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Tickets process brings disappointment

Roger Mosey | 10:35 UK time, Wednesday, 22 June 2011

The Olympic ticket story isn't going away. Successful applicants are finding out which events they'll be going to - while people who missed out completely in the first round get their second chance to bid from Friday.

Again, this space is for you to comment on where you are in the process and your reaction to it - but there was no mistaking the disappointment that's already been expressed by many here and across the rest of the media.

I've been talking in the past couple of days to a number of senior folk in British sport, outside the normal Olympic circuit.

A number of them take the view that Locog got the ticketing issue wrong. When pressed about precisely what they'd have done differently, they don't have ready answers; but they do feel the public mood and they don't like the level of unhappiness.

Seating in the basketball stadium

Who managed to secure a seat to an Olympic Games event? (Picture: Getty Images)

Believe me, Locog sense that too.

As I've said before, they always knew the ticket process would lead to disappointment; but there's a difference between the theory and then experiencing that in practice. They do, however, rightly ask what the critics' alternatives would have been; and senior Locog figures have defended the system as the fairest one they could devise.

One question is whether expectation among the public was too high, and here Locog had an obvious trap to negotiate.

On the one hand, they needed to sell the tickets - and they wanted to stoke up enthusiasm for what was on offer. So in the registration process, success was defined as the largest number putting their names down. But the more who apply, the greater the number who are disappointed when they don't get what they'd hoped for.

The method chosen built up expectations too. In our office, everyone who'd put in their bids and submitted their credit card details thought they had a real chance of getting the lot - so there was plenty of banter on the lines of "I may get a credit card bill of £1500" when the outcome in some cases was £100 or nothing.

Again, this was always a possibility if not a likelihood. I told one of my family members that his bid for £20.12 tickets for the Opening Ceremony was an incredible long-shot; but he really wanted to be there and he'd made his stake, and it was still a big let-down when he missed out.

So now we'll find out whether the second round can heal some of the wounds. There may also be more chances later in the year, after the disclosure that only 21,000 tickets were in the opening ballot for the showcase 100m final and more should follow - though as this Daily Telegraph piece made plain, that opens up new issues about fair selection too.

But for now, let us know about your experiences this week. All the comments are read and fed into our discussions and our journalism.


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  • Comment number 1.

    You're right, LOCOG did an excellent job in stoking up enthusiasm for the event. However they didn't handle the post submission period at all well. They should have released the information on which sessions went to ballot long ago and also told us by how many times over-subscribed the sessions that went to ballot were - and I really cannot understand why they didn't release this information earlier than they did, there wouldn't have been half the levels of shock and disappointment when people found they had been unsuccessful.
    Much of the anger was because people had to find out for themselves that they hadn't got tickets (by the time most people received their email last week they already knew). LOCOG's silence only helped to fuel rumour and suspicion as to why they hadn't got tickets, when in reality it was mainly down to the fact that the odds of success were much worse than they imagined. But of course thanks to LOCOG nobody knew that.
    In short, great pre-sale marketing, terrible post sale customer service.

  • Comment number 2.

    I only bid for two tickets on an event that I didn't expect to be particularly limited or over-subscribed (3-day Event Cross Country). I got nothing.

    Whilst I'm disappointed, there are better quality events closer (Badminton) so we'll go to those instead.

    But what I do think was wrong, is that people who bid for small numbers of tickets targeted at events they really wanted to see, didn't get a higher priority in the Ballot. I suspect there'll be a lot of tickets on the secondary markets in due course, as the people that were greedy or just cashing-in, try to off-load them.

  • Comment number 3.

    I'm dissapointed I didn't get any tickets, but not particularly surprised. I read all the terms and conditions and details of how the system would work, so I hadn't got my hopes too high. I agree the lack of information since the closure of the applications has been frustrating; it would be good to know what my chances were.

    Personally, I'm much more concerned about the way potential volunteers are(n't) being treated. Since submitting my application last year, I think I've had two emails, and one of those was just confirming my application had been received. I've read and heard various unofficial things since but had no official communication of timings of 'shortlistings', interviews etc.

    As angbur writes, "terrible post sale customer service".

  • Comment number 4.

    I applied for around 1300 GBP of tickets and got 196 GBP taken from my account last month. I had calculated this was probably a combination of 3 relatively minor sessions but today I got an email confirming I have 2 tickets for mens finals day at the tennis. So, any initial disappointment has now been well and truly forgotten. Now just need Mr Murray to deliver!

  • Comment number 5.

    I applied for £330 worth of tickets and have ended up with £140, which is a decent return going by the comments of others. Archery, athletics, water polo, football and boxing, meaning a fair spread of sports in a few new venues.

    Now I've a year to save up for somewhere to stay inbetween events.

  • Comment number 6.

    I'm satisfied with the ticketing process. I got tickets to the men's football quarter final and final at Wembley and a coveted men's 100m final ticket. It totalled £605 out of a £3,990 application. I was realistic and knew that despite applying for a lot of events I wouldn't be getting many at all.

    Ultimately, millions of people want to go to the Olympics and they all want to go to the big events or events that Team GB are going to do well in. I also feel that too many people were lured in by the cheap £20 tickets. My mum bid for about 10 events with the £20 tickets but was not successful at getting any tickets. I think LOCOG needed to explain that there would be a ballot at each price bracket rather than just one big ballot and they assign the tickets accordingly.

    Now, there are some areas where the ticketing process was shambolic. Having to read on twitter than Tom Daley, Bradley Wiggins and other athletes families would miss out on the chance to see them compete is a disgrace. They should've cut down the amount of tickets being offered to the elite and corporate sponsors and given it to the athletes families. I would feel ashamed if I was given a ticket that an athlete's family member missed out on. Also, they didn't cater for kids well enough. Yes, they had the child pays their age scheme which was good in principle until millions of children apply for them. They should've put aside a set number of tickets for schoolkids from across the UK and had a schoolkids ballot. After all, these were meant to be the Olympics with a legacy...

    Finally as most people have complained the process of taking money and then waiting to see what you had got was shocking. It seemed that all through the process that someone pushed a button and everything happened but we had to wait for them to press it and it took longer than previously stated. They said money would be taken on 10th May, in reality it was taken from the 17th to the 1st of June. Then we'd find out sometime before June 24th and on the 17th June.... we got an email saying they'd tell us what we'd get shortly. Clearly they already know but they just wanted to make us sweat. Then last night, I read on the BBC at about 11pm that today was the day we'd find out. By 2am I had confirmation of the tickets I'd received. All it took, during that 2 week period of waiting, was for someone to press the send button!

  • Comment number 7.

    My mother was only 9 when the '48 Olympics came to London, and was too young to attend. Four years later, as a horse mad teenager, she went door to door raising money for the GB Equestrian team. For the past thirty years, she has given up her spare time as a volunteer for the RDA (Riding for the disabled).

    She applied for a ticket for the dressage in Greenwich, but was unsuccessful.

    I appreciate that there may be many 'sob stories', but I feel very sad for her, as she isn't going to get another chance to see an Olympics in this country. Hopefully, she will be able to attend the Paralympics later in the year.

  • Comment number 8.

    I think that Al Murray was right. This is going to be a bit ****

  • Comment number 9.

    There were issues with the method chosen - people had no way of knowing how likely they were to get the tickets they applied for, or even how many tickets were available at the various pricing points. If I'd realised that applying for a 5-figure-sum total of tickets would leave me in with a small chance of the odd ticket or two, I might have been bolder in my selections. As it is, I applied only for events I really cared about, fearing that I could win the lot and break the bank in the process. The social unfairness of a system that rewards those who could afford to take a hit to their bank account of £15,000 or more is obvious - I hope there is plenty of room in the stadia for folding picnic tables, where I suspect plenty of wild Scottish salmon, fine wine and other upper-middle class favourites will be consumed by the tonne.

    However, I'm just as disappointed by the way things were handled once the ballots were closed. I find it utterly staggering that they took the money from the lucky few weeks before telling them what tickets they'd won. Equally saddening was that I received NO communication whatever to inform me that I had been unsuccessful in the ballot until several days after LOCOG had ceased to take payments, instead reading about my misfortune on the BBC News website.

  • Comment number 10.

