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Olympic ticket hopefuls face an anxious wait

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James Pearce | 13:30 UK time, Friday, 24 June 2011

This was not my usual start to the day.

I was wide awake, laptop ready, before Breakfast television had even gone on air. Around the country hundreds of thousands of people were doing exactly the same. Kettles were boiling and fingers were being loosened ahead of what we all knew was going to be a mad scramble for Olympic tickets.

0600 BST was the appointed opening time of the second round sales. London 2012 organisers had always been nervous that their system would struggle to cope with the demand. If they'd hoped that this 0600 BST start would deter the less enthusiastic, they were wrong. Up and down streets alarms had been going off from 0530 BST.

Only those who'd missed out in the first ballot were entitled to buy tickets today - that was a total of 1.2m people. I was one of them.

I'm very fortunate, as I'll be working at the Games next year, so my desperation to get hold of a ticket is much less than for many of you. I struggle to imagine how anxious I'd have been this morning if I, like most of you, knew that the minutes after the 0600 BST alarm might determine whether I'd ever make it into the Olympic Park.

I'd made thorough preparations for today's process. Like everybody else, I'd studied the list of available sessions. In the end I'd decided to plump for beach volleyball. There were still some tickets available to the quarter-finals on a Saturday evening. These were bound to be popular, so I was well aware that I'd need to get in quick.

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Olympic ticket rush causes website delays, reports BBC Sport's Joe Wilson

By 0558 BST I was already logged onto the London 2012 website and refreshing the list of beach volleyball sessions. At 0600 BST exactly the availability appeared. Quick as a flash I chose my session and went straight to the checkout basket. This was first come first served, so snooze and you're going to lose.

By 0601 BST my card details had been entered and my payment was processing. Within another 15 seconds I'd been asked for the password to verify my bank card - the final stage. It almost seemed too good to be true. Sadly, it was. For a minute nothing happened, and then I received the following message: 'Sorry, we are unable to process your application'.

I was directed back to the start again. No time to question why. Time was of the essence. I went through the same process. Minutes later came the same result, 'Sorry, we are unable to process your application'.

Re-assurance came via Twitter. Thousands of people were enduring a similar experience. The London 2012 site was slowing down close to a standstill. Eventually I was able to return to my account page. The message that greeted me came as a surprise. I was informed that I could no longer apply as I had already submitted an application. There was even a reference number. Presumably one of my two previous attempts had been successful after all? But London 2012 told us that we would receive an email confirming our application. I and I know via Twitter, many others, have not received that email.

I won't find out until the weekend if my application did go through, and if it was successful. I fear that many people who applied for the most popular athletics tickets might have a nasty shock over the next couple of days when they find out that they weren't first come so ended up not being served. If that is the case then those people are going to be understandably frustrated, as by then there will probably only be football tickets remaining.

I can have no complaint. There will never be a better time to be a BBC sports correspondent than in London next summer. But I do feel for those of you who struggled in the same way that I did this morning. I know how much many of you care about the Olympics, and how much it means to be able to take up this once in a lifetime opportunity of watching the Games on home soil.

The real test of this second round process will come over the weekend when everybody finds out which tickets they got. If we all end up with what we think we bought, then nobody's going to worry that the site was slow for half an hour. If my worst fears are realised, and many miss out altogether for a second time, then Lord Coe and his team will rightly face some very tough questions.

In the meantime Coe could be forgiven for spending some of his time counting all the cash that's been raised. If he logs onto the London 2012 bank account he'll see that his organisation is about £400m better off than it was in April. That's how much has already been raised from ticket sales, out of an eventual target of £500m. It's an extraordinary achievement.

I've had many conversations with the London 2012 organisers over the years about predictions for demand on tickets. I was always confident that by July 2012 the Games (apart from football) would have sold out - others were less so - but never in my wildest dreams did I believe that more than a year out from the start of the Olympics, people would be setting alarms for 0530 BST just to have a chance of snapping up the few remaining handball tickets.

Many of you have strong views about the ticketing process, and I know that the majority believe that there are flaws, but it's important that we also reflect the incredible success in terms of demand. We are a nation of sports lovers - there are too many of us who want to go to the Games. That's always been the fundamental problem.

What Lord Coe and his team have managed to do is turn that interest in sport and the Olympics into a burning desire for tickets, almost regardless of the event. He's persuaded people to buy into the Olympic experience. Our own personal struggles to get hold of tickets are largely due to the exceptional demand which has been generated.

The success of the ticket sales have massively reduced the risk that the Games will make a loss. That's good news for everybody, as otherwise the government is responsible for picking up the tab.

But - and this is a big but - a price has been paid. Many people have been left feeling disillusioned. The next big challenge for the organisers is to turn public opinion back onto their side. An important first step will come this weekend if today's early risers find out that the process has actually worked and they receive the tickets that they're expecting.


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  • Comment number 1.

    I awoke this morning and managed to get logged on by 06:15am, although a little slow I have hopefully managed to bag some tickets to football and volleyball, My payment process was smooth and the whole experience took less than 20minutes, I really hope that I get at least 1 tickets as most of my friends got tickets in the first ballot, I really dont mind waht events I get as I just want to experience seeing an Olympic event in my own country, I do feel the whole experience had been far from a pleasurable one, I still cant work out why some people applied for 6 events and got 4 or 5 and I applied for 7 and got none. Fingers crossed and hopefully some good news within a week.

  • Comment number 2.

    Were you using Firefix when you saw the 'Sorry, we are unable to process your application' message? I had exactly the same experience, except that because I was greedy and went for two events, I didn't get to try to out until 6.03am.

    I spent 35 minutes refreshing and getting angrier before eventually trying the site on Internet Explorer. Straight aay I saw the confirmation message and all the pages that had been unavailable (on the same computer) were suddenly quick and "normal".

    Might have just been a complete coincidence, but even after that, I went back to the site on Firefox and it was still down.

  • Comment number 3.

    I think its paritcularly dissapointing that members of Athletics Clubs throughout the Uk don't get some sort of 'first dibs'. We are the ones who plough money into the sport each year through our membership fees, competition fees, sports equipment purchases etc. Why aren't we recognised as the true fans and given favour for that reason. It sounds very unfair to me that a typical 'sofa fan' can have the opportunity to go into the Olympic Stadium and watch the worlds finest, when they are the true role models of us motivated athletes that train and compete all throughout the year, every year.

  • Comment number 4.

    "It's an extraordinary achievement."

    Hardly. That £500m will have been planned down to the last penny through ticket numbers and ticket prices.

    If Lord Coe stops a black market of inflated prices on resold tickets, that will be a real acheivement.

    If not, he will have missed out on a lot more money.

  • Comment number 5.

    Completed the application process by 6.03 but took until 6.28 to get payment confirmed due to website not functioning well. My email came in a few seconds.

    Morning athletics sessions, especially at the lower price points, is the big question here. Looking on various sites it seems a lot of people did what my friends and I did and had athletics tickets selected by 6.01. Odds are some people are going to be let down on the athletics.

    Question is when they say first come do they mean first to select, first to get payment confirmed or what...maybe payment confirmed. So the question is was 6.28 fast enough? Maybe not, we'll see.

    I think we've got the other events because most other things we are applied for were still showing as available later on.

    Canoe sprint final (Tim Brabants) was listed as available before 6am, but was gone by 6.03am, according to 2 sources. So does that mean they reacted as quickly as that to demand, removing things within under 3 minutes when they sold out? Meaning that if something was still available after you completed your purchase you've got it? Maybe. Who knows?

  • Comment number 6.

    In retrospect the biggest failing was the first phase and allowing 20 tickets per person. It should have been 5 perhaps so people got what they most wanted not what they least wanted. Also they should have made it so people got at least 1 event before giving 2nd, 3rd, 4th events to people (as far as possible).

    Personally, I would also have given some tickets to some sports associations, so that someone who has travelled to Drubrovnik for the swimming world championships and knows who all the swimmers are can enjoy the Olympics, rather than just some random who wouldn't even turn the TV on for the swimming world championships. I would have still had the largest number in the public ballot though.

