London 2012 organisers received 22 million requests from 1.9 million people when 6.6 million tickets originally went on sale to the public on March 15 2011. Only 700,000 people were successful (36%) in buying three million tickets in this first round. On June 24 the 1.2 million people who missed out on the first round of allocation were given an exclusive opportunity over 10 days to pick up 2.3 million unsold tickets.
There has been criticism of the ballot system and the prices. In the FT however, Michael Skapinker points out that the “sale of tickets to the UK public has been a near triumph”, contrary to the popular press reaction which has seen the system labelled as a “fiasco” and a “shambles”.
Chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games Lord Sebastian Coe, speaking to a 500 strong audience in Lausanne at the IMD Business School on Monday, also defended the ticketing system.
For a bird’s eye view on the potential upsides of London hosting the Olympic Games, see former England cricket player and Times journalist Ed Smith speaking to Chartwell on what sport can teach us about life.