    Applied for 720 pounds worth of tickets, ended up with 126 pounds. Work's out 4 tickets to men's hockey semi final tickets, better then no tickets though. Bit dissapointed with the system, and the lack of information after applying for tickets.

  • Comment number 11.

    The process appears purely random as I applied for 4 tickets to the 3 day eventing cross country and 2 tickets to the football final at Wembley and got them all!!!!!

  • Comment number 12.

    The obvious thing that was missing from the application process was a method to make sure that no one got tickets for more than one event. As with AV, applicants should have had to put their choices in order of preference. Then, when the draw was made for each session, anyone who had given it first preference would be allocated tickets. Once allocated tickets, that person's applications for other events would be suspended, allowing other people to be given those tickets. Once all first choice applications had been filled, they would move on to second choices and so on. Many people would still have been disappointed, but many more would have been allocated tickets.

  • Comment number 13.

    There should have been a prioritisation system. Each application should have required for you to rank which event was #1, 2, 3 etc. Then, make a draw on all the #1 priorities. If you didn't get your request in the first round, then your other tickets get bumped up to a higher level, so your #2 becomes a #1 for the next round. This means that those who won in the first round draw won't be able to participate in the second round until all the #1's have been used up. Then go to the second round etc. Sounds long winded, but surely not too complex for a computer to solve?

    Also, far too many tickets were available in one purchase for some events. I wonder where we'll see those re-emerge?

  • Comment number 14.

    What annoys me is that apart from the email confirming receipt of my application I haven't received any emails since, not even the one re the second application opportunity which lots of people received last week. This makes me wonder if Locog haven't lost some people's details.

  • Comment number 15.

    I applied for about £1700 worth of tickets including what I thought would be some undersubscribed events, such as weightlifting. I ended up with only one daytime session of athletics, which was massively disappointing. Still, at least I have something.

    Everyone who has complained about the unfairness of the process is unable to propose anything better. Normally they make suggestions which are pretty much exactly what LOCOG did. The problem was that no-one imagined just how popular the minor events would be (based on seeing so many empty seats at previous games), so the disappointment became disbelief. I don't have any problem with the way the first process went, but I think the second one will be far more controversial, as the tickets are all likely to be snapped up before many can even get online.

    I just hope that those tickets allocated to sponsors etc. are actually used (or a suitable method of filling the seats on the day if there are no-shows is devised) as nothing will be more upsetting for those left disappointed.

  • Comment number 16.

    I'm disappointed with the fact that there are tickets still available for exactly the same session (and the same stage in the competition) but the day before or after the day I applied for. 2 sports i applied for, handball and basketball, fall into this. I now have to join the mad rush on friday morning to try and get tickets!
    Surely there was a way of offering those unsuccessful applications for a session tickets to the same session on a different day if tickets are available!

  • Comment number 17.

    I found out this morning that I have tickets for the Show Jumping and the Modern Pentathlon, both at the same venue. About £180 out of an application of about £1200 - better than most I can see. But I won't even get to the Olympic Park itself. Having looked at the remaining availability I don't think that there's anything left that I'm bothered to see.

    I think that whatever scheme for allocating the tickets was used there would have been disappointment, because more people want tickets than are available. My one suggestion would be that people should have been able to nominate say 3 sessions in their application as being their top priority and then the initial ballot being done amongst those before moving down to the rest. This would have helped people have a better chance for the events which are important to them.

    My other comment would be to encourage people to go for tickets to the Paralymics - you'll see some great performances and get to see the relevant venues.

  • Comment number 18.

    I think in principle the system worked fine, and i did get one set of tickets out of 6 i applied for. However, if you wanted a conspiracy theory, an idea might be that where you live had an impact on your chances: i work in london, and don't know anyone else here who got any tickets at all other than myself (lots applied and many for far more than me).

    The difference is that i live 50 miles away and they all live in london. Since someone from further out would presumably generate more revenue through travel, accomodation, food & drink etc, could it be suggested that the system could make you more likely to get your tickets?! Did anyone from much further away notice that more than average got their choices?! or other 'Londoners' failing to get any? (average being 7/19 as 700,000 people got some out of 1.9m applicants)

    I'm sure this isn't the case, i just thought it an interesting coincidence.

  • Comment number 19.

    For me the biggest fault with the first ballot was that there was no session limit per application. This approach favoured the rich, and played to those who are possibly not rich but are happy to get into debt just to be there, as people could apply for as many tickets as possible, even if they didn't particularly want them. By putting a session limit on there it would have been fairer across the board and would have resulted an a more even distribution. This could have still be done in a way to accomodate families as well as couples and people going on their own.

    I suspect this was done just because they needed to sell as many tickets as possible, but it resulted in the rich of the land as always being in a better position to get the tickets they want. For me they had a great responsibility to make it fair, and they have fallen short somewhat.

  • Comment number 20.

    I applied for £2000 worth of tickets and received squat. Friends of mine applied for about £100 worth and got all of them, or half.

    I know this is the nature of random ballots, but I can't believe that I got ABSOLUTELY NO TICKETS, applying for 19 events, including several football matches at Wembley that surely have tens of thousands of tickets available. I simply can't understand how I got no tickets at all - and it lead me to believe a mistake had been made somewhere. I phoned my bank, who told me they had not rejected a payment request. So I figured maybe I made a mistake in my application - if there was a final "submit" button, maybe I missed it; or maybe I somehow had forgotten to put in my card details, if that was even possible.

    But there was no way of checking! You couldn't log in to your account; there was no phone number or email address to contact LOCOG; and the contact box on their website didn't bring any response.

    I do realise I may have simply been unlucky in the ballots, but I think the whole system has been unfair and a shambles, and I'm particularly disappointed with the paucity of ways to contact LOCOG to find out what the situation was!

  • Comment number 21.

    Been trying to post this comment for 20 minutes now - guess there's a lot of people with something to say!

    Tim at 13:06 makes a lot of good points that I totally agree with. The fact that I had to find out by checking my bank statememnt every day for about 10 days only to see nothing had been taken was a steady build up to an enormous anti-climax. How hard would it be to send an email early to unsuccessful applicants?

    Likewise, the system clearly favoured the wealthy who could afford to apply for obscene amounts of tickets - which is just typical of the society we live in.

    Added to all that - the fact Londoners got no priority despite paying higher taxes to fund the games, and having our city disrupted throughout the games is really shocking.

    What I would really like to know is what alternatives, other than first come-first served, were discussed by LOCOG? Staggered sessions starting with the most popular so if you were successful you then didn't need to apply for the heats as well, thus avoiding some people getting lots of tickets and others nothing? What about rewarding those who signed up to the Olympic website early and thus showed initiative and passion about the games, rather than the opportunistic and frankly disorganised people who only realised the appliation deadline was coming up because of the amount of press coverage it received?

    I could rant for days about this - but frankly I'm exhausted. Seeing that the only athletics finals available are the Shot Put (£295) and the Pole Vault (£795) really is the final straw.

  • Comment number 22.

    I have secured 3 athletics tickets. I apllied for £3900 pounds worth of tickets and secured £340.00 worth. It was a lottery so I am fien with that.

    As for athletes not getting tickets. this isn't true, each GB athlete will get two tickets to each event they compete in , on the day they are competing. Hopefully their federations will help them secure more tickets for the rest of their families.

    I helped Mrs Wiggis secure a ticket in Beijing from a new zealander selling one outside the stadium. a thank you from Mrs Wiggins would't have gone a miss. I guess we are all different.

    I a however annoyed by a report that future ticketrs wil go on sale as a free for all. They shpuld have been reallocated in a future ballot to those who applied for those events but were unlucky in the first ballot.

  • Comment number 23.

    Dissapointed to not get the tickets i wanted but i was too tight to try and get expensive tickets.

    The best events are free so I am still really looking forward to it, Cycling & Triatholon where we have a real chance to win it will be a great day out.

    Over the past few years there have been complaints that "noone wants the Olympics" and "it is too expensive to host". Now we are all moaning because it is too popular !!!

    Try getting a 6 nations ticket for France or Wales at Twickenham, then you would know what an unfair system looks like!!

  • Comment number 24.