  • Comment number 7.

    madness. a total and utter joke. this one failure has meant thousands upon thousands of people will have no part in the olympics that they have funded through tax.

    a disgrace, and a black mark on the games.

    2012 will be remembered as the olympics that we missed.

  • Comment number 8.

    PS don't correct me on the spelling of Dubrovnik or the actual location of the world championships, it was just an example. It doesn't need to be correct. The general point is what matters.

  • Comment number 9.

    I managed to add basketball / hockey tickets to my cart without any problems so thought I'd risk it and tried for football tickets too - that's where it went wrong (so I thought). After some frantic refreshing and going back a page, I managed to access checkout, and after some time my application was submitted - including the football tickets.

    As documented all over the media, people are unhappy. Some rightfully so, and maybe there could have been a cap on sessions in the first ballot, allowing more people access to events. Anyhow, just like the events themselves, there will be winners and losers in this second ballot. But whatever the process LOCOG chose, there would have been people whinging about it - it's a shame 'mixed moaning & whinging' isn't an Olympic event; this nation of ours would win it hands down!

  • Comment number 10.

    We had a nightmare, got up early, logged on before 6, picked the tickets we wanted by 6:05. Now went to pay for them, this confused me as i wasnt expecting to have to pay before the end of the process. It failed at this point and as we tried again and again. Natwest the bank stopped then stopped the transaction as they suspected fraud. This is really odd as I didnt think we had to pay until the end, it clearly said that didnt it?. Had to spend half an hour on the phone to the back to "prove my identity" and get the block taken off. So by the time we submitted the application it was 6:45 so might be too late.

    It makes me think though that if you were successful then you do have tickets, why else would natwest have stoped the transaction? They must have taken the money?

  • Comment number 11.

    Because I got ONE ticket in the orginal ballot I cant apply until 8th July, by which point none will be available anymore.
    In many respects, I would have been better getting NONE the first time as I could of then been in a position to by what I wanted today!

  • Comment number 12.

    I too logged on at 6.00am sharp, however i am lucky enough to have tickets to Football, Hockey, Handball, Water Polo and Wrestling. My luck continued in that a friend of mine who tried without success to get a couple of swimming tickets said i could use his log on to go for the sort after Athletic tickets I am desperate to get for my 2 young boys. All went well until i hit the bumpers at 6.04 and didn't manage to complete and pay until 6.32. This looks like being another failed attempt but I have a couple of overseas 'irons in the fire' and a competition that i'm attacking with entries so all is not lost!
    One I would like to say is that Mr Pearce has been my 'go to guy' for all things Olympic on twitter and he may recognize my surname as a nuisance from the micro blogging site. But I for one cant thank him enough and strongly recommend you keep an eye out for his Olympic wisdom and top ticket tips.

  • Comment number 13.

    Me and my 3 sports mad boys have ended up ticketless, despite weeks of planning, checking diaries and following the rules plus a 6am start in a desperate attempt to pay over £100 for tickets to see the heats of an obscure sport.

    What is particularly galling is that several people I know have got tickets to half a dozen events. What price the legacy for children who won't get the opportunity to see the self proclaimed 'greatest show on earth'.

    Why couldn't the ballot be sophisticated enough to rank people based on their success in getting tickets for other sessions. In that way you might have achieved a situation where at least everyone who applied got something.

    Deeply disillusioned.

  • Comment number 14.

    I have never seen so much moaning about tickets in all my life. The organisers created demand and we as a nation have been desperate to get our hands on them. Great marketing. Millions will make it, millions will not, many because they could not afford tickets at all.

    So stop complaining about how the tickets were sold, you are really only complaining that you are not one of the lucky ones and you have no tickets.

    To deal with so many applications, with such minor problems is amazing. Glastonbury, Take That etc all sell out in minutes. First come first served.

    I have loads of tickets. Bring it on.

  • Comment number 15.

    "Many of you have strong views about the ticketing process, and I know that the majority believe that there are flaws"

    You can say that again.

    I thought I was being sensible in not applying in March/April for a ticket (and it was only a £20 ticket to watch football at Coventry) because I couldn't guarantee that the money would be in my account to take out at the time.

    Now I'm in a position to be able to pay for a ticket and I'm informed I have to wait till the end of the year before I get a chance to apply, while those who have already applied and have purchased tickets can get additional tickets from July 8th. Yet I'm not allowed to apply for one?

    Can someone please tell me how that's fair. I'm likely to miss out altogether now, simply because I was priced out of buying in March/April.

    And had I applied for something I knew I wouldn't get (like the £20.12 Opening Ceremony ticket) and had been unsuccessful, I'd probably have my Football ticket today.

    The System is a shambles, a system which rewards the rich who can afford to gamble on purchasing loads of tickets for many events, while limiting the poor, who, like me, struggle to afford tickets to just one event (and one of the cheapest). And punishes them further by making them wait much much longer than those who have already got tickets.

    All the tickets will probably sell out before I get my chance to purchase one.

    It's just not fair. I'm an avid football fan who's dream was to see Olympic football in my home country. That dream will probably be crushed, all thanks to being cautious and not having the money to pay for the ticket nearly a year and a half in advance. I'm a seventeen year-old college student from a financially struggling family. Why do people who have already purchased tickets of whatever kind for this event get the right to purchase more before I get a look in?

    It's not right, it's not fair. This system is a total farce.

  • Comment number 16.

    I prepared what I was going for before today. I had a list of my events, the back-up options if my price range/day wasn't available, and a further back-up option if I couldn't get one of my 3 choices (I was interested in a lot more than 3 events but sadly price and availability limited me). I also had my VISA card details available for copying and pasting. As I knew exactly what I was going for, I had managed to add it all within about a minute (the site was so much better laid out than the French one!). I thought "phew, it's going well", and then of course the problem of payment. Numerous times I got pushed back to the start (I didn't have to add things to basket again though). My payment finally went through at 6:40ish, 40 minutes after starting. I went for basketball, handball and football. I'm fairly certain I'll get the football, the basketball still showed availability for a while after my payment went through so I hope I get those, but handball was not available when I checked soon after my payment went through. I really like handball and was my favoured event at the entire Olympics aside from track cycling, so I'll be tremendously dissapointed if I don't get that. I had a planned strategy for that which was to pick the same day and time as the only remaining £20 tickets for handball in the hope people going for that day and time would go for those instead of the £40 I went for.

  • Comment number 17.

    @11 chrisbriddon. Yes that is unfortunate you only got 1, but at least you got 1 from your preferred selection, rather than the leftovers that people in the 2nd ballot were going for.

  • Comment number 18.

    I'd hit the submit button by 06.01:45s but finally got the email around 06.32.

    This was after 5 or 6 times being sent back to the start and waiting. During the last return, I added some handball tickets to my basket and the app finally was processed. Call me cynical, but was it all a big scam to get the handball sold out!!

    It's awfully painful, but so was the scramble for the lifeboats on the Titanic! Not enough to go round, but al least we aren't going to die and can watch it on the box. This will all be forgotten if all the venues and sessions have big crowds and the games are profitable, and if I'm buying handball tickets, they probably will be.

  • Comment number 19.

    I think you're right James. The real issue is that demand has vastly exceeded supply and there's not a lot you can do to solve that. Obviously they could have built mega stadiums but understandably this had to be avoided so as not to create vast Whilte Elephants. Also James I am sure i speak on behalf of many that you have been fantastic on Twitter the last few weeks updating us all on the ticket situation.

    Blake Peterson - So many peole missed out in the ballot that they understandably had to prioritise them. You obviously had your own circumstances as to why you couldn't apply but really they're just trying to prioritise those who have been keen all along. If today had been open to anyone they would have faced further criticism - at the end of the day the overwhelming majority of people who were desparate for tickets applied in March/April in the ballot. If it's really just football you're after you don't have anything to worry about. There were 1.7m available before today & I suspect there will still be over 1m available come the end of the year, you'll get your football tickets no problem.

  • Comment number 20.

