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London 2012 Olympics to go on sale
Old 01-15-2011, 09:13 PM   #1
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London 2012 Olympics to go on sale

Saw this article today describing recently announced process for obtaining tickets to the Olympics July 27- August 12 next year in London. Let the daydreaming begin...
BBC News - Q&A: London 2012 Olympic Games tickets

There's good news and bad news. The basics:
  • Sign up here to be on the mailing list: About tickets
  • There is some information available already (venues, ticket prices and a tentative schedule), but they will be sending the registered users more information over the next few weeks
  • You can apply for tickets anytime between 15 March and 26 April 2011. None of the events are first-come, first-serve. Oversubscribed events will be ticketed by a lottery system.
Save your nickels. This is not an event conducive to a LBYM lifestyle. The ticket prices at the men's 100M final, will range from 50 - 475. Opening ceremony tickets list for between 150 and 2012, with what I assume will be a few token tickets at 20.12.

The interesting part, for me at least, is that there are many, many tickets starting at 20 for preliminary events across almost all of the sports. And the article says 2/3 of all tickets to the 600 plus "sessions" are priced at 50 or less.

Picking one offbeat or preliminary event every afternoon, then spending the evenings in an English pub watching the featured sports would be a hoot. Hmmm...

Here's the bad news, potentially. It appears North American residents won't directly be part of the process I just described. We'll have to fight among ourselves for some kind of allotment to our country or pay a european scalper.
UK residents:

If you are a resident of the United Kingdom, you will be eligible to apply for tickets for the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games on this website in 2011.

Designated European countries:

If you are a resident of one of the countries below, you will be eligible to apply for tickets for the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games on this website in 2011.
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
Residents outside the UK and designated European countries:

If you are not a resident of the UK or one of the designated European countries, regardless of citizenship, you will be required to apply for tickets via your National Olympic Committee (NOC) or National Paralympic Committee (NPC). Some NOCs or NPCs may appoint an Authorised Ticket Reseller (ATR) in order to help the general public obtain tickets and services relating to the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.
If you register your interest with us, we will send you the contact details of your local NOC, NPC or ATR when they are made available. A full list will be posted on this website in late 2010.

After some searching, I found out this is the company apparently designated by the USOC to sell tickets and travel packages to U.S. residents: CoSport | An Official Distributor of London 2012 Trip Hospitality and Ticketing : LONDON 2012 INFORMATION INQUIRY FORM


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Old 01-15-2011, 09:43 PM   #2
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I would encourage anyone who has the opportunity to attend an Olympics, even if you only get to see one preliminary event. DW and I had the good fortune to attend the '98 Winter Olympics in Nagano. We were there for 5 days in the middle of the games - didn't have tickets for the opening or closing ceremonies.

We saw several preliminary events - hockey, ski jumping, freestyle skiing and speed skating. DW wanted to see figure skating and we were able to get tickets to the women's short program, but not the finals. We did see a world record set in the finals of the men's 10,000 meter speed skating event.

We saw the Czech Republic vs. Russia in a preliminary hockey game, the same two teams who ended up in the finals (the Czech Republic got the Gold). They really didn't appear to like each other very much...

The ski jumping competition was amazing. It was snowing so hard the competition had to be delayed - the jumpers were losing sight of the ground while in flight.

BTW, we would have never done this on our own nickel. We went as the guests of a large shipping company, the one with a fleet of brown delivery vans.
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:41 PM   #3
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I've been at sporting events from Australia to Italy. I say get a large LCD TV, hook up the cable, and get surround sound to enjoy the Olympics. Then have parties where you serve bad food, warm beer, sprinkle water on your heat and talk like an Englishman with a Cockney accent. If you want to have some real fun; hire a couple of TSA agents to frisk your friends as they enter your house.



Maybe show

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Old 01-16-2011, 12:16 AM   #4
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I was able to watch all the taekwondo I wanted during the last Olympics without ever leaving my desktop.

I have trouble seeing the value in spending thousands of dollars to jostle with hundreds of thousands of fans for limited resources to see a portion of what I could see without ever leaving the house...
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Old 01-16-2011, 09:01 AM   #5
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There are plenty of rational reasons why the Olympics would not be wise vacation choice.

There's no doubt the U.S. television coverage of virtually every event provides more than sufficient access to view the events from one's living room. Big crowds are a pain. And there's no question it would be an expensive vacation - London is a big-bucks destination under the best of circumstances.