    The whole application process was quite disappointing, and having had the money taken out 3 weeks prior to being told what events i had been succesful at was hugely disappointing!

    Had applied for quite a few tickets, but I only managed to get tickets to watch the men's 4 x 100 m relay final, so am well pleased about that.

  • Comment number 25.

    I completely agree with #12 and #13 - once you'd been successful in one ticket application you should have been removed from the process and not been allowed to get any more.

    My parents are both big athletics fans and were really disappointed to get nothing, despite both applying for multiple sessions. This has made me feel incredibly guilty for the fact that not only did I get tickets to the men's 200m final, I also got another pair of tickets to one of the basketball sessions. Still, it's the luck of the draw I suppose.

    #21 also makes a valid point - surely Londoners should have received some kind of priority given that we're paying extra council tax to help fund the games?

    For what it's worth, I applied for around £1,100 worth of tickets (for around 10 sessions/events) and got £236 worth (for the two sessions mentioned above). So I feel incredibly lucky but also feel for those who haven't been as successful, as the system surely could have been improved.

  • Comment number 26.

    Whilst I think the system was actually fair, I was disappointed (like many) with the outcome. I applied for over £1,100 for two tickets at each event - 4 athletics sessions, 3 tennis, plus diving, cycling, gymnastics and football. Then I ended up only getting the Wembley tickets - which I was certain I'd get (90,000 capacity compared to 30,000 or so for the whole of Wimbledon). I was shocked that I didn't get at least one of the other sessions.
    It now appears that it would probably have been better to get nothing at all. That way I'd have the right to 3 sessions if I got my application in early during the next phase. I could've easily got the Wembley tickets along with two other sessions. As it is, I've got to wait for the phase after to pick up the scraps.

  • Comment number 27.

    I think that the main problem lies in the fact that so many tickets have obviously been set aside for corporate purposes, thus denying the majority of ordinary people in this country, who wanted to attend, the opportunity to take part in the Olympic experience. I've seen on travel firms' websites today packages advertised at huge prices for a combined ticket and hotel deal. Why should they be allowed to profit when so many have missed out.

    I also believe that it would have been fairer for a proportion of tickets for each sport to be set aside for a ballot amongst the registered clubs in Britain for that sport (somewhat like the FA Cup final). That way you could have guaranteed that the grass roots participants had a better chance of seeing the "elite" in their sport. Surely that would also contribute to the so-called Olympic legacy.

  • Comment number 28.

    I was lucky and managed to get 2 tickets to see some athletics (100m heats and Jess Ennis) so am overall feeling fortunate. The thing I can't understand though is the system itself. In my view LOCOG should have created a system where people who received tickets to the most popular events were then slightly less likely to get the next most popular event that they had applied for. That system would hopefully have distributed the tickets more widely, meaning that the whole process would have been more accepted and people wouldn't have ended up with many thousands of pounds worth of tickets.

  • Comment number 29.

    How odd. I put up a reasoned comment which was in praise of Locog and highly critical of the BBC. It never appeared here.

  • Comment number 30.

    If people have received tickets they no longer want, Ill happily have them!

  • Comment number 31.

    Like so many, I got nothing, and am very disappointed, and don't expect Friday to be any different when the overwhelming number of tickets (a staggering 1.7 million unsold) are for football.

    Here are some ideas, to add to the obvious (to everyone except LOCOG) suggestions that #12 & #13 mention.

    It would have been easy to stipulate one application per person per address, so avoiding people applying 7 times using different visa cards they got specially for this purpose. It might have been in Visa's interest, but is certainly not in the spectators. This would have sensibly limited the applications per person. Most people don't have a £30,000 limit on their visa card, so there would have been much more sensible bids.

    A draw is the only way to do it, but it should be done by application, not event. So the first person is drawn and allocated according to their preference. If their first choice isn't possible, it goes on to their second, etc. This is still a lottery, so many people wouldn't have had their first or second choice, and some wouldn't have had any at all, but far more people would have had tickets, and a majority would have had something.

    The above system (like a single transferable vote) isn't hard to manage - in fact from a computing side, it is a lot easier to manage than the system they went for. I simply cannot understand why they didn't do it.

    Given that there is tremendous appetite for tickets, any unsold ones could have gone in a second or third ballot (as they are doing) and it is clear that other than the football, most will be taken up.

    Now if I (with my simple mind) can see that this would work and be much fairer, why can't the hugely paid (average salary £72,000) executives at the BOA see it too? Frankly it is a disgrace.

    One final word - this isn't the wisdom of hindsight speaking, I was saying the same things to friends for months before we knew what a fiasco it has become. It is too late to change anything now, but hopefully lessons will be learn't, so that when my grandchildren (as yet unborn) are able to go and see the World Cup on home soil, they will be able to get tickets. As if!

  • Comment number 32.

    The reality is that, whatever system had been used to allocate the available tickets, there would have been disappointment. I applied for £3,500 worth of tickets and got none. The simple fact is that supply did not match demand which will inevitably lead to frustration and disappointment for those that did not get what they wanted.

    For me, the bigger scandal is not the process but the first half of that supply/demand equation. It seems to me as though the supply was simply too low. We have been told that there were "over 1 million application for the 40,000 tickets for the men's 100m final". Heh? I thought that it was an 80,000 seat stadium, so what is happening to the other 40,000 seats and to whom are they allocated?

    It astonishes me that this has not been more heavily featured - it appears to me convenient for the organisers to focus on the inequities of the ballot process, because everyone is missing the bigger story - the fact that the people who are paying for the games (the UK and especially London taxpayers, i.e. you and me) are not getting priority for tickets, especially to the prime events! Can someone not research where all of the other tickets are going as I am sure that there would be a great deal of discomfort at the freeloading when millions of taxpayers are not getting access?

  • Comment number 33.

    In my view LOCOG could have managed expectations better during the registration phase. For instance by showing the current statistics (e.g. this sessions is x times oversubscribed) of each session and allowing the people to reallocate their choice for tickets. A regular mailing of the updated statistics for the sessions you selected up to the registration deadline could have helped to shift people to less subscribed sessions thereby managing expectations better and probably leading to a more even distribution over all sessions and price levels.

  • Comment number 34.

    They need to only allow lucky losers on Friday at 6am, and not others. How will they do this? Will they recognise us clicking on the link in the email, provide a new special password, or just recognise when we login with the previous password whether or not we are eligible?

  • Comment number 35.

    I wonder how many free tickets Seb Coe and his cronies get ?

  • Comment number 36.

    The system was fine. As you say most of those moaning had no real better ideas and this was at least a fairly fair system that managed to avoid the first-come first-served melee.

    The only improvements I would have liked to have seen is for those who are members of national associations to have had more weight on their applications for those particular sports and those who already had tickets to events weighted less in subsequent draws, though that would lead to issues over which events to draw first etc.

    Prioritising events for each applicant would have been nice as well but in reality is totally unworkable.

    In truth nearly everyone who wants to see the olympics in some form will be able to as there are plenty for tickets remaining for events. There will also be plenty of oppertunities for the Paralympics.

  • Comment number 37.

    Your posting system keeps breaking Roger,try using Andrew Bensons. Much better as are the articles ......lets see if this one goes up then !!

  • Comment number 38.

    I applied for £1,700 of tickets at the maximum of 20 events. When just £96 went from my account three weeks ago I was bitterly disappointed and I've spent much time since working out what I might have got. As I expected I've got volleyball, hockey and table tennis where there are plenty of tickets remaining. I've failed totally to get anything for the main events.

    At least the tickets I've got are in the period 3 -7 August so it's probably worth staying over in London. I had feared that they would be dotted throughout the fortnight forcing me to trail back and forth to London. However because I've got some tickets I'm unable to apply for other events in the next round so I'm unlikely to be able to get tickets for the days when I've got nothing.

    I think the period between taking the money from my account and notifying me which tickets I have been allocated was unreasonable. It's simply drawn out my period of disappointment, particularly when I hear tales of others who have applied for relatively few tickets and seem to have been much more successful than me.

    Locog have clearly achieved their aim to sell a high proportion of the tickets available. However they've done so in part I suspect by getting people who have never previously been interested in live sport to apply. I have friends with tickets who don't know the difference between a hammer and discus, who think the Keirin is a judo move and whose understanding of breaststroke isn't fit for a family website.