    I am extremely disappointed. Lord Coe and company really bungled the handling of this.
    No weighting was given to London post codes - we will be bearing the brunt of the inconvenience.
    No price ceiling was applied on ticket sales or ticket numbers, leaving people who were sensible about their purchases clearly at a disadvantage
    No weighting was given to the popular events. If you got tickets to the opening ceremony or closing ceremony or any of the finals then the rest of your application should have been weighted down as to give other people a better chance of at least attending some of the other events.
    This lottery was simply designed to maximise revenue and it was not about bringing the games to the people. I am seriously thinking about leaving London for the 2 weeks the event is on.

  • Comment number 21.

    I had exactly the same experience. Was 601 when I was able to enter my Visa password and payment crashed at 606. Still no sign of a confirmation email. My dad who applied at about 625 got one sent to him within seconds of him entering his details.
    I'm hoping it's just a glitch and that having been allocated a confirmation number that they have a reference on their system on my application, but it didnt run long enough to get to the point that triggers the email. I will be waiting very anxiously refreshing my inbox over the weekend

  • Comment number 22.

    #11 But surely that ONE ticket that you got in first round is to an event which you like, and you are thus happy and excited to attend? If not, then why on earth put it in your original application?

    I'll be very, very happy if I get all three of the events that I applied for this morning (thankfully, everything went through fine for me and my application went through at 6.04), but I'd have been even happier if I'd got just one of the events which I originally applied for. They were the events which I dearly, dearly wanted to attend - thus why I put them on my original application. So I don't see what you've got to complain about. Something on your 1st application was successful - you should be very happy with that. I know I would be.

    #15 Although your circumstances are unfortunate, from what I gather you'll still be fine when it comes to football tickets - especially football tickets at the Ricoh Arena. Many are still unsold, and I'd expect that to remain the case for quite a long time - especially outside of Wembley.

  • Comment number 23.

    Oh dear, whilst trying be something special LOCOG have well and truely messed up the ticket system. What was wrong with first come first served?? When I went to Athens 2004 it was simple. If you booked early you had a better chance with no lottery needed.

    Also, if you don't get tickets don't worry. I found many olympic events were lacking in atmosphere as there are so many nationalities there that there's no crow rivalry. The exception was handball which had the best atmosphere by far and beach volleyball with the brazilians dancing.

    Also I'm now living in Australia and I can see the clear difference in participation levels. Here people PLAY sport first and watch it as an after thought. In the UK the majority are huge sports fans but no longer PARTICIPATE which is the real shame.

    Having sat and watched or not SHOULDN'T BE THE LEGACY THAT WAS SOLD. It should be new facilities for the public to play and have fun in. Whilst on a personal not more inner city sand beach volleybal courts would be great.

  • Comment number 24.

    I really don't understand why everyone is being so negative. I was more than pleased to get a pair of tickets for one of the equestrian events. My partner wasn't so lucky and was up at 5.55am to try to secure tickets.

    I would like to see the "moaners" try to do a better job. Do you expect the Olympic Committee to come around to your houses dishing out the tickets? Or would you prefer queuing for several days. Obviously the website was going to have high volumes this morning.... as a website would for a popular event.

    Sitting at your computer for an hour or so isn't really a hardship is it. I think they have tried their best and done what is most fair and has been a very easy to follow system.

  • Comment number 25.

    If, as seems likely, all the tickets are sold, why is it that you think "Lord Coe and his team will rightly face some very tough questions."?

    Surely that was their aim.

    PS: I got all the tickets I applied for ... but that was just Football at Hampden!

  • Comment number 26.

    It's interesting what jpenston wrote about the use of browsers. Actually I opted to use Google Chrome (which is the fastest browser out there) - and had selected my athletics, judo & synchronised swimming tickets and paid by 06:02. I received my confirmation email the same minute. No idea whether I have been successful yet, but it sounds like most people had serious problems from 06:03 onwards!

    I know it's possibly a 'slight' risk, but if anyone has a good friend abroad willing to buy tickets on your behalf then this is probably your best way of getting half decent tickets. For example the official Brazilian ticketing agency still has lots of tickets available on a first come first served basis. You'll have to know someone resident in Sao Paulo or Rio who's willing to pay for them, collect from the office in either city (30 days before the games start) and then deliver....but it's probably worth the risk. I'm sure there are other countries where tickets are still available....if you have friends in the right places.

    Good luck everyone!

  • Comment number 27.

    First of all, thanks for a well balanced blog and for being there with us through this disaster.

    #11 chrisbriddon- sorry, but absolutely no sympathy for you. It's people like you applying for events they weren't really interested in that has taken tickets away from those who might have really wanted to so those events.

    Of course, LOCOG encouraged this by allowing people to apply for so many sessions in the first ballot. If they'd limited it to only three sessions, like this time round, perhaps people would have put more thought into what events they really wanted to see.

    But you're right, if making money was the aim, gold medal for that.

    Finally, any idea when the ticket exchange/ buy back thing is supposed to start and how that's going to be "organised?"

  • Comment number 28.

    Your point that LOCOG have a major challenge on their hands is a crucial one.
    In the panic to secure its ticketing revenues at all costs, Locog forgot that if you over-promise, you will inevitably under-deliver. Whipping up anticipation was easy, mopping up the resulting disappointment and resentment is going to be hard work. Hopefully leavened with a tad more humility than they've seen fit to show so far.

    How many Londoners feel priced out, put upon or otherwise excluded from 'their' Games? How many volunteers came forward with enthusiasm but are now disenchanted due to delays and inaction? How many teenagers are now completely switched off by the ticketing hype and absolutely sickened at the vast sums of money sloshing around? These groups are the litmus test come next year. If they still feel shut out, the only people lining up to welcome the rest of the world will be the ones intent on lining their own pockets, unfortunately.

  • Comment number 29.

    Is it true that the system this morning to close ticket applications when a session was full was manual? So if a session had only a few tickets available, by the time someone spotted that they had all been sold another 10,000 people might have applied for them? If so thousands of people who think their applications this morning were probably in time are going to be very disappointed?

  • Comment number 30.

    Looks like being outside the UK when ordering was a benefit this morning.
    I'm in the Netherlands and my partner is in London. Both of us lost out in the first round application ballot and didn't get anything (even though I was miffed that while most of our applications where sold out I had one, Volleyball, where the session I applied for had good availability for all tickets including the category I'd applied for so why didn't I get them?)
    We prepared for this morning deciding which three sessions we would each go for. I got onto the site at about 07.15 (the advantage of an hours time difference, that's 06.15 BST), logged in, got my orders done, proceeded to payment which was processed first time and before 08.00 I had an e-mail confirming my application had been received.
    Quite different from what was going on in London from the first text at 06.16 BST saying she was having no luck getting into the site. This went on so when we talked we hit on the idea me trying to log in as her. Using her e-mail and password it worked and, again, everything went quickly and smoothly.
    All I can presume is there being less demands on the internet from here than in the UK from people trying to get into the site it went smoothly for me.

  • Comment number 31.

    I applied for athletics and basketball at 06:00 and completed payment and received e-mail by 06:03. Job done! Absolutely no problems...

  • Comment number 32.

    I find it sad that some people think they are more deserving of tickets than other. E.g. because I am an athlete I should have the best seats to see the 100m, or because I live in London I should get priority over someone who lives in the Shetlands. Grow-up and stop moaning! If the same argument applied, only countryside dwellers would walk in our National Parks, and beaches would be reserved for those living in sea-side villages.

  • Comment number 33.

    I was logged in and ready at 5:55 had my 3 selections done by 6:05 then when I tried to process my application it all went wrong, took me untill 6:45 to actually get a confirmation number, I have since received an email but yet no idea if I will actually get anything!?

    This I think is the major issue that everyone, including me, has, who 'buys' something on a first come first serve basis yet doesnt find out if you actually bought anythign until a week later? Thats the farcical issue here!

    I must add that LOCOG clearly realise they made errors in the first stage by not limiting the number of tickets/sessions you could apply for as they restricted what you could do this time, yet again no idea if have got anything as like every other sport, football, rugby, even events at the O2 you know what seats/tickets your getting straight away!!

  • Comment number 34.

