation. Doesn't say a lot regarding your command of statistical analysis....

  • Comment number 5.

    How many of those 2 million that applied for tickets did so on behalf of other people, eg my application was for four people, me, my wife and two children. If everyone did the same then does that mean 8 million people effectively applied for tickets? A great example of how not to use statistics.

  • Comment number 6.

    As well as loving my sport and being proud of my country I WAS looking forward to the Olympics. But without tickets for my family (there was no family ticket option) I will feel distanced from the actual events however much the BBC tries to fill the void I feel let down.

    I hope to get a spare ticket from friends so my kids (they actually participate in sports after all) can go and enjoy a once in a life time atmosphere but that will be it. I will not fund this event through merchandise etc I already do so through my council tax etc.

  • Comment number 7.

    I read an interesting article by a Jamaican athlete in the papers this morning.
    he said how much he enjoyed competing in London because it almost felt like a home crowd at athletics events here. he is right but what he hasn't taken into account is that it won't be like that at the Olympics because most of those who attend athletics events won't have been able to get hold of any tickets.

    to be honest the games next year might as well be held in Beijing again. I don't know hardly anyone who a) has got a ticket and b) is actually interested in the games

  • Comment number 8.


    Wow... Someone's bitter...

  • Comment number 9.

    I hate hype - I really don't care that we're coming up to a year to go.

    As i'm not directly involved with getting the games ready, I'll only start paying attention once the opening ceremony has finished (or to any events that begin before then)

    If the media keep harping on and on and on, I'll probably just switch it off altogether.

  • Comment number 10.

    Out of all the posts on here so far less than 25% are positive, I didnt get tickets, I wont be going, and I am East End born... but folks give the negativity a break, some folks are never satisfied... If youve nothing constructive to say, dont say it!! Folks all over the world look at these articles and comments, and it paints a very sad picture of you and our country!

  • Comment number 11.

    Have to laugh sometimes at some of the posts on these blogs. Like Chris having a good old rant & then actually admitting he isn't a big fan of the Olympics. In that case I'm actually VERY pleased you didn't get tickets - there are actually plenty of genuine fans who have missed out. Enjoy your holiday.

  • Comment number 12.

    Hainba in #6 and others: completely understood, though some of the free events should be good for families. I see the British Triathlon site already has suggested viewing points - and the marathons and road cycling will have lots of free viewing too.

    Damian in #4: thanks for making the point. I didn't include the entire population because I thought I'd then be accused of believing babies should be logging on and applying for tickets...

  • Comment number 13.

    @11 - Do you seriously believe these events are held for the fans?

    How many 'fans' did you see at Centre Court for the Wimbledon Final? The 100metres Final in Beijing? The World Cup Final in Johannesburg? The Champions League Final at Wembley?

    If I'd have put my £2500 on 1 or 2 single tickets, I'd have got them. Fact.

    If you've got the money to spend, then get yourself along. If you don't, then sorry, it's the BBC for you! Or in my case, a holiday!

  • Comment number 14.

    I live in Hackney, 5 minutes from the Olympic village and didn't manage to get any tickets. I was so excited when we won the Olympics. To experience this event in your home town is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I was gutted not to get a single ticket for a single event even though I've put up with the road works, increase in council tax and general disruption. I'm still glad we got to host the olympics but why oh why did they not think about the ticketing system more. To hear that there were websites abroad where you could buy the exact event you wanted annoys me. I don't think I'l be around for the Olympics now. I don't see the point

  • Comment number 15.

    The thing about foreign tickets is a bit of a red-herring... It's fair enough that a few % of tickets to events are available to foreign associations, so clearly those nations who want to are right to put the tickets on general sale, to their general public. If a consequence is that UK people try to get their tickets, fair enough.

    The EU/EFTA situation made this more apparent and easy, due to free-trade rules.

    I don't really see what the issue is/what could've been changed.

  • Comment number 16.

    Getting exciting now, but disapointing to see once again it is BBC News rather than BBC Sport seemingly behind the programming. Yes, of course this is an event which crosses from news to sport, but that doesn't mean the expertise of BBC Sport should be put to one side. It's ridiculous it is Sophie Raworth rather than the likes of Sue Barker, John Inverdale or Hazel Irvine anchoring the main shows that day.

