The Olympic ticketing fiasco is one of the hottest topics of London 2012. For sceptics of the Games it provides an opportunity for them to bicker and add another failure to the list of letdowns by Locog and all those involved. But for ordinary people like myself, who are in the most part highly proud of the Olympics in our capital and indeed like to see them succeed, the ticketing issues have put a slight damper on the Olympic spirit.
Let me reassure you that this article is not aimed at damning organisers to the pits of hell, but it is going to offer something along the lines of advice as identifying the source of frustration for many.
Lets start with the latter. Imagine sitting down and turning over to the BBC to take a look at how our beloved Team GB is doing. Tom Daley on the diving board and in the backdrop an infuriating scene of empty seats reserved for the “friends of Locog” – Ronald McDonald, a tin of Coca Cola and the horse from the Lloyds TSB advert. This only adds fuel to the argumentative fire that London 2012 is a corporate Olympics.
But worse than that, regular members of the public and Londoners especially (since we have to deal the Olympic stress) are sat watching their favourite sport from the sofa rather than the Olympic park. That is no way to get people inspired by the Games, and certainly not going to help get people out of the lounge and on to the sports field.
Now this is not a question of hindsight because I am convinced that the issues could have been resolved before the tickets went on sale.
What is wrong with a standard system of calling up or booking tickets online? What was the need for the ballot?
To give an example, an anecdote must suffice. Three days ago, I bought tickets for the third day of the England vs. South Africa test match at Lords. A month previous, the tickets were sold out so obviously some people returned tickets. Within five minutes of calling up the box office I had two tickets on their way in the post.
Why couldn’t the Olympic ticketing system be like this?
It certainly would have simplified the system and allowed easier access to tickets. Admittedly the Olympics is on a much scale than a cricket match, however, this system, which is used in many events around the world, seems to work, and it surely could not have been any worse than the arrangement we are currently graced with.
Even when tickets were put on resale and the official website claimed there were tickets available, laborious searching and over ten minutes of waiting for search results, led to no success.
Ticketing for London 2012 is no doubt a blemish on what is a largely successful Games, and at the moment, it seems easier to walk out with the India team at the opening ceremony than it is to watch some Olympic boxing.
Have you been affected by the Olympic ticketing fiasco? What are our experiences? Does anyone have tickets? Get in touch through the comments box below.