    I had exactly the same experience as James. My application did go through but I have no way of knowing when, other than it was before 6.45. I don't know if my application was received in time to get the tickets I requested as the site didn't update availability automatically. I expect there to be many thousands of dissappointed applicants who think they have tickets as their application went through, but will ultimately be advised they haven't.
    I realise that given the demand for tickets a lot of people were always going to be disappointed, but surely the ticketing process could have been better. There is no excuse for taking 2 months to advise people of their ticket allocation after the first ticketing stage, and any reasonable first come first serve ticketing system should be able to confirm the purchase of tickets if not immediately within a couple of hours by e-mail.

  • Comment number 35.

    #27 you wrote
    "#11 chrisbriddon- sorry, but absolutely no sympathy for you. It's people like you applying for events they weren't really interested in that has taken tickets away from those who might have really wanted to so those events."

    I have ONE archery ticket (which I am a member of an archery club so hardly not interested). I also applied for a hockey ticket (which I used to play) and for tickets for me, my wife and kids to go to the 3 day eventing cross country and got nothing.

    I am avid sports fan so how my ONE ticket cna take away from people who really wanted to go to the events (ie ME!) I am not quite sure.

    Because I got one archery ticket for myself - my wife and kids will all miss out as I applied for tickets for us all using my VISA card.

    I have evey sympathy for LOCOG and the ticket ballet as I am not sure there were many alternatives, however I am disappointed that between the 4 of us we have 1 ticket.

  • Comment number 36.

    I would be very interested to see a summary of
    - How Sponsors, Corporates, International Sporting organisations, travel agents etc. have been allocated tickets. How many tickets (including to family, friends etc.), to which events etc.? And the number of events, in their own sport, to which they have been allocated tickets. And to other sports.
    o Who decides on this allocation? The fat cats at the IOC? The sponsors?
    o Why should the sponsors receive more than a small number of tickets? As this dilutes the income from genuine sales and ‘eats’ into their sponsorship fees. I suspect they receive hundreds of tickets.
    o Why are tickets available to UK Travel Agents, bus companies etc.? And what was the order of precedence?
    o To what extent is Coe having his strings pulled by the IOC / ANO? (a la FIFA?!)
    - For UK applicants – how many applicants have received tickets to more than 1 event? If this is the case I would like to know why. Surely the fairest system to maximise distribution, despite what Coe keeps rabbiting on about, would have been for a winning applicant in any event to go to the back of the queue until all other applicants have been allocated tickets to one event. They knew that there was massive over-subscription before the allocation; an appropriate prioritisation system could easily have been designed.
    o I applied for 15 events, including some of the less popular sessions, and have received nothing. I will not bother to apply for the leftovers.
    - For non-UK applicants – how many applicants have received tickets to more than 1 event?
    - What Visa’s net profit or loss is when their card income is compared to their sponsorship fee.
    - How many tickets have been obtained by the company and staff providing the allocation software? And where they are spending their next holiday/s?!
    I totally agree that a ballot was the fairest way of allocating tickets but it would be very interesting to see a summary of the allocation algorithm. Who designed and agreed the process? And has it been audited?
    Will Coe have the courage to explain the allocation process and results in a lot more detail? I suspect not, thus leaving many UK sports supporters very bitter. It would be very interesting to see an independent audit as he will not be trusted – he could not even give the correct figure for the number of tickets actually available. Will there be further 'corrections'?!
    True supporters have been excluded. Presumably Coe and his acolytes have bowed to IOC pressure to sell as many tickets as possible, regardless of fairness - what are their bonuses?

    Anyone for a FOI request?

  • Comment number 37.

    20. You are also have had millions of pounds of infrastrcture investment, which will last well beyond the games. You have thousands of jobs at a time of recession, and will get millions of pounds of tourist revenue. Any other part of the UK would be delighted to have that. Stop being so ungrateful

  • Comment number 38.

    The time-difference helps those abroad for a 6am GMT start but even so "first-come first served" can't be right as the site blocked. I had 4 payments rejected before one finally passed at 6.30 am. Although happy to have some tickets, I wonder how many will appear on auction sites in the days to come. That is not just the lost revenue but the loss in real supporters that can't afford the tickets.

  • Comment number 39.

    I didnt even attempt to buy 1 ticket at all for this event - why bother when all I could see at any reasonable convenience is a sad Olympic football match which will be between 2 teams I don't care about in a half-empty stadium.

    I feel sorry for the people that got ONE measley ticket for something like fencing when they wanted to buy their partner and themselves 2 tickets for something cool like Cycling and then got slammed for that meagre sucess and then didn't get any extra tickets for anything else. Other than football, maybe rugby and maybe cricket who goes to a sporting event by themselves.

  • Comment number 40.

    I logged on before 6am only to be frozen out of my account. Cue logging in again at 6am. I had chosen the tickets I wished to apply for by 6.02 and tried to proceed to checkout and was kicked out again. This occurred several times before I made it through to the checkout. I was then kicked out a few more times and had to log back in. I finally received confirmation that my application was being processed at 6.32. I doubt I will get the tickets I applied for.

    In the first ballot I only applied for tickets for sports my husband and I wanted to see (& could afford to pay for) and find it a little irritating to hear people complain that they got tickets they didn't want in the first ballot particularly when a genuine fan of those events may have missed out as a result. You shouldn't have applied for them then! To then complain about people who didn't succeed in the first ballot getting first option in the second so they can attend the Olympics is a little selfish. Whilst this situation was promoted by LOCOG, people weren't forced to apply.

    However, I do feel there should have been more transparency in publicising the number of tickets available and a system where people ranked their choices and couldn't apply for lots of sessions may have been more effective in ensuring a larger proportion of applicants were successful in buying tickets.

    I do not agree that Londoners should have had priority for tickets as these Games are supposed to be for all and are being paid for by all to a greater or lesser extent. Likewise, some sponsors should get corporate tickets (although the proportion they are receiving for certain events is extreme).

    I also do not agree that priority should have been given to those currently in clubs or affiliated to governing bodies. This would exclude many people like myself who spent many years training and have family who taxied them around for years, often at unsocial hours. Just because we are no longer competing doesn't mean we aren't as big a fan as those who are!

    Also, my husband coached for 7.5 years (until last year when the athlete progressed to a governing body performance centre) an athlete who is expected to qualify for an event next year. We had to apply for tickets to see him in the ballot like everyone else. We weren't successful and are bitterly disappointed but you have to accept that you have no more right to tickets than the next person - suck it up unpalatable though it may be! We'll be hoping for better luck in the free for all next year!

  • Comment number 41.

    All those criticising the 'moaners' seem to have tickets. I don't want hundreds of tickets I just wanted to let my kids taste the Olympic experience at one event, whatever it was.

    Where we have been let down is that although tickets were allocated in a random ballot, some have received their full allocation i.e. several tickets and some have received none. That is what is unfair. Obviously the events were going to be oversubscribed, I accept that but the first duty of the organisers was to ensure as many people as possible could be part of the experience. That they have patently failed to do.

  • Comment number 42.

    What I don't understand is if there is this much demand why didn't they build bigger stadiums and make a lot more money which could have been invested in grassroots sport?

    The Olympic stadium in particular?

    Also why are there so many athletics sessions in the morning with no medals decided? It would have been nice if at the end of each morning athletics session (obviously with the exception of the first session) there was one event where the medals were decided. That could have been a good end to each of those sessions.

    Instead all of the medals are decided in the evening sessions each with several events having their finals.

    As usual with most organisations, the people in charge are someones friend who got them the job rather than someone with ability. Therefore the people in charge don't have a clue.

    We have now had years of ticket applications for sports, concerts, festivals where there is high demand and no computing facility to process this demand without crashing. Why has this not been solved yet? There has been plenty of opportunity.

  • Comment number 43.

    42. You have finals in the evening so people who at work all day can see the finals on tv. In the day when most people work you have qualifiers, its about allowing the most people possible to see the important bits

    And if they build a bigger stadium, costs increase and you have a much higher cost after the games as well. West Ham wont fill the stadium at 60k, let alone anymore. Same with all the other venues, you balance the short term of the Olympics against the long sustainability. Its where Athens went so badly wrong.