    As a keen sports fan I had been prepared to make going to the Olympics my main holiday for 2012. Having secured relatively few tickets I considered helping as a volunteer so I could still feel part of the whole event, but applications closed even before the deadline for applying for tickets. I now feel left on the margins of what I hoped would be the most exciting sporting festival of my lifetime. Locog are going to have to work hard to get back the huge thrill I felt when I heard that the Olympics were coming to the UK.

  • Comment number 39.

    @7 TTwiggy there are still tickets left for the Equestrian and will be available on a first come first served basis on Friday 8th July. If you read the details it does tell you all this on the form and there are plenty of other events too. I hope that you manage to get them for your mother, im sure you will if you get on this date.

    I think that they were always going to be on a hiding to nothing. When people dont get tickets they complain and shout about it. I think this is not there fault but the medias in fact. Also people need to set their expectation as there was always going to be more people without tickets than with them.

    I think the one thing they didnt do well was the emailing and letting people know. Just taking money out and then waiting a further 3 weeks to be notified of what you got was poor.

    Once again there are chances to get more tickets out there so dont give up!

  • Comment number 40.

    First let me say, I was as disappointed as anyone to only get a very small % of the tickets that I wanted. However it is what it is, I knew that in all likelihood I wouldnt get many but it can also be classed as a good thing that the 2012 games are so looked forward to by everyone. That means everyone wants to be a part of it.

    Looking forward to watching a lot of it on telly and seeing packed houses for all events, will be a great endorsement for London and the reason it was chosen to host the games in the first place.

  • Comment number 41.

    Also to those who said there wasnt limits so it benefited the rich that is incorrect as there were limits on all events.

    for all those complaining that they put in like £2000 worth of tickets and only got £100 tickets and they knew people who applied for £100 and got £100. Is it not fair that more people get to go rather than you have access to 15 different events? Isnt your perspective selfish?

  • Comment number 42.

    My wife applied for £2500 of tickets to a broad range of events and got nothing!! How lucky am I!!! I will really be enjoying 2012 Olympics, great view of major sporting events on 42" HD TV, easily accessible and clean toilets, great food at store prices and range of refreshments not linked to any sponsorship deals. Oh yeah and zero carbon footprint!! As a key member of the BOC family says "I'm Lovin it"!!!!

  • Comment number 43.

    I thought those who were successful in the 1st round were now excluded from buying any more. My work colleague got 6 events at the 1st attempt and now has a link to buy more this Friday. Did I get the info wrong? Can you buy more if you have already got some? Incidentally i went for over £1,000 worth and got none, zero, zilch and yet some of my applications were for early rounds of handball and basketball - hardly premier events.

  • Comment number 44.

    Agree with the posters above who say that LOCOG should have managed expectations a lot better by releasing more information about over-subscribed sessions during the initial ballot process - while people still would have been disappointed, it could very well have taken the sting out of it before it reached the payment stage. Most of what little I heard from LOCOG was all about getting as many people as possible to sign up, which led myself and my friends to all (mistakenly) assume they were struggling to sell tickets and therefore the likelihood was that we'd all get most, if not all of our ticket wish lists and there'd still be loads left over for the second stage of sales.

    As it was, I count myself fairly lucky with what I've got. A bill of £700 out of a possible £1,800 had made me think I'd got all the minor events I'd applied for and none of the big ones, but I've now found out that I did get a morning athletics and a morning swimming session which I wasn't expecting (yet at the same time have missed out on preliminaries for table tennis, boxing and fencing). I think the main reason I did this well was because I put in for most of my tickets in the one from cheapest category, knowing that the £20 tickets were bound to be the most oversubscribed.

  • Comment number 45.

    At 15:41 22nd Jun 2011, jeff stoddart wrote:
    I wonder how many free tickets Seb Coe and his cronies get ?

    A harsh and mean comment - he won us the Olympics and to call his working colleagues "cronies" is palin type ignorance.

  • Comment number 46.

    Among my gripes with the process was the lack of information. Did LOCOG not know at the time how many seats would be availible for each price band and in which areas of the stadium they would sit? Not revealing this leads me to believe that, for hevily subscribed sessions, seating nominaly designated as lower priced has been re-allocated into higher price bands. I invite LOCOG to issue a statement that this was not the case !!!
    I personaly applied for £1600 worth of tickets including "gold ticket" events as well as sesions I had a resonable expectation of getting such as morning sessions in fencing and modern pentathlon. I have been allocated 1 ticket for a "quiet" day at the rowing. The consequence of this is that I am not able to participate in Fridays scrum but must wait to pick up whatever is left next month "because I was successfull"
    PS my son also applied for some £600 worth of tickets and has 1 morning session of fencing _ guess our surname just dosn't fit

  • Comment number 47.

    How many more blogs are we going to have on this topic? You have done two, James Pearce has done them as well as David Bond plus the pieces in the news section and the 'please tell us your tales of ticket woe' requests. None of which are actually very helpful to anyone.

    Roger you said it yourself -

    'When pressed about precisely what they'd have done differently, they don't have ready answers'

    Indeed they don't because although this system has its faults it is a far far better system than any other possibility, and especially a 'free for all' - now that would have been much worse.

    Now can you switch to blogging about what the BBC is doing to prepare for the Games rather than on things that are not it's responbsibility.

  • Comment number 48.

    The way LOCOG have gone about the sale of tickets is somewhat ridiculous, they warned people to only apply for what they could afford yet hyped them up as they were worried that they wouldnt sell enough to meet their revenue quota.

    They neglected to put restrictions in place in the first round for number of sessions/events yet were massively oversubscribed, so now they have put restrictions in place for the second round for those tickets which have gone unsold(3 sessions total, many of which are on the same day and same time). To further compound the issue, they start the ticket sales at 6am and make it a first come first serve basis.

    In both cases they wont tell you what you have 'won' untill after you have applied!

    Frankly im not impressed at all by how they have done this, there are several clear points which many have made already so how these senior figures cant see the said flaws makes me wonder how they got the positions they currently occupy.

    Its an Olympics in a small country of approx 60 million people, of which 20% are interested in sport in someway, I think somehow as probably only half the tickets were going to be available that they would be sold relatively easily, even I could have worked that out.

    p.s. I applied for 3 events initially at 4 tickets each and got none. I applied within my means as instructed, in hindsight I should have applied for everything, I may have actually got something then!!!

  • Comment number 49.

    What amazes me most about this process is the intense level of complaint it has provoked - typified by comments such as:

    "guess our surname just dosn't fit"

    Olympic sized chip on that shoulder I would say!

    And "LOCOG should have managed expectations better"....really?! Since when do organising committees for events have to be careful not to upset those bidding for tickets? Has political correctness gone so far that now everyone on the field of play will get a medal and everyone who didn't get a ticket will get a condolence letter from the organisers? Oh please!

    The process was random but was very clear and very public way in advance of the allocations. It doesn't matter how many tickets were available it was the luck of the draw (conspiracies abound of course - idle minds and all that!).

    I watch from distance, proud of my home country, expectant that they will deliver (and they WILL) and also annoyed at the small-minded attitude of the few who will do whatever they can to undermine this great occasion.

    Many countries in the World would give their eye-teeth to host the Olympic Games and those nations would back it to the hilt. I believe most of the UK do but as ever it is the minority who have the loudest voice - most of whom I note have not offered one single better explanation as to how the allocation could have been improved.

    I await your comments on the first Olympic traffic jam, the first Olympic train delay and the first Olympic cloudy and wet spell....I suspect many of you have already drafted the posts for them!

    PS - Rich Hall - hear, hear! If anyone deserves a free ticket to the first round of the Water Polo is Seb Coe - the man worked tirelessly to get us the Games and could teach many people a thing or two about supporting your country.

  • Comment number 50.

    I applied for max. £4K. of tickets for a wide range of sports, venues, prices etc. Like others this will be our holiday next year and we have been lucky. We got 3 sessions, all for basketball including quarter finals which pleases me and my son but doesn't do much for my wife who was interested in equestrian, kayak slalom etc. Must be others in similar position who would like to swop. Any ideas/comments ?

