Top-price ticket for London Olympics: 2,012 poundsLONDON (AP) — Ticket prices for the 2012 London Olympics will range from 20 pounds ($32) for standard events to a symbolic 2,012 pounds ($3,220) for the top-priced seats at the opening ceremony.
By: STEVE DOUGLAS,AP Sports Writer, Worthington Daily Globe
LONDON (AP) — Ticket prices for the 2012 London Olympics will range from 20 pounds ($32) for standard events to a symbolic 2,012 pounds ($3,220) for the top-priced seats at the opening ceremony.
Organizers announced the full range of ticket prices Friday for all 26 sports in an Olympic program that contains 649 sessions. A total of 8.8 million tickets will be available.
The cheapest ticket for the opening ceremony on July 27, 2012, will be $32.20, while the most expensive seat for the men's 100-meter final — considered the marquee sports event at the games — will be $1,160.
Ticket prices begin at $32 and there will be seats at that level for every sport. Two-thirds of the tickets are priced at $80 or less and 90 percent at $160 or less. Each ticket includes a travel card worth $12 that will be good for bus and train fare.
Prices will be much higher than they were at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where tickets ranged from $3.82 to $638. Fifty-eight percent of the 7 million tickets on sale in China cost $12.75 or less.
London tickets will go on sale in March. So far, 1.7 million people in Britain and the European Union have registered their interest. If an event is oversubscribed, they will be entered into a lottery.
"For probably two-thirds of the sessions, you'll get the tickets you ask for," said Paul Deighton, chief executive of the London organizing committee.
Organizers are making 75 percent of the tickets available to the public, while 25 percent are reserved for major sponsors, broadcasters, and Olympic committees and federations.
"I am confident we will have packed stadiums and venues with the range of tickets on offer meaning that people of all ages and budgets will have the chance to attend London 2012," Olympics minister Hugh Robertson said.
Deighton said prices had been increased for high-demand events to allow for more low-priced tickets for less popular events.
"Most people will say to me, 'You could have sold opening ceremony tickets for more than that, couldn't you?'" Deighton told The Associated Press. "It's one session out of 649, a once-in-a-lifetime ticket.
"And of course being able to sell the high-end ones is what helps us have a third of the tickets at 20 pounds or less. You can't have it both ways. We've had to figure out how to make it accessible at the lower end."
Organizers are trying to raise about $704 million from ticket sales, a quarter of their operating budget.
"We have three clear principles for our ticketing strategy — tickets need to be affordable and accessible to as many people as possible, tickets are an important revenue stream for us to fund the games, and our ticketing plans have the clear aim of filling our venues to the rafters," said Sebastian Coe, chairman of the organizing committee.
Deighton said organizers will be working hard to ensure there are no empty seats, which was the case at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and to a larger extent at the recent Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
London 2012 will have shorter competition sessions as well as a ticket reuse system, similar to that used at the Wimbledon tennis championships.
"We will be working closely with sponsors," Deighton said. "They understand (the problem) and we will work to identify with them tickets they do not use so we can get a system for them to swap them among themselves.
"The end result would be for them to have the tickets they want."
Organizers also unveiled Friday two promotions aimed at giving more school children a chance to attend the games.
A tax will be levied on prestige hospitality packages, allowing 100,000 tickets to be donated to schools in Britain.
Organizers also will implement a "pay your age" program, where people 16 and under will pay their age for a ticket. This will apply to about 200 non-premium sessions.