    It was no win for the organisers, whatever they did or do people would whinge. Its what the British do.

  • Comment number 44.

    Greatest show on earth? Greatest farce on earth more like, missed out first time round fair does I'm 16 and I was unlikely to get tickets as I couldn't bid in the thousands so tried my luck again today, up at 5 logged on at 5:58, and by 6:02 was one of the people who were "held back" not for 30 mins, more like 4 1/2 hours meaning I missed out on everything I wanted so just went for football at old trafford as it's my nearest venue even though I'm 2 hours away by car from it. Shambolic system and a complete waste of many peoples time, 1.9 million people for 6.6 million tickets and 55% missed out, only London 2012 could pull off a stunt like that.

  • Comment number 45.

    When the Olympics were announced a few years back I never conceived that I would not get a ticket for anything, very disappointing. I have watched each Olympics since the age of 4 and many Olympians are my sporting idols. I think the figures show that the first round was a botched operation; the organisers were so focused on getting the money in that they did not care about an even distribution amongst applicants. As is stated in the article, this is a sports mad country, demand should have been expected! The process then should have been to distribute the tickets fairly. I was staggered that one applicant could apply for 10 and in some cases 20 tickets per session, surely the maximum should have been the size of an average family. What is someone going to do with all those tickets? It doesn't take a maths wiz to see that if people apply for the maximum number then only a tiny proportion stand a chance; one person is in control of tickets that could have allowed 3/4/5 sets of people to go to see an event.

    Lifelong sports fanatic.

  • Comment number 46.

    @14 You're all right, aren't you, Jack. Or should that be troll.

    What's wrong with this country isn't the people moaning, what's wrong is selfishness as displayed by you. I am not asking you to be ashamed of having "bundles of tickets", but have some dignity when you win the lottery, eh?

    "you are really only complaining that you are not one of the lucky ones and you have no tickets."

    No, we are complaining that we got up at 6am, got the tickets ordered by 6.03am and then wasted 35 minutes while the system crashed. I don't mind losing, as long as the game is fair. A minority of people ending up with bundles of tickets and 65% with nothing is NOT fair. The ticket allocation was a million miles from fair - it was random which is not the same as fair.

    Be gracious when you are lucky. It's a virtue.

    "To deal with so many applications, with such minor problems is amazing. Glastonbury, Take That etc all sell out in minutes. First come first served."

    MINOR problems????? Clearly in your ivory tower, there have been only MINOR problems. Check back into the real world one day, eh?

    And, yes, we were trying to respect first come first served. We were first there, but we weren't served first because the system was not up to the job (which after all the planning time is completely inexcusable).

  • Comment number 47.

    I've completely lost faith in the organisation and shan't even be bothered following it and I've never missed watching an Olympics since 1976 in Montreal. Seb Coe and his whole team have a lot to answer for and have not opened this up to the millions they should have. The UK isn't capable of organising such a high profile event when ordinary people can't get tickets yet the head of FIFA will be there as a guest.

  • Comment number 48.

    I would also like to talk about the Thomas Cook tickets as I researched these but decided that they were too expensive. I noticed a trick that Thomas Cook were using to make significantly more profit:

    For example a ticket with two events both costing £65 plus a night in a "4star hotel" as they claim (although the hotel listed is certainly not a 4 star hotel at the moment as I have recently stayed in it and also got food poisoning there.) with the average room costing about £75 for one person.

    About £205 if you had been lucky enough to get the tickets directly through the application process and booked the hotel yourself.

    Thomas Cook were charging £369 for these. Ok so there is likely to be a mark up from the hotel who will want their cut of Olympic profits and some costs to secure the sponsorship deal with LOCOG. But I estimate that Thomas Cook would make at least £100 pounds profit on these tickets. Not bad.

    But then add a second person to the booking and the price doubles!

    Obviously the ticket prices for the events are going to be double but when I checked the price of a double room at the same hotel, it is also £75. Absolutely ridiculous profiteering from Thomas Cook.

    What also annoyed me is that I could see how many of the packages were available and it appeared that they had hundreds of them.

    That's where most of the tickets have gone which should be going through the application process.

    Some of the packages for two events where medals were decided in just one of the events were being sold at prices up to £3000 where they probably cost significantly less through the application process.

    I think Watchdog need to investigate this.

  • Comment number 49.

    Was the bottle-neck really due to the Olympic committee website? Or with their link to the payments processing site? If the latter is the case, then presumably VISA have scored an own-goal by their exclusivity demands.

    The Olympic Committee is certainly doing a good job of keeping Olympic ticket sales fresh in the public's mind, which should help them sell more of the less popular events. Having said that, the whole process still reminds me of the demand-management typical of people selling jewellry on a TV shopping channel: They always keep reminding you of "limited availability" to create an apparent shortage of supply.

  • Comment number 50.

    HueHueHue It doesn't stop FIFA from staging group deciding World Cup matches in the afternoon. One medal deciding event at the end of the afternoon at 13:30 in each session is all I was asking for, this also allows people on their lunch breaks to witness it and it would be appreciated by people in other time zones.

    The top part of the stadium is being removed including a lot of seats after the games to reduce the capacity, why couldn't this temporary capacity have been bigger? Or they could have backed Tottenham's bid which included knocking the stadium down and building one to suit their own requirements.

  • Comment number 51.

    "We're having some problems posting your comment at the moment. Sorry. We're doing our best to fix it."
    Is this the BBC's attempt at irony?

  • Comment number 52.

    Agree that Thomas Cook are profiteering, they should just be honest about what they are doing which is selling tickets at a higher price for people who want them easy and late and are prepared to pay for this, while making more profit (obviously LOCOG have the power so they will take lion's share of profit if they have any sense). Adding the hotel is an intelligence-insulting obvious attempt to fool people and disguise the rip off. Shame on them.

    Also, to the person who said that Athens was first come first served and therefore better, this is inaccurate. They did a ballot in about Spring 2003 the same amount in advance as London. THe difference was that demand was much less so you could go onto the site months later and pick up tickets easily.

  • Comment number 53.

    Having missed out the first time I couldn't be bothered to enter the second phase as I was so put off by the olympic ticket system the first time round. All the complaints people have made are fully justified. As a system it has certainly been mishandled. Which is a great shame as the olympics is a once in a lifetime event. The worst part is they take your money before you know what event you're even seeing.

    To sum up the ticket system is disapointing, badly managed and poorly executed. I just hope the games themselves don't go the same way.

  • Comment number 54.

    Bob (#48),
    I would guess that Thomas Cook are also Olympic Sposors. I'm sure that plenty of other honest Travel Agents would also have liked to leverage their sales using the inducement of Olympic tickets. But your question seems a fair one: To many people the difference between paying Thomas Cook many hundreds of pounds, or paying a ticket tout many hundreds of pounds is a moot point.

  • Comment number 55.

    "It would have been nice if at the end of each morning athletics session (obviously with the exception of the first session) there was one event where the medals were decided. That could have been a good end to each of those sessions."
    Superb idea. Never occured to me.

    "It's awfully painful, but so was the scramble for the lifeboats on the Titanic! Not enough to go round, but al least we aren't going to die."
    Haha, so true. Some perspective. Our problems are not bad compared to some.

  • Comment number 56.

    "To many people the difference between paying Thomas Cook many hundreds of pounds, or paying a ticket tout many hundreds of pounds is a moot point."

    That dodgy slightly agressive guy outside the stadium is an unnofficial tout that the organisers cannot accept because they are not getting a cut. Thomas Cook is an officially sanctioned tout. Simples.

  • Comment number 57.

    I've gone for the best ticket. And got it.

    I can watch and smoke what I like when I like.

    I can watch and drink what I like when I like.

    I don't have to be in the vicinity of the corporate suits who quaff and hoover up the majority of the seats.

    I can stop the 100m final halfway through if I want while I go for a pee. And it will carry on where I left it when I bother to come back.

    Transport costs are zero.

    Mortgage aside, the accomodation I have is free, and set up exactly how I like.