    The main thing I would have done differently would have been getting onto approved foreign ticket seller web sites earlier. For a 20% premium on price we could have selected dates/events/price and paid there and then to collect tickets next summer in London.
    I think the main hope for more or any tickets is next January when the venue seating plans are finalised and the remaining approx. 1 million tickets are released.

  • Comment number 51.

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

  • Comment number 52.

    I applied for two sessions for the table tennis event and got nothing.

    The application process was not great, but it was clearly explained before we all applied.

    My 2 main gripes are ...

    1) I've been involved in table tennis for more than 40 years, and I've attended many table tennis events in that time. So to read comments from people saying "... I even applied for some of the lesser events like table tennis just to try and get some tickets..." is really galling as they're depriving the real fans of attending that event.
    Why couldn't the individual Sports Federations be given first option for selling tickets to their members before Joe Public are able to buy them?

    2) Why were we not told how many tickets were available at each price point? If, for example, we knew in advance that there were only a handful of tickets available at the lower price points, we would have known that it would've been futile to apply for them.

  • Comment number 53.

    I feel the system favoured the rich. They could afford to bid for thousands of pounds of tickets knowing they could afford all the tickets if they won in the ballot. Furthermore the amount of tickets available at each price bracket should definitely have been disclosed. I bid for £20 tickets totalling £200 as this is all I could afford. If I had known that choosing a more expensive price bracket would have given me a better chance I would have bid for less events but pricier tickets.

    A fair system would have been to allow each applicant to apply for a fixed amount of events, hence the rich could not bid for lots of tickets that they didn't really want, allowing everyone a better chance of enjoying the olympics.

  • Comment number 54.

    Surely something could have been done to stop the situation where people have got lucky and have tickets for 3/4+ events, and others end up with nothing.

    The corporate allocation sickens me. As it has for pretty much every major international football tournament since I've bothered going.

    There is nothing worse being a genuine fan, and seeing the 'suits' quaffing it at events with little interest in the team/event. The corporate seating at Wembley being a case in point....where it's empty for the first 10mins of the second half cos the suits can't drag themselves away from the champagne and prawn sandwich half time refreshments.

  • Comment number 55.

    Comments 5 and 6 sum up everything that is wrong with the system.

    Why should Tom Davidson get tickets to the 100m final AND a quarter final football match?

    Why has Jimmy Shaker been given tickets to FIVE events?!?! If that's true it's absolutely mad.

    Take four of Jimmy Shaker's tickets, one of Tom Davidson's, spread them around to other unsuccessful applicants, and you've got yourself some happy Britons.

    I wouldn't mind betting that you could almost double the amount of successful applicants with this process.

  • Comment number 56.

    Roger Mosey - why do you and your colleagues repeatedly put up blogs which are designed to elicit the kind of mean-spirited responses we see here?
    Who makes the decision on which blog subjects will go up?
    Is it you alone?
    Is there any ulterior motive you wish to own up to?
    Any hidden agenda you wish to confess to?

  • Comment number 57.

    Very disappointed not to receive many tickets, having supported team GB in Athens and Beijing with ample tickets not to mention countless events in the UK I get the feeling that we are owed something for the years of support. Anyway having got that off my chest I had thought that the reason for advising what sports were of interest prior to the application might have been significant when tickets were allocated. For real fans of a certain sport this is the pinnacle and they would undoubtedly be the most passionate and knowledgeable. More disappointment and frustration than anger.

  • Comment number 58.

    There was too much ambiguity in the process and what the tickets are likely to be.

    For example what exactly is the difference between a category B and a category C ticket?

    What exactly would you be able to see with a category C sailing ticket? It's out in the ocean, will there be spectator boats or will you be on the hill in Portland with binoculars?

    It would have been nice to be able to see a running total of how many people had so far applied for the tickets that you were applying for and how many tickets would be available.

    With 1.8 million people going for 20 million tickets, surely they could have come up with a system where the more heavily subscribed events were drawn first with anyone getting tickets for that event then being disqualified for tickets to other events. That way everyone could have applied for multiple events knowing that they would only get one event in the first round.

    Once the first round was over they could then have asked anyone who completely missed out to apply for a second round and so on.

    Once everyone had some tickets to one event, they could open the process up to everyone for the remaining tickets.

    It would also have been nice for a batch of tickets to be available only to those who live within 10 miles of the event.

    What is also frustrating is that I received an email yesterday telling me that Thomas Cook had ticket packages that were selling out fast. It would have been nice to have been told about that in the first place.

    I checked these packages out today and they are extortionate for what they are offering. Also some of the hotels that they claim to be 4 star and above are far from it.

  • Comment number 59.

    I worked out what tickets I had before receiving official confirmation. They were for 2 events that I didnt really want anyway (I could see from the 'remaining' ticket details that there was good availability still left for Soccer at Old Trafford and Womens Hockey qualifying). The tickets that I really wanted were Gymnastics (all sold out) and Athletics.
    As an ex Olympic athlete, I would like the opportunity to take my family to at least one session in the Olympic Stadium (even if it is just qualifying rounds). The fact that I have received an allocation in the first ballot, excludes me from this Friday's first come first served opportunity at 6am because I was 'successful' in the first ballot. I fear that any remaining tickets (at whatever price) for athletics are all going to go this Friday. I would gladly give away my soccer and hockey tickets to take part in the free for all this friday.........

  • Comment number 60.

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

  • Comment number 61.

    It's totally pathetic, how can "lord" (joke) Seb Coe say it was fair when some rich person attemps to buy £87,000 pounds worth of tickets and gets given £36,500 worth of them, then my wife applies for £500 worth of tickets and gets.....NOTHING.
    They should have limited the amount of tickets AND capped the amount people could apply for in monetry terms to say £2,500 pounds, that would have meant the MILLION+ people who didn't recieve any tickets would have had a chance to at least get a few.
    We have now decided that instead of given the greedy people in the Olympics commitee our hard earned cash we are going to take the children abroad for a nice summer holiday and give the Spaniards our hard earned money instead, i'd rather do this than line the pockets of the people that run the Olympics.

  • Comment number 62.

    This will cost England dearly... I am bitterly disappointed. I had hoped for more tickets than just the 3 that we got for one single event (were are a family of 3). We had planned building our holidays around the olympics as we had applied for up to 11 events. Now I am contemplating selling them and making other plans, elsewhere.
    It is a pity, I LOVE England (lived there with my wife for over 15 years)
    Locog seriously got it wrong
    regards from Denmark

  • Comment number 63.

    I applied for half a dozen events and didn't get any. It's very disappointing that, as a Londoner, I'll be paying for the Olympics without having the opportunity to experience it properly. And, having seen just how many people have received nothing, I'm now questioning exactly what the benefits of this very expensive and disruptive jamboree will be. Locog's big mistake was allocating first tranche of tickets on a strictly random basis, rather than trying to ensure that as many people as possible got to see at least one event. As it is, the winners seem to be those who had enough money to bid for a great many events - probably the same people who will also have access to the corporate tickets - at the expense of the rest. Anyone with only a Visa debit card, rather than a credit card will also have been at a big disadvantage, because of the need to have the money to cover their entire bid in a current account. It's hard to escape the feeling that, as always, London 2012 is being run for the benefit of the sponsors and the so-called 'Olympic family' rather than for Londoners or even those involved in grassroots sport in this country.

  • Comment number 64.

    I don't know why I imagined we'd have a fair ticketing process but I did.

    An unfair process looks corrupt which considering the present situation in Fifa you'd think that the Olympics would be especially careful.

    Why I'm annoyed:
    1) Too many corporate tickets
    2) No limits on how many tickets each person can get by total number of tickets
    3) The fact that people who could risk bidding for £50K or upwards of tickets then had massively more chance of getting tickets. There should have been a limit by £ as well.
    4) Coe etc just ignoring any criticism

    I was delighted when the UK won the olympics, now I just don't care. Someone above in their comments mentioned greed. Having no correct limitations let greedy people with stacks of cash get huge amounts of tickets.

    Many of these tickets bought by these people are now on auction sites, so the system didn't encourage nor reward honest fans

  • Comment number 65.