I'm a pretty dedicated sports fan, though.

Some of the emotional reasons I am fantasizing about considering it:

  • As REWahoo notes, I might see a world record. That's someone accomplishing something a feat beyond what all of the billions of other humans have accomplished. Ever.
  • London has some of the most iconic venues in sport. I'd get a kick out of seeing a tennis match at Wimbledon, a soccer match at Wembley Stadium.
  • The "all nations" representation is unique. Although a round-the-world trip would provide much greater cultural perspective, it would be fun to have a coffee shop conversation with a Swede in the morning, sit next to a Japanese couple at an event in the afternoon and enjoy a beer with a Bolivian in the evening.
  • There's an economy of scale, sort of. For example, I could have taken a 250-mile round trip this weekend to see Michael Phelps swim in Austin. The total cost for seeing the one star at one mid-level, US-only event would have been hundreds of dollars.
  • Some high-profile events - track and field for example - have very few meaningful events in the U.S. (at least beyond the collegiate level).
  • Which would you rather see, a regular season game or a playoff game? The Olympics are the highest level of competition for most of the sports represented.
  • It would be fun to chant "USA" when our athletes succeed.
  • I went to a very small university, but one that has sent a few competitors to the Olympics. I'd make it a point to go see any fellow alums competing.
  • It's a party. My hometown hosted a Super Bowl, and there was plenty for visitors to do and see beyond just the sporting event.
  • DD participated in one of the "minor" Olympic sports for a year at State U. I learned enough about the sport to appreciate the differences between casual participation and elite competition. I'd like to see the best athletes compete in person.
  • Being on vacation and being busy with events, sightseeing and the logistics of getting around would mean I would have fewer opportunities to be trapped into watching hours of women's gymnastics coverage (one of my least favorite events)
  • I had tickets to a dozen events at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, but didn't go because the dates didn't work with a wedding obligation. (My own.) No regrets on the choice I made, but I missed an opportunity.
  • The Olympics won't be coming to a venue any closer to my home in the foreseeable future.
  • I've seen Mardi Gras in new Orleans. If I ever go to Rio, it won't be during Carnaval and it won't be during the Olympics.
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:53 AM   #6
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Well, not having to watch women's gymnastics... priceless?

There has to be some way to time the trip to avoid the worst crush of the airlines & rail systems-- come a month before the opening ceremony and leave a few days before the closing one, or come a few days after the opening ceremony and stay for a month. Surely there are locals who'd be eager to rent out their houses for that long while they're vacationing anywhere else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Htown Harry View Post
[*]The "all nations" representation is unique. Although a round-the-world trip would provide much greater cultural perspective, it would be fun to have a coffee shop conversation with a Swede in the morning, sit next to a Japanese couple at an event in the afternoon and enjoy a beer with a Bolivian in the evening.
I take the "all-nations" aspect for granted around here. You'd think Houston would have plenty of it too even off Rice's campus. That turned out to be one of the big attractions of that school over Notre Dame, Carnegie-Mellon, & Renssalaer.

I've been reading a lot of Berkshire Hathaway lately, and the Olympics reminds me of the Berkshire annual meeting. (Of course Berkshire is about three orders of magnitude smaller than the Olympics.) Over the last 25 years the crowd has grown from a conference room to a convention center that still can't hold 40,000 without some "viewing compromises". The local infrastructure of airlines, hotels, restaurants, and vehicles is totally overwhelmed by the crowds, price-gouging is rampant, and almost every event on the weekend is an exercise in crowd control and standing in line. Even the long-time attendees have had problems with the logistics. There's been serious rumblings about taking the meeting to a place that can handle crowds (for example, Las Vegas) or putting it online.

So when is it Houston's turn to seek an Olympic torch?
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Old 01-16-2011, 07:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
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So when is it Houston's turn to seek an Olympic torch?
No chance. Houston is a perennial also-ran in the U.S. sweepstakes.

I love my adopted hometown, but tourist marketing is not our strong suit. One infamous chamber of commerce campaign to draw visitors used the slogan "Houston's Hot!". One year we put a mattress dealer in charge of the Olympic bid. Another time Mary Lou Retton's slightly wacky father-in-law led the charge.

Besides, on an objective basis the competition for 2020 looks tougher than ever:

Tulsa Businessmen Want City To Host 2020 Olympics - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Birmingham, Alabama, mayor wants Olympics in 2020 - al.com
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