    There was no way I was ever going to be part of Seb Coe et al declaring what a 'success' these games will be.

    And if the Olympics are as boring as they usually are, I can leave (change channel or just do something more interesting).

    Now Euro's 2012....that's a different matter. Scrub all of the above, I will beg, borrow and steal to be at as many England matches as poss. Hopefully more than 3 events, but maybe not.

    They can stick the Olympics. It's fluff.

  • Comment number 58.

    57 - Cool! Will you be watching it on a 3D TV?

    But erm.. why didn't they do another ballot for the second round, albeit only for those that missed out? After all on the website they have been saying for weeks that it's the "fairest possible" system.

  • Comment number 59.

    50. Thats a strange comparison. An athletics final is the pinnacle of an event, arguably the highest point for an athlete in 4 years. A world cup group match is just a qualifier for the final stages. Why should an athlete be denied the huge audience and attention that an evening final commands. Prime time tv is just that, prime time. Most people work in the day so its only fair to focus on them. Finals should be in the evening, where most people can see them. The day time tickets are cheaper because it has less prestige. If you want finals, there was enough chance to apply for them.

  • Comment number 60.

    The thing I don't understand most of all is that this has been called "first come first served". How do we even know that is the case. When I have applied for tickets for just about any other event online, if there are none left I can't apply and have to chose another date/place/event. Why wasn't this the case here. If the basketball session I applied for was sold out then I could have applied for one of the many others. As it is I might miss out again and have to keep trying or just miss out all together. I don't understand how they can make such a simple process so difficult!

    I suppose it is the British way.

  • Comment number 61.

    I may be missing a trick here but don't sponsor's pay to be associated with the event for brand recognition, why should the event then pay in return, after all the event is not paying to be associated with the sponsor. The Definition of Sponsorship:

    Sponsorship is a business relationship between a provider of funds, resources or
    services and an individual, event or organisation which offers in return rights and
    association that may be used for commercial advantage in return for the sponsorship investment

    I think dishing out tickets should not be part of the bargain, it seems to be a bad habit that has become the norm. The statistic for the 100m final night of around 30% available to the public is a joke.

  • Comment number 62.

    I wonder if Samsung or Sony or LG or whoever will get their act together and take advantage with some well timed advertising.
    Ad 1 - "You just saved £500 on the tickets you didn't get for 5 events. A Samsung 40 inch LED TV costs £400. A front row ticket to EVERY event is available at no extra charge."
    Ad 2 - shows someone stuck in traffic in a car, then in an overcrowded tube train, then queing to pay £5 for a coke, then gets to the stadium and realises he's on the other side in the corner to the 100m final, can barely see it from track level, didn't realise who won. Cut to a beautiful lounge and someone relaxing in loads of space with food and a beer watching a high quality slow motion replay of the winner crossing the line. Possibly tag line: "Make the most of your front row seat."?

    There are also opportunities here for 3DTV and plasma TV advertising. But maybe they are waiting for 2012.

  • Comment number 63.

    I agree 100% with #61. Sponsors are paying for an elaborate advert. You don't place an advert on ITV and expect to get an invite to Britain's Got Talent or the Champions league final or a TV awards show. It's so obvious that it's say he and I have so even point out such an obvious fact.

  • Comment number 64.

    I find myself for the first time having to register to make comment on the BBC website in so far as an issue of the day is concerned and bearing in mind all the news and sport events of the last decade or so upon which I could have commented you will perhaps get a sense of my feelings on this point.
    The Olympic ticketing system in my view has been proven to be fundamentally wrong. But so too was the approach of many who applied for tickets. On the day the initial applications closed I must admit to having felt disappointment in my fellow man as I read the proud stories of manipulation, fabrication and plain greed, these actions creating much of the over demand that now results in upset for so many.
    Was I wrong? As the application system commenced I asked my kids to think carefully about the one event they’d really like to see and applied for two or three tickets for those events and made a family application for two other events during the main Olympic fortnight. I also applied for a tickets to take the kids and a couple of friends to a football match in Manchester (the most local host city to us here in Yorkshire) the day before the opening ceremony; but more of that later.
    I submitted our application and waited throughout all the preemptive press announcements to read earlier this week that I was successful; we had tickets for the football. But nothing else.
    As the week unfolded I began to realise that I was now been bracketed with the genuinely lucky (well done to all of you) and the downright greedy in that I would not be able to make an application for any of the remaining tickets in the second phase because I’d been ‘successful’ in securing tickets for the football of which I understand there are literally millions of tickets remaining.
    I can’t recall the original announcement of success rates for applicants but was it around 35% successful? I would really be interested to hear what that success rate would have been if those who’d got tickets for the football had been excluded.
    I now find myself thoroughly disheartened with the whole thing having to accept the crumbs from the table of the organisers and their like in the Thames Valley. I along with others in the provinces will have to make do with a bit of footy. Well thank you Lord Coe (you used to be a hero of mine) and the pushy and the privileged who have ruined the event for many of us before it’s even started. I should have paid attention to what it ‘said on the tin’. Lo

  • Comment number 65.

    he or she, I should say. All this sponsors should get tickets they are paying for the event is a nonsense. Would the CEO of visa honestly cancel a billion pound sponsorship (or whaever it is) just because he couldn't get a few freebies for him and his wife? If they are honestly making a business decision it shouldn't come into it.

  • Comment number 66.

    'This was first come first served, so snooze and you're going to lose. '
    i disagree i got up at 8am went onto the site and got exactly what i wanted

  • Comment number 67.

    bet it wasn't athletics for under £100 that you wanted though bestchelseasteven
    You certainly needed to be in at 7am for that.

  • Comment number 68.

    I mean (well) before 7am not at 7am. Oops.

  • Comment number 69.

    Several *major* questions need asked of LOCOG by James and his colleagues:

    [1] why was there no rationing of tickets in the 1st process
    (i.e. once you had tickets to maybe 2 events - you should have been excluded from ballots where other applicants had 0 events)

    [2] why were the 'caps' in the 1st process so high - often 10+ tickets per session?

    [3] why are people who already have tickets, getting another chance next Friday...?

    [4] why aren't people who were trying in today's ballot able to try again next Friday?

    I appreciate the demand would always outstrip supply, that websites would be busy and that corporates would always get their cut. However, the 4 questions above do need asked.

  • Comment number 70.

    14 - Pefectly alright for you to say seeing as you seem to have "loads" or even "bundles" of tickets. How you can agree that for yourself to have tickets to more than one event and others to have none at all is fair and that there should be no "moaning" is naive and frankly beyond me, especially when I am sure we all went through the exact same process.

  • Comment number 71.

    When 3=5! Apparently I am a successful applicant but as the applicant I have no tickets! We are a family of 5 and my wife and two daughters have been successful with a ticket each but my son and myself have none for the events we applied for. However my son and I now find ourselves locked out from this second round because we are considered successful applicants!! Language is a slippery thing. No need to express how we feel about the fairness of this ballet system. Family split (OK they will get over it) but have you ever tried explaining to a nine year old how you are not allowed to apply for tickets because you already have them but don't have them!! The answer is you can't! And I know other families caught by this trap.

  • Comment number 72.

    Its not an achievement to have just few with loads of tickets for different events, some of which, I bet, are at the same time. All it will do - create black market supply of tickets, while the idea was to "spread the Olympic spirit widely across the society".

    Seems Lord Coe and LOCOG forgot about the social aspect of the games chasing high revenue per one customer, which is a shame really.

    PS. I pay my council tax in London, I pay for my London Games tickets abroad - just to get something and participate... funny, huh?

  • Comment number 73.

    I was caught out by trying to use Firefox all day. Tried 100 times and it didn't work. Now I read this article and as soon as I tried Internet Explorer the site was working fine. But far too late. I tried calling their helpline also this morning, and they just made me listen to a 5 minute message before disconnecting me. A disgrace.

  • Comment number 74.