    You claim "most of whom I note have not offered one single better explanation as to how the allocation could have been improved".
    I think I did (see #33.)
    However you need read further than "LOCOG should have managed expectations better" :) Lesson 1 in good client relationship: have a clear contract with your client.
    Was the lottery fair? Yes, probably.
    What is as transparent and clear as it could be? No, I guess not.
    To remind you the title of this blog is "Tickets process brings disappointment". You might wonder why this is the case. I merely added a constructive hint on how to improve the process in my previous comment. I suppose that any ticketing system would lead to some disappointment. To be more precise: I even think that the lottery system by LOCOG is fairer than a crashing ‘first come first serve’ computer system.
    But ... when I pay for a lottery ticket at least I should be able to tell what the odds are to buy this or that product such that I can allocate my money accordingly (say move to a higher priced session if that would deliver more chances). I’m convinced that even LOCOG would have benefitted by a. having more happy customers and b. having sold more tickets in the more expensive sessions. And finally I do not want any lame excuses for the sake of political correctness:)

  • Comment number 66.

    There are two important issues here
    (1) The proportion of tickets unavailable to the public at each event because of allocation to sponsors. Working at a multinational where tickets were offered exclusively to employees today was a little discomfiting. A 'true' Olympian event should be for 'everyman'. Its a little ironic to see the allocation of sponsor reserved tickets when FIFA has been lambasted recently for being less than transparent in its allocation of events. Let us not throw too many stones lest we be found wanting methinks.
    (2) Its a lottery stupid! Some basic mathematics would help most Britons. However, some form of AV would have been more than sensible as would selling all of the tickets in one go, thereby forestalling the firestorm of dissatisfaction. It is not appropriate to deny people the chance to attend through a lottery and then make tickets available for those events a few weeks later. That is what is truly galling for most people. The option of flexibility in accepting allocation would help as would, and heres a radical idea, distributing the tickets through the controlling bodies of the sports represented. Yes this would restrict the public somewhat but the unsung heroes at the grass roots could truly reap the benefit of their investment. Of course most of us armchair athletes wouldn't be able to go but we do have TVs. Then again the firestorm of public discontent over being able to watch their beloved athletics in person would be unbearable. A useful question to all spectators would be " for the sport you're watching today - how many grass roots or other events for this sport have you seen before?" My money would be on "not many" at best.
    The use of Visa exclusively was tawdry but not unexpected, anybody not thinking this is a money generation opportunity had better get their ideas sorted out if they're lucky enough to go to an event. I suspect premium prices for a limited range of sponsor concessions will be the norm. Big Mac anyone?
    The person suggesting a bias for Londoners is treading a fine line. Anyone remember some of the less than passionate support for Birmingham and Manchester bids in the past? Local Eastenders in the less well off parts or areas adjacent, OK but Londoners? Really?
    Oh well, I live in hope we all come out as participants rather than mere spectators, isn't that really the Olympic Spirit?

  • Comment number 67.

    Every water polo session sold out! Amazing!! I again would like to know how oversubscribed this sport was. It is not as if people have high hopes of a GB medal. There are not that many water polo players in this country. I will be watching carefully to make sure that at every session ever seat is taken. Doubt it will, even though they are all gone and I did not get any.

    Seems to me they could have had a bigger stadium for the water polo.

    Also with the basketball the quarter finals onwards are being moved to the larger arena so more people can watch. Why was the same done for the water polo moving it to the main swimming arena for the knock out rounds?

    There are solutions but the Olympic committee do not seem interested.

  • Comment number 68.

    I wonder how many tickets the publically funded BBC have.

    Further to my comment (#54), that's my other beef....journalists who constantly whine about the England football team...and constantly get all expenses paid, salaried to attend tickets to see the England team.

    Now we have journalists who will constantly whine about the Olympics...and constantly get all expenses paid, salaried to attend tickets to see....any event they want.

    Journalists and corporate suits at these events I give equal disdain to. When I bump in to any of them on England away's, I like to tell them of my beef.

  • Comment number 69.

    From what I can see from the other side of the pond, it was done as well as could be expected. I've been to seven Olympics (I've retired from that, having seen the elephant) and ticketing is never perfect. The true test is before and during the Olympics, will LOCOG put tickets on sale as they become available to it, have an easily usable online resale center, and not too much trouble about actually getting the physical tickets in hand at those last moments.

  • Comment number 70.

    LOCOG got this all badly wrong. They were right to staoke up enthusiasm, but the number of sports fans in Britain compared to the number of tickets was always going to lead to disappointment. To manage this they needed to get two things right, to be open and fair. By not revealing the number of tickets available at each price range, and the second chance process details, people did not have the necessary information. I am seething, I bid for £5500 of tickets, and received £43. These were for a regional football game. If I had know the process of second chance, i would not have risked going for a low demand game. the lack of information has left many agrieved. Lotteries are not fair, they are about luck. The system could have been fairer. Perhaps trying rate your top 5 events, and you get an extra two chances in the ballot. Or they could have given people extra chances for each ballot they had lost out in, and start the ballots with the most oversubscribed event. As the process was not open and fair, then there are many angry people. I also think they have reneged on the sales pitch they used to secure the Olympics, about inspiring young people and diversity. I know I am lucky to have been able to bid that much, and still got nothing. I am sure that less well off people would not have been able to speculate as much, and would therefore have even less chance. I would love to know the average income of the people at the big events. Corporate fat cats, and people who could afford to gamble for high price tickets.

  • Comment number 71.

    Got tickets for athletics on 5th August - 100 metres final. Don't hate me.

  • Comment number 72.

    You want an alternate, fairer system for distributing the tickets, once you've got a ticket(s) for an event you go to the back of the queue for your other applications until everyone else who applied gets a ticket.

    Or you could have a maximum number of events you could get regardless of how many you apply for, say 2 or 3. Applicants could prioritise the events, like the system for voting which just lost in the referendum, they wanted to attend.

    That's a quick 2 better methods but the truth is this was a carve up for the rich by the rich, congratulations to Iwan Thomas for having the courage to say it live on the radio some weeks ago! We, and I include me, were just too niave to believe the spiel given by Lord Coe about it being for the people and legacy.

    I've had my hopes raised, I could go to an Olympics, I told my kids this was their one chance, a chance I never thought I'd get and my chance was stolen and there's nothing I can do about it.

  • Comment number 73.

    MagificentPolarBear in #47 and Olympophile in #56: I take responsibility for what I blog about, but I'm guided by what people want to comment about. On the evidence of the past week it's tickets not what we're planning for the Cultural Olympiad:

    ComeEnglandAway in #68 - answer is here:

  • Comment number 74.

    Fair one Mr Mosey. I was wrong then.

    But you understand my frustration. The BBC, red tops and broadsheet journalists hoover England away tickets up whilst I, and many like me, have to beg, borrow and steal for. And I don't go to the games with my pen (knife) sharpened to whine about the experience as soon as the final whistle goes.

  • Comment number 75.

    I requested 15 tickets (3 each in 5 sports that we were genuinely interested in). Got nothing and was really disappointed. Several colleagues applied and got nothing. However, I accept that the system was probably the fairest available.

    I seem to remember a lot of people taunting on here before the deadline that it would serve the LOCOG right when no one applied and most of the tickets went unsold because there was no interest.

    My one regret is that, had I known what I know now I would have gone for fewer and more expensive tickets.

  • Comment number 76.

    Roger Mosey - I didn't ask if you took responsibility for the blog - I asked who decides the subject matter of the blog and what motivates that decision.
    Ok - so you are 'guided' by what people want to comment about. I would like a blog about the sneering attitude of the BBC towards London 2012. The same corrosive attitude I witness by the BBC towards anything which is positively and constructively British.
    I remember the glee with which the BBC followed the Wembley Stadium fiasco. The years of delay and the spiralling costs were revelled in by your correspondents. Locog have made an almost incredible success of things so far, but I have never seen that success applauded by the BBC in any way.
    The motivation behind that remains hidden for now, but the least you should do is remove the first 'B' from your name.
    Whatever you are, you are certainly not British.

  • Comment number 77.