    On the positive side though happy to see the World Swimming Champs on BBC2 every afternoon that week.

  • Comment number 17.

    Brekkie in #16: we've always said we'll deploy all the talents of the BBC in 2012, across sport, news, culture and events. "Olympics 2012: One Year To Go" is an example of that - and it will be an OB led by BBC Sport at the Aquatics Centre while Trafalgar Square has more of a News/Events team.

    It would be nuts, of course, to lose sight of the excellence of what BBC Sport do in the run-up to the London Games - and they will rightly lead as they always do during Games time. But we're proud of colleagues across the organisation who will also feature in our day-to-day coverage between now and September 2012.

  • Comment number 18.

    Down here in Weymouth the main intention seems to be to cause as much chaos as possible and mess up peoples businesses. For example, a friend owns a small cafe on the Stone pier approach. There is no direct commercial vehicle access so for time immemorial her ice cream delivery is via the road to the Nothe fort, where the sightseeing for the sailing is to be situated. She has been told that this delivery option is not available for the duration of the games. It is a situation that could be resolved by giving the delivery driver a pass but that is too easy.

    So an opportunity for her to earn a living for this period and go a small way to assuage the bad feeling that is growing in Weymouth goes begging. I wish that at least some of the administrators had a bit more understanding of the effect that their attitude is having down here

  • Comment number 19.

    @13 Chris I think you'll find that all the events you list are not funded from the public purse (apart from Beijing I guess) so people feel they are paying whatever their Olympic persuasion. The tickets were sold with offers such as pay your age but forgot or ruled out any method of ensuring the widest possible allocation in the process.

    There is now option but to look forward avoiding any (infrastructure issues pre-games) and as a nation host a quality event. All of the milestones and media coverage will set the stage. But I also agree with @18 the powers that be have to look after those inadvertently get involved in the Olympic machinery. Especially if they could lose their livelihoods.

    I guarantee you that after the event the will be a media led autopsy of the whole thing to fill column inches & blog pages.

  • Comment number 20.

    50-odd million didn't" - sorry to pick you up on this Roger, but on the the 30th June the BBC reported that the UK population was 62.3 million, meaning your statement should be "60-odd million"..... Doesn't say a lot regarding your command of simple facts.....

    Sorry you're wrong, most people who applied were applying for tickets for a group, usually 4, so effectively 8m were interested in going.

  • Comment number 21.

    So apart from news coverage is it just the half an hour at 7pm then. If so a shame the BBC couldn't spare a bit more time to mark the occassion - - they could easily fill an hour, and indeed perhaps an entire evening of programmes counting down to the main event.

    Getting a bit concerning too the BBC is now the only major European broadcaster not to lock down a deal for 2014/16 with the IOC following deals with Spain, Italy, Germany and France in the last couple of weeks.

  • Comment number 22.

    Brekkie - well, the news coverage is planned to start in Breakfast on TV and Radio 5 Live and will continue extensively through the day in bulletins, the News channels, online and BBC London.

    As for wider programming: most of our landmarks are planned for 2012 rather than 2011 - and they include some great documentaries, a drama, comedy, huge music events (see Hackney Radio 1), a popular multi-episode BBC Two programme and a lot more. You may have spotted that Twenty Twelve starts its run on BBC Two on Tuesday at 10pm, too. This is the series that was premiered on BBC Four - and a second series is already commissioned.

  • Comment number 23.

    There are still loads of olympic ticket + hotel deals for £99 left - what are you waiting for?? They've been on there for months - nobody can say they can't get tickets - its easy.

  • Comment number 24.

    Loads more tickets will go on sale at the end of the year and when the resale procedure commences.

    Maybe it was just Londoners who didn't get tickets - I live in Aberdeen and have landed tickets for half a dozen sports over an entire week.

  • Comment number 25.


    Uruguay beat Peru in one semi final on Tuesday night but look at the BBC site and you wouldn't even know the tournament was taking place.

    If you want to know how Dumbarton got on in their friendly with Partick Thistle - no worries. Uruguay/Peru, from the continent that brought us Pele, Maradona, Alfredo de Stefano, Lionel Messi? Look elsewhere because you'll find nothing here!

