The 2012 ticket race - nearing the home straight… HEAT 1
First and foremost, a very Happy New Year to all readers - some of you more regular than others! The latter quarters of 2011 pulled me in various directions, hence it’s been a while since the last edition back in August.
As things have played out, I’ve now written what is a two-parter (or two heats as I’ve imaginatively monikered them), this being the first part. The second, comes on Sunday.
But enough filler. This coming Sunday (8/1) marks 200 days to the start of the London 2012 Olympic games, so nerves are getting evermore steeled for ticket hunters. The last few months has provided plenty of drama from the ATRs, and if yesterday’s events involving LOCOG and oversold Synchronised Swimming tickets are anything to go by there will be more to endure before July 27.
The lesson however is, for those hunting - do not give up hope. There are going to be plenty of opportunities ahead. But, you are going to have to work for them. As de Coubertin said, it’s all about the struggle…
RESELL - show and tell?
The much-awaited reseller platform, managed by LOCOG and Ticketmaster goes live at 0900 tomorrow (Friday, January 6). This will allow owners of tickets purchased through the official LOCOG channel in the UK to put unwanted tickets up for sale in the hope an eager buyer will snap them up.
Unlike portals such as Viagogo and StubHub no mark-ups will be allowed, so should you choose to sell your Category E Opening Ceremony ticket which cost you £20.12 - £20.12 is what you will get back, provided you have a buyer (incidentally, if anyone is selling a pair of Cat E Opening Ceremony, consider your hand bitten off… by me).
Little is known about how the front-end of the resell portal will look like from the point-of-view of the seller. It’s understood buyers will see tickets for sale as if they would at present; that is a browse and add-to-basket method - currently used for the live Paralympic and Football ticket sales.
The resale window is open for just four weeks. It’s anticipated that it will open again in late Spring.
The reality of all this? Resell hasn’t really been sold (pardon the pun) so there isn’t huge awareness of the scheme beyond aficionados. Viagogo’s mooted estimate of a million tickets going on sale look way off the mark. In reality, buyers should expect pricier tickets for a smattering of events to go up across the sale period. That’s not to say those desirable AT005s or ZC001s won’t appear - but savvy owners won’t be relinquishing them unless they are in a real bind.
It will be interesting to see if any global ATRs returned their tickets to LOCOG at the end of 2011 with the view of having them ‘resell‘ the tickets on their behalf. Some chatter suggests that sources of tickets could come from beyond Joe Public - and if the front-end system doesn’t reveal details of the individual reseller then who knows… It would seem unlikely however that LOCOG will put any of the intended tickets for their third sale in (ETA) April up for resale.
THE CURRENT STATE OF PLAY
Domestically, LOCOG are still offering Olympic Football tickets, and remaining Paralympic tickets. This sale is expected to be concluded on February 6.
The official package reseller in the UK, Thomas Cook, has seen most of its stock snapped-up in recent months. There are however, a number of package deals (for the Olympics and Paralympics) left for a variety of sports, and pockets.
Internationally, the ATR of Belgium - Suseia - has a small number of tickets left for Athletics, Boxing, Hockey and Volleyball among others. This is a living/breathing entity, so move quickly if you’re interested!
The ATR of France - Eventeam - has a number of tickets left for Football, Hockey, Shooting, Archery and Sailing among others.
The ATR of a number of approved European territories - CoSport - have tickets for many sports, including Table Tennis, Diving, Water Polo, Badminton and Handball. CoSport also have a number of Paralympic tickets available for sale through a separate, dedicated portal.
Germany’s Dertour are rumoured to be putting a number of tickets up for sale on/around January 25.
Spain have switched their ATR provider from Ariesta Sport to FNAC. If you live in Spain, you can visit a local FNAC branch who should be able to help in your pursuit of tickets. Several Britons have enjoyed success, but note there is no web portal - all face-to-face engagement!
eVenture Zone still have a number of tickets left for the Paralympics, including Athletics, Boccia and Football.
Other prominent territories such as Holland, Switzerland and Portugal have closed their doors for the time being, though they shouldn’t be discounted for future runs as we get closer to Games time.
Some of you may have heard about the OS Tracker, developed by Dutchman Kevin Plasmans.
Is it a very clever (and entirely safe) service, which sees you alerted the moment leading European ATRs put tickets up for sale on their websites. Many customers (including myself) have paid ridiculously low €9 fee and had brilliant intelligence to a variety of different tickets.
Kevin is also not shy in providing support and guidance post-sale, so well worth looking him up and gaining a helping hand in your ticket search.