    I'm a little fed up of Londoners thinking they have a divine right to attend the Olympics. As a Northerner and holder of a British passport I have no problem applying, paying, travelling and attending. Where does the idea come from that disruption to Londoners should lead to some kind of compensation package? (the 'sour grapes' effect) I don't recall Mancunians demanding that the Commonwealth Games were for them to the exclusion of Southerners. Also fed up of the ridiculous xenophobic argument that people from overseas should have limited attendance. Understandable disappointment at not getting a ticket has led to ridiculous comments on here. Demand exceeds supply - basic economics and if we're all honest deep down we knew that would happen from the outset.

  • Comment number 75.

    Im sorry, but the whole ticketing system is a joke, i have 3 children who all attend sports clubs, 2 are at the local athletics club and my oldest is a keen track cyclist who also races for our local cycling club. My children are my world to me and like any parent i want the best for each of them. With limited funds available i tried in the first ballot to get tickets but was unsuccesful, the second ballot on friday was unavailable to me due to work commitments so i missed out again, the annoying this is, you have people who got tickets in the first wave of ballots being given the chance to buy a second set of tickets from July 8th, whilst people like myself and my kids will probably miss out all together, whilst some armchair fan will be whistling with joy all the way to the Olympic stadium.
    All this has done in my eyes is to alienate the kids who are the future of this countries sport and has allowed a potentially large black market for tickets to develop.
    What kind of legacy will this leave for our kids and would Lord Coe like to come to my house and tell my 6 year old boy why he cant go to see his heroes perform.

  • Comment number 76.

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

  • Comment number 77.

    75. You have plenty of time for a 2nd round before people with tickets are allowed to rejoin. If you miss out before then, its your choice, you have plenty of time. Its only fair to open widely again, as they have to sell the remaining tickets.

  • Comment number 78.

    Several people have commented that in the first round, the organisers should have asked bidders to indicate their priorities, and should have made clear how many tickets were available at all prices, so that people could have made better decisions about which tickets to go for. Can't help wondering if they didn't take either of these steps so that they could allocate as many tickets as possible to those who made the higher bids, and leave those of us on lower budgets with nothing, as happened to us. The second round was also a farce, as there seemed to be little actually still available even at 6 am. Did they lure us onto the site with the pretence that there were tickets in sports we might actually want to see, hoping that those who couldn't get what they wanted would panic and sign up for tickets for the few sports remaining in which they actually had little interest -- women's wrestling anyone!!?? In the end, after being very keen Olympics supporters, having volunteered and having visited the Olympic site on two different occasions for different tours, etc, I now feel like the city and country will be having a big party from which I and my family are excluded. So let them make their obscene amounts of money from ticket sales at prices many cannot afford, while "important" people get in free. I now join the ranks of those who won't even watch it on tv.

  • Comment number 79.

    An absolute fiasco and disgrace. Like many of you I was logged on and ready to purchase before 6am and eventually managed to get 4 hockey preliminaries (for my husband, self and 2 children) as far as checkout. I then spent 2 hours watching a screen telling me not to refresh or press the back button before eventually giving up. It now seems that there is not a single ticket left. It seems such a shame that the best opportunity that we and our children will ever have to see the Olympics is turning into the biggest disappointment.

  • Comment number 80.

    I still don't know what chance you have of getting the tickets you applied for at 6:00 yesterday. Is it virtually certain, or is it maybe 1 in a hundred, 1 in a thousand? How quickly did they stop accepting applications for a session after the tickets were gone? And I bet they won't keep to promise to let us know in 48 hours, they were a week late taking money first time around.

    Rgarding a lot of the suggestions (eg give a priority order when getting tickets, or once you've got a couple of sessions you are given less priority for others), I think the main practical difficuty LOCOG would have had would be the problem of preventing someone making multiple applications -ie someone making 10 applications would have 10 first preferences, or ten sets of two sessions. You can't limit applications by physical address as some addresses have multiple occupants (though they were happy to tell families with more than two kids they weren't welcome to the 100m final or top 30 events, this generosity will never be forgotten Mr Coe). They might have used the electoral roll, but they would have needed to warn people a long time ahead so they can register, and deal with people who cannot go on the electoral roll.

    I think that the reason they were so vague about how the process would work was to stop people being able to play the system. This created some unfairnesses (eg people treated as successful because some, but not all, of family have tickets), but prevented more.

  • Comment number 81.

    All I can do is echo the feelings of the vast majority who think LOCOG have managed this terribly.

    Why did they let people apply for events taking place at the same time ? Why did they let people get allocated more than 3 events in the first ballot ? Why did they let people apply for more than 6 tickets to any event in the first ballot ? Why did they abandon a ballot process for the second ballot if they really believe it was the fairest process ? Why did they restrict the payment process to visa ( the sponsorship excuse just doesn't stack up ) ? Why didn't they tell us how many tickets were available for each event enabling us to make properly informed guesses ? Why did they implement a first come first served process that leaves the vast majority of people with applications accepted but no idea if they have been successful ?

    We now know why they chose a consummate politician in Seb Coe to head up their PR campaign ... who else would have the front to stand in front of the TV cameras with such breathtaking arrogance when talking such a load of barefaced lies about what a wonderful job they are doing . Seb ... you were a national hero, you have let down the public who believed in you and you should man up and apologise ... but we all know that isn't going to happen !

  • Comment number 82.

    67.At 22:14 24th Jun 2011, Henman Bill wrote:
    bet it wasn't athletics for under £100 that you wanted though bestchelseasteven
    You certainly needed to be in at 7am for that.

    nope but it was football tickets at wembley( 3 matches in total) that i got though which is pretty good

  • Comment number 83.

    Well another tale of woe from me - at 6.01 I had 4 athletic tickets in my cart at a cost of £600! - then the "Sorry, we cannot process your request, please try again later" - went back to my account and around the loop at least 8 times - I printed this static page at 6.04.
    And then magic the page "We are experiencing high demand. You will be automatically directed................................." So I watched the rotating symbol for a few minutes and then decided to print this page as well! I was only warned not to press the back or refresh button!
    That was the nearest I came to Olympic tickets - LOCOG system froze - no choice but to restart Safari (Mac user) - tickets no longer in cart or available!
    Dreadful experience from a former AAA County Champion!

  • Comment number 84.

    richardh, I think the answer to many of your questions (eg why let you have more than 3 sessions) is that they didn't ask people to make separate applications if they are applying on behalf of a larger group of people (or even a smaller family that wants to go to different events). So it can be perfectly logical to apply for 2 events at the same time.

  • Comment number 85.

    Wiggins is right - an absolute shambles. I had, like pretty much everyone, done the research, knew what i wanted and by 6.03 had it all in my basket ready to go - it then took me until 6.35 to get back into my account to try and pay. By 7.10, still entering the same passwords in that i had been for 30 mins I presumed that all of the tickets i had netered were gone any way + gave up. Why do the London 2012 continue to turn what should be a dream come true for most into an absolute nightmare? Way to go Seb and his team for making us a laughing stock that couldnt organise a piss up in a brewery - looks like its sofa for me.

    So they have created a system that everyone had said would fail and it has done???? Fantastic London, getting pretty good at all this, what a way to leave your mark before it even starts.

  • Comment number 86.

    c123d123 - I take your point however what is obvious is that the system needed to be fairer for the vast number of people applying for a limited number of tickets . It didn't need to cater for families applying for multiple sessions taking place at the same time ( there was nothing to stop both parents making applications ). As for people applying for large groups / organisations then this should surely be taken out of the general public application process ( if nothing else to stop touts getting tickets ).

    My other thought is that what we haven't been told is what percentage of tickets for athletics in particular have been allocated to the general public ... the huge number of football tickets available may well have hugely distorted the percentages given by LOCOG as I bet they haven't given 25% of those to the sponsors !

    I just hope when we sit and watch the heats sessions with no finals from the enforced comfort of our own homes that the stadium is full ... I have a nasty feeling the suits will not be interested in turning out for the corparate jollies to these sessions !

  • Comment number 87.

    Agree with richardh - just look at the empty seats at Wimbledon this week - but they were all allocated! As for figures - 80% of the best seats for the 15 athletics sessions were not on sale to the public - repeat 80%!
    Like you I expect the finishing strait will be sparsely populated at 10am for the initial heats - and I wanted them even at £150 each - I must have been be mad! - perhaps will buy the 50" screen instead - as for Coe - I have a suggestion for the Olympic torch and part of his anatomy!