    (Dumbarton beat Thistle 4-1)

  • Comment number 26.

    I know I will be at work but its a shame that the world championship swimming coverage will not be live on BBC2 next week, I though it would work ok with parliament in recess so no Daily Politics/GMT.

    Even more of a shame was no coverage on either red button or highlights of the open water swimming where Keri-Anne Payne won and qualifed for the olympics (first GB athlete to do so). I know you will point to the website and coverage on the news.

    I can't believe its just a year and one week to the London games start, the most exciting event of out lives. I can't wait!

    P.S. I'm enjoying British Olympic Dreams and World Olympic Dreams but is there any more plans for Olympic Dreams (the excellent fly on the wall documentary series)?

  • Comment number 27.

    Can't believe it's a year to go to the games, we need British rocks Queen to release a double a-side we will rock you/we are the champions as the offical anthem of london 2012.

    Lets hope Tom Daley can qualify for the diving.

  • Comment number 28.

    David Shield in #26: Olympic Dreams won't return as a title, no. But we're looking at more British/World Olympic Dreams programming - and there'll also be some peak-time documentaries next year on BBC One and BBC Three focusing on British Olympians in the spirit of the original show.

  • Comment number 29.

    Interview with Paul Deighton (LOCOG CEO) in the Guardian says that there will be a series of ticket batches amounting to 1.2M places made available from December to January (3 batches perhaps?)... and that the final batch will be reserved for people who missed-out in the original March/April ballot, who amount to 1M people.

    There is a serious question of fairness here - if that final batch of tickets includes a decent series of decent events. Many people participated in the second ballot back in June, and settled for events (or ticket prices) they otherwise wouldn't have - but they settled for it: they wanted to experience *something* at the Games.

    It would be so unfair if people who hadn't bothered trying again, later turned-out to get an advantage. Will the BBC be asking LOCOG about ticketing?

  • Comment number 30.

    Batches = December to March, sorry.

  • Comment number 31.

    @29/30 - The so called 'batches' of tickets that have been mentioned are for the huge football venues that are staging, by Scotland and England's high standards, rubbish football matches during the olympics!

    £80 a ticket to watch Peru's ladies take on Mongolia's ladies in a preliminary qualifier in Manchester... Who knew Lord Coe was such a comedian?

    I bet the Manchester tickets don't include that fabled 'free travel' they've been boasting about too!

  • Comment number 32.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 33.

    go check out F1 site 2 thousand posts in a day ,this tells what people care about roger you had a blog that i was 50% of your posters so you can consider my posts all you like the are non offensive and relevant .Since my point is you,re wearing the emperors new clothes and we re paying for them

  • Comment number 34.

    Timepasser - since I was running BBC Sport when we acquired F1 in 2009, I know the strength of feeling about the sport. I think Ben Gallop's blog sets out the case for what's now happened really well, but we do get what the complaints are about.

    While I'm writing, I saw some online groups discussing the contrast between F1 and our Torch Relay plans. Rest assured that much of the Torch Relay will be covered online and at low cost: most of the time it's absolutely not full sport-type OBs, and daily coverage will be at a fraction of the cost.

  • Comment number 35.

    Roger thank you for your thoughts.I just dont think some folk inside the BBC seem to grasp some realities that dont fit their agenda. People who pay for Sky by doing so endorse their content ,presentation and by implication their domination and slanting of the broadcasting agenda.While I and many others find this reprehensible.its a free country,just,and they decide on their spending .You lot get our money,and spend it how you feel . When you find 6000blogs illustrating how badly out of kilter with the people you represent,what do you do but try and spin it as a good deal .You have lost your viewers something they previuosly had . Sold away so you could try and sell a shabby deal rather thanleave the opportunity for another free to air broadcaster to step inSecondly this strife is tacit evidence of your spending choices ie Olympic coverage BBC4being at odds with your viewers preferences. While not against the Olympics per sae,many just have it a long way down their to watch list.You can cut your spending on what you wish . Whereas we cannot adjust ours accordingly.Whoever said "with power ,comes responsibility" clearly did not have your august body in mind.It is the distance you are from the viewer and their impotence at this injustice that fire up the indignation.


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