    We were lucky, applied for 8 tickets to the sailing and received 4. Very pleased, however now the other costs and hassles set in. Park and ride £12.00 with a journey on buses that could last 2 hrs. We may have also been lucky and found a b & b that hasn't yet put their prices up, most have. However I must say the whole ticket process has been a shambles, the next round of ticket sales is first come first served , I bet the system crashes very early on.

  • Comment number 78.

    LOCOG could have limited the number of tickets each person applied for, therefore stopping people with more financial clout from bidding for lots more tickets than other people. A cap would have also reduced the number of people per each ticket ballot giving people a better statistical chance of getting tickets.

    I know a lot of people are disappointed, however a lot of people simply bid for tickets that were likely to be highly sought after. Obviously there is no point in bidding for tickets that you do not want, but a lot of people bidded solely for athletics, cycling or other events, where demand was going to be incredibly high. I applied for early rounds of sports to make sure that I got to see something, so I think planning helped me a lot. I applied for 12 tickets and got 6, but none of the athletics and am reasonably content.

  • Comment number 79.

    I think the idea of a ballot was not fundamentally flawed and was certainly preferable to a 'first come, first served' system, which would have brought its own problems and an equal number of disappointed people. But what would i have done differently?

    1. rigged the ballot so that everyone (or at least as many people as possible) got something in the first ballot, thereby sharing the Olympic experience as widely as possible. I accept however that this would have been extremely difficult to achieve so maybe unrealistic.

    2. allowing people to bid for a smaller number of tickets/sessions in the first ballot. Applicants would then have had to focus on what they really wanted to see and we wouldn't have stories of people bidding £35,000 or more! Maybe LOCOG weren't sufficiently confident of demand to set the limits lower (and after all their primary concern was to sell the tickets and make some money), but smaller limits might also have managed expectations better. When I put my bid together I simply had no idea whether I was likely to get most of the sessions I bid for or would be lucky to get anything. Certainly, those sessions with a limit of 20 tickets indicated to me that they weren't expected to be popular. And when I first realised that I had been charged for 2 out of 7 sessions applied for, I was initially disappointed until I realised how lucky I was to have got anything at all.

    3. given at least a rough idea of the number (or proportion) of seats available in each price band for each session. I bid exclusively for band D and E tickets, but if for example it had been stated that these represented only 10% of tickets in total for a particular session, I might have targeted a higher price band with more likelihood of success - but then so would everyone else!! I know a staggering number of people who applied for archery because 'it won't be popular and it will at least give me a taste of the Olympics' and then look what happens, everyone's done the same and its oversubscribed!

    At the end of the day, I have been successful through the ballot for 2 sessions, including a bronze medal session, so I am overjoyed. I reckon that is more than my fair share and I wish good luck to all those who got nothing in the first ballot when the second chance sale starts on Friday.

  • Comment number 80.

    59.At 19:21 22nd Jun 2011, LT154 wrote:

    "As an ex Olympic athlete, I would like the opportunity to take my family to at least one session in the Olympic Stadium (even if it is just qualifying rounds)."

    As an ex Olympic athlete, you will be fully aware you have the ability to purchase 4 Olympic tickets just like all other ex Olympians.

    You either have done no research or are not an ex Olympian!?!

  • Comment number 81.

    I applied for about £500 worth of tickets and got £160, all for the football at St James Park. Whilst obviously disappointed that I didn't get any for events in London e.g. track cycling and gymnastics, myself and my family are still massively looking forward to an OLYMPIC event in our home city!

    The ticketing system in my opinion has been handled rather well. Have those who think that first-come-first-served considered the technological implications? It's often hard enough to buy festival tickets that are only available to a couple of hundred thousand of people so having a rush of almost 2 million people to one website points to an obvious meltdown. Not only that, if the tickets are released at 9am on a specific day, what about those who are at work/have other commitments. Not really the ethos of the games is it when we want this to be a nationwide celebration?!

    It is impossible to please everybody, and remember that there will be copious amounts of television and online coverage. Lets get excited and get behind Team GB!

  • Comment number 82.

    The biggest thing we need to fight today is cynicism. Why do we have to be so negative about everything?! Let's get enthusiastic about the good things the games will do for our country. Let's be proud. Let's organise street parties! Let's be positive! Let's enjoy what we've got and be thankful it's even in our own country!

  • Comment number 83.

    Olympophile in #76: I want these Olympic Games to be a massive success. That's what we're working hard to do, delivering the coverage that Stick2307 refers to in #81.

    As happens, I believe the BBC and all the relevant organising bodies are improved by openness and accountability. That's what this blog's about. So I don't agree with your original post #56 that it's "designed to elicit mean-spirited responses": people are simply saying what they think. But I'm pleased that balance includes positive contributions like Alex Ewing's in #82, because presumably everyone agrees that the happiness of the greatest number is the best outcome.

  • Comment number 84.

    @81 and countless others, who's suggesting a first come first serve was the way to go?

    Countless people on here have pointed out three core points that were, completely and utterly wrong, and somewhat scandalous.

    1. Corporate ticketing. 20,000 tickets out of 80,000 for the 100M Final go to the public. Are you kidding me?!?!?

    2. Those with money have more chance of getting tickets. This is the 21st Century! How have they been allowed to create a system in which those who are able to spend £30,000 are given a greater chance to get tickets?

    3. The lottery system that allowed some people to buy, 2, 3, 4, 5 sets of tickets, whereas others got nowt. How hard can it be to create a system that gives more people the chance to see one event? Rather than less people to see two or more events?

  • Comment number 85.

    I think that it is very difficult to comment on the Olympics without having any bias, as after all we are all 'stake holders' whether it be through national allegiance or through applying for tickets and being successful or unsuccessful in our application.

    I am hoping to both volunteer and spectate at the London Olympics as I think it will be a brilliant event, especially with the games being held in such a diverse country. There is a lot of negativity surrounding the expenses, the British football team and the ticket ballots, partly generated by the media and partly due to the public, as otherwise no one would have so much to talk about.

    I am really hoping that the Olympics is covered innovatively and expertly by the BBC and show the world how it is done, however I have lost a little faith with the BBC Generals direction on sport and online media (606 etc) as I think cutting these areas simply to appease the Murdoch-Cameron brotherhood was folly and short sighted as online media is the future.

    Good luck with the coverage BBC and please give us the opportunity to be involved with all aspects of this :-).

  • Comment number 86.

    I applied for around £3000 worth of mostly minor sports. However, with two young kids, I made the massive error of applying for family tickets wherever I could. Result: 2 tickets to a basketball 1st round and 2 to the judo, £180.
    I have always adored the Olympics and was hugely excited that we might have the opportunity to them live and now I'm totally turned off.
    I cannot escape the feeling that I've been sold a dud, that the Games are no longer for the genuine fans. I wish we, the consumers, could force a devaluation of the global sporting currency, forcing it back to where it should be, fun.
    Me? I'm booking a holiday. As far away as I can get for July 2012.

  • Comment number 87.

    Good lord,i is there no end to the moaning? Where is the fabled British stiff upper lip? Do we all thing we deserve to win irrespective of the maths? This was a lottery for goodness sake. There was always going to be a few winners and a majority of losers. Do you all chaps start throwing a wobbly at the vicarage fête whenever you don't win a prize in the tombola? No, of course you don't...well this was a game of chance which always had pretty poor odds. Fancy a free for all instead? Have you tried button-bashing on your computer when tickets go on sale for rock concerts? Think you'd have better odds? Think again and then wonder how the touts got theirs as you sadly trudge past the concert hall.

    Are you one of those people who believe the tickets have all been won by greedy multimillionaires? I smell a modern myth here. I believe you simply had to be lucky to end up with the tickets you wanted and of course you helped your chances by making sensible buying decisions. This sadly is where the Great British Public seems to have fallen flat on it's face. I thought the maths and probability made things pretty plain but obviously not.

    My thoughts went like this. Don't go for a mix of of cheap seats, go for a handful in higher price bands instead. Don't go for events you're not interested in and then complain when you've got tickets for them! I mean, who in their right mind would be daft enough to do that? Don't assume that Londoners should get special treatment. Living next to a building site has never given anyone the right to a free house. Nice as it might seem, don't think that every participating athlete should get more free seats for family members - it would be lovely but multiply a bigger allocation by the number of contestants in all the sports and you'd have hardly any seats on sale at all once all the mums, dads, aunties and friends have been shoehorned in!