  • Comment number 88.

    Just an immense sense of anti climax. Not a single ticket for me and the kids. Although it's in London it might just as well be in Los Angeles for all the difference it'll make to us. It'll be a TV event just like all the others have been.

  • Comment number 89.

    HueHueHue My reference to the final group game in a World Cup was in response to your claim that everyone wants to see the athletics finals on the TV.

    Whenever England have a decisive final group game at a World Cup, everyone wants to see it on the TV yet the last time England had one of these matches, it was scheduled in the daytime.

    All I was asking for was one final in the afternoon in five sessions. I think that is reasonable. What's so special about holding the final at night? The marathon isin't held at night, the mens 100m finals in 1988 and 1992 were not held at night and many olympic athletics finals have not been held at night. Why can't five finals be held in the afternoon?

    Perhaps a Steeplechase final, the hammer final, a pole vault final, the mens 110m hurdles final (as it has a Chinese athlete involved and the time may help China) and a long jump final?

    You somehow claim that because it is in the afternoon that the crowd will not be packed. Do you realise the demand for Olympic athletics tickets?

    I am merely suggesting allowing more people to see an athletics final not just in the stadium but also those in other time zones.

    By your comments, you seem to assume that I didn't apply for finals. You would be wrong there. You appear to assume that getting tickets for athletics finals was as simple as just applying for them. You are wrong as I applied for the events that I truly wanted e.g. athletics finals and didn't get any of them.

    Do not make assumptions.

  • Comment number 90.

    We logged on Before 06.00 and at 06.00 entered our request for athletics £65.00, no problem, then entered for handball and hockey, both £35.00' again no problems. Entered our card details, verified the security code and submitted all with no problems. At 06.03 we received the confirmation e.mail. I then complained to my daughter that we must be the only idiots in the country to have fallen for the hype and got up early, thinking the site would crash and it would take forever. Heard the news a little later and was shocked. Wonder if we will get any tickets??

    I think on the first round, as soon as the demand was known, anybody requesting multiple tickets, like ourselves, should have been allocated one event. The other tickets going elsewhere, giving different people a chance to attend the olympics. Although if this had happened I, and many others would not be paying more to go to the olympics, so perhaps it is just a good marketing ploy?????

  • Comment number 91.

    I am not surprised that Wiggins said what he said. His lack of sportsmanship and childish disgruntlement at being eclipsed by Sir Chris Hoy at Beijing 2008 were clear for all to see.
    Once a bad loser, always a bad loser apparently.

  • Comment number 92.

    It seems there was a window of oppotunity if you could get done by 6.03, and that very few people were able to complete and pay between 6.05 and 6.20, judging by various reports, here and elsewhere.

    I think the reason that the organisers let you apply for 20 sessions to begin was to sell more. In retrospect it was clearly a poor decision, and had they known the demand level they would have changed it. People with the option to apply for 20 sessions were like kids in a candy store. These types of people applied for 20 tickets. If they had been only allowed to apply for 3 or 5 that might have later decided to settle for that and ticket sales would have been lost. Organisers couldn't have known demand wouldn't be low. All those who said obvious demand would be high - no way - there was no precedent for this, no-one really thought handball and water polo would sell out over a year in advance.

    The big mistake was not reacting to the high demand, changing the system, and restricting applicants to maybe a max of 1 ceremony/swimming/cycling/athletics final per applicant, and 2-3 tickets in total. But then again..not many people got more than 3 tickets anyway, except at silly price levels I wouldn't have paid had I had the chance.

    So it's also true that all this talk of "sham" "fiasco" etc is just nonsense. Only media desperate for a cheap headline or people who have missed out tend to use this (mostly).

  • Comment number 93.

    I have been as critical as anyone about certain aspects of this process but there is a silver lining. A further 1 million tickets becoming available next year (though we don't yet know for which events) and the ticket resale site will give people more opportunities.

    Whilst it would have been better to ensure as many as possible got the tickets they wanted first time round, especially as people need to make travel and accommodation plans, I am certain that with sufficient perseverance tickets will be there to be had as the games approach and for a reasonable price. So if you are determined enough don't give up yet.

    I am guessing there will be a lot of people unwilling or unable to occupy their seat as a year is a long time and it might dawn on the casual punter that they'd be better off watching it all on TV rather than making the trek to London to watch a hockey preliminary.

    The risk of course is that people will not seek to use the resale site but as a Londoner I am banking on the fact that they will because I will be taking the fortnight off work and seeking to hoover up as many cheap unwanted tickets as I can get my hands on and see as many events as possible - never again will the Olympics be staged a tube journey away from my humble abode and I intend to make the most of it.

  • Comment number 94.

    I have similar story to everyone else, applied for 2 of the athletics qualifiers and the mens football quarter final, was ready to go at 6.03 and eventually managed to seemingly get my application submitted at 6.27 however i havent recieved any email! When i log in to the website it shows on my application history as submitted and has a reference number but im concerned by the lack of email. Does anyone know if this means it has gone through or am i doomed to spending an olympic games ive been looking forward to for 7 years in front of a television screen???

  • Comment number 95.

    89) I dont think its reasonable to a) deny winning athletes the greater exposure an evening final provides, or b) more importantly, deny the millions more who can watch in the evenings, the finals, just to benefit the 80 thousand earlier in the day, who knew what they would be applying for anyway.

    I've never said it wont be packed, it will be, they could hold it at 3am and the stadium would be full, but the viewing figures for the day will be dramtically less compared to the evenings, because more people will be at work in the day.

    Also, my splitting it into qualifiers and finals, you can have some sessions cheaper in the morning, as it lowers demand. So those people who wanted to get into the stadium for the experience, but no fussed on seeing finals, could do so by going to morning sessions, which didnt attract the final chasers.

    I make no assumptions, or care, what you applied for.

  • Comment number 96.

    My questions remain as before... why there was no rationing (to ensure as many as possible got *something*); why such high caps in the first process earlier this year; why people who already have tickets get a second shot on July 8th; and why that's *not* open to people who entered this new process yesterday.

    That said, there's very little left anyway. At time of writing, just:
    * Football
    * 17 Volleyball sessions
    * 7 Wrestling sessions

    = Potentially nothing left, bar Football, come July 8th.

  • Comment number 97.

    #94 My confirmation email landed in my spam box. If you look up the FAQ on the website not getting the email isn't a concern as long as your application is showing in "your account" and you have your reference number.

    Has anyone recevied any confirmation that they've received any tickets yet?

  • Comment number 98.

    Many Londoners would have had a far greater chance of attending an Olympic Games if they were in Paris, as it is, the vast majority of Londoners will be unable to attend the Games that they are helping to pay for. There is a great deal of anger out there. I know of many who will boycott the Games and in particular their sponsors. Coe and Deighton should hang there heads in shame. Bradley Wiggins is quite correct, it is a shambles.

  • Comment number 99.

    I'm getting sick fed up of the 'Londoners should get priority' rubbish... You're paying £20 a year per household!! Your city is getting massive central investments, will get superb facilities to last decades, transport improvement, and will profit from gigantic increases in tourism over the course of the games.

    Your city will also get world-wide exposure, boosting long-term tourism.

    And enhanced reputation.

    Londoners are paying little more than UK taxpayers - they're getting plenty back.

  • Comment number 100.

    96. Its the same process, those who who could apply from yesterday can still apply post 8th July, though it would be daft to wait that long, as there are no new tickets on the 8th, its just the unsold ones.

    98. No they wouldnt. If all the people who wanted tickets had applied the chances would have been vastly smaller. The host nation gets a lot more tickets, if Paris had hosted the French association would have the got the majority of the tickets, and

    Brits would have either had to apply to the French association, with a vast amount of local demand, or attempt to get them our association who's allocation would have been tiny.

    I agree with your boycott, it will mean whinge merchants who want to throw their toys out the pram stay away and let the rest of us enjoy the Games.


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