    I took a simple approach. The chances of getting a ticket were pretty terrible so I expected nothing and hoped for the best. My two sons and I applied for 6 tickets in total costing £570. Three for the men's super heavyweight weightlifting final and three for the men's team foil fencing final. If I had bugger all chance then why not go for the finals? I did not apply for things I wasn't bothered about because I didn't want to take chances away from those who'd love to go to those events. What happened? I got all six tickets for the two separate days. I feel very lucky and I am not a millionaire. I only applied for six tickets, not hundreds. I don't work for the BBC...or the government...or County Hall...or MI5. And I am not Sebastian Coe! (and I couldn't care less about the boring 100 metres final)

  • Comment number 88.

    I think the intention behind the ballot idea was not unreasonable. It had the benefits of giving everyone, supposedly, a fair crack of the whip as well as preventing a complete crash of the computer systems on day 1 of the sale. Indeed, I suspect the second issue was probably a bigger factor in deciding how to sell the tickets than the first.

    Unfortunately, in practice, it appears that the system chosen hasn't actually been that fair or transparent. Leading to a great deal of bad feeling from those that haven't been successful or have received a miserly allocation that probably doesn't make travelling to London to see the events they have been allocated economically viable or enjoyable as not everyone in their family could go.

    There have been many discussions about whether or not a fairer system could've been employed. And for aome events the answer is probably NO. However, the events that were likely to have been oversubscribed very early on could quite easily have been determined well in advance of tickets going on sale. There's enough evidence available from previous events and the sporting habbits of the British public to make those decisions.

    However, there are clearly some sports where demand would not out strip supply very quickly, if at all. For those sports using the blind ballot system they did was completely unnecessary. You could quite easily have adopted for those sports (e.g. handball, volleyball, table tennis, fencing etc etc) a more traditional approach to selecting the tickets. If it became apparent during sales that demand for a particular price band of tickets or for a particular session became oversubscribed you could then switch that particular element to a ballot system. You could still apply and take the chance or you could simply request tickets in a different price band that may have still been available. In reality, having booked tickets for many world and European championships before, this is the decision that I and my friends take. Whilst we may want to only have the cheapest tickets, if we know they are not available we go for the next highest price band and so on until stops being economically viable.

    For either type of event you wouldn't actually be buying the tickets till the end. You'd still just be making a request. However, you're chance of getting the tickets you want would be much higher. At least for the minority sports.

    It does though amaze me how all 12000 tickets for the men's handball final have been sold. This just doesn't make sense. Not even in handball mad countries does such a demand occur so q

  • Comment number 89.

    Like millions of others, my family are extremely disappointed not to receive any tickets. Unlike others, we did not apply for loads of tickets just to try to get anything, but tried for what we thought were not particularly 'prime' events.
    Your blog says most people don't have a suggestion on how to improve, well I do: try to give one set of tickets to as many households as possible. What is most annoying is that we hear of people getting many tickets. Surely the Olympics should be about encouraging more people to be able to go to events to watch. My family are now so dissapointed we're no longer interested in Olympic tickets, although I suppose we'll watch on TV, but we could have done that if they'd be held in France.

  • Comment number 90.

    I understand why my sportmad family missed out in round one.

    But I will not buy the hype to sell the leftovers in phase two.

  • Comment number 91.

    So out of 60,000 tickets for the 100m final only 30,000 are publicly available? Am I wrong then in assuming that the rest are for politicians, officials, sponsors and hangers on. This seems like an amazing situation for an event which the British public, and Londoners in particular, are being asked to pay for.

  • Comment number 92.

    Unfortunately like everything in sport these days it comes down to the pretty green, sucking the most money out of people in one go over a year before the event was always the most attractive option. The first round should of been two tickets per person only, people submit their preferences from one through ten and the ballot chooses at random, that way the tickets are shared around and nobody gets ridiculous bills or rejected payments if they happen to be really lucky. Then repeat until all tickets sold, you manage peoples expectations and everyone gets a chance of being part of the "peoples games" [sic]. All they have done is a huge PR disaster which will come back and bite when a large proportion of people are generally negative about the games which will hinder the success of the event and the reflection on England to the outside world. So glad we didn't get the world cup, that would of been greed and corruption on a gargantuan scale.

  • Comment number 93.

    I am lucky to have got 2 tickets for the Opening Ceremony but at one of the higher ticket price brackets. Awfully expensive but the deal with the wife was that I got to go to the World Cup in SA last year if she could go to the Opening Ceremony!

    Many people have made some reasonable points on this page. For what it's worth, I think a ballot was the fairest way to distribute tickets, particularly when demand outstripped supply. But by making it a lottery, LOCOG encouraged people to apply for more tickets they wanted/needed. By improving your own chances by making multiple applications (I applied for nine events), this then reduced the probability of success for those who made a smaller number of applications. What would have made it slightly fairer would have been to a) clearly identify the number of tickets available for each price bracket and b) not allow people to be successful in getting tickets for more than one event. For some to have got tickets for 2+ events when so many have gone ticketless is wrong and could have easily been avoided.

    I don't agree with people complaining about sponsors getting tickets - if Visa or Coke et al. have paid hundreds of millions between them (thus in theory reducing the cost for the taxpayer), then they deserve to get some tickets. More murky is the system by which tickets are distributed to the 200 odd national Olympic committees.

  • Comment number 94.

    As an active rower/coach for over 50 years, from all my contacts countrywide I know of 1 successful application from the rowing world. Where are the tickets??- with the corporates to make money from?? The olympic ticket office prior to applications could not-would not-explain how many tickets there are, where the seats would be. WHAT A FIASCO

  • Comment number 95.

    why are the equestrian events not been held at Badminton every man and his dog could get in and park their car as well .Has anyone worked out the loss of revenue that staging the events at Greenwich means ?

  • Comment number 96.

    Having applied for tickets and got none I am now riding my luck for the Friday rush or even when the mass of tickets people have but don't need go up on resale.

    I don't understand why they didn't remove people from ballots if they had already got tickets, or allow people to rank what tickets they wanted, then worked through the preferences.

    There are plenty of ways they could have made for a fairer ballot:

    Session Restrictions (max of 5 perhaps)
    Removal from ballots if tickets had already been received
    Ranking the events, then going through ballotting each choice in order.

    They didn't because it would have meant extra work.

    You know they got it wrong when 55% of applications didn't get tickets and the remaining 6.6 Mil of tickets (probably about 6 mil once you account for some being still available) got split between 800,000 people, average 7.5 tickets per person.

  • Comment number 97.

    Why are the equestrian events not to be held at Badminton as it is a much larger venue

  • Comment number 98.

    No mention of the fact that the tickets seem to have gone to the richest i.e. those that can afford to gamble tens of thousands of pounds. Hardly an egalitarian system.

    Am incredibly disappointed and have gone from being an ardent Olympics fan to a bitter naysayer. Now I wish my city never won the games in the first place.

  • Comment number 99.

    There are lots of knowledgeable people answering posts her so perhaps someone can answer what to me seems like a very simple question:

    Why weren't all the tickets available sold during this (less than perfect) process? I just don't understand why the organisers would make hundreds of thousands of people go through this disappointment and then shout; 'Hey! We've got some more tickets that you can apply for again...'

    If the capacity for an event is X thousand, why not just sell X thousand tickets to those who apply?!? Then if there are any left over run a second round.

    I don't get it (and am trying not to be too cynical around feeling this is merely a tactic to ensure supply and demand economics maintain some of the disgustingly high pricing levels).

    For the record, I didn't apply for any tickets as I simply couldn't justify the costs for any of the events I wanted to see. Instead, like several other posters here, we have decided to put the money towards a sparkly new TV to enjoy probably the best views in the house.

    Good luck to anyone who feels like re-entering the virtual scrum for phase 2 tickets again - I don't envy you.

  • Comment number 100.

    Also, why is no criticism being directed at the ticketing company (which I won't name for fear of being moderated) who have managed the logistics of this? They should be apportioned their fair share of the blame for not being clearer that you can only bid once and for charging a ridiculous fee in their usual exploitative way.


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