Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Olympics Chiefs 'Should Reveal Odds for Getting Tickets to Major Events'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Olympics Chiefs 'Should Reveal Odds for Getting Tickets to Major Events'

Article excerpt

Byline: Matthew Beard Sports News Correspondent

BRITAIN'S leading consumer group said today that Olympics chiefs were keeping people in the dark about their chances of getting tickets for highdemand events at London 2012.

The warning from Which? comes as Britain's biggest ticket sale reaches a critical stage tomorrow when Games chiefs begin to take payments from 1.8 million applicants.

The campaign group urged organiser Locog to provide more detail on the odds in the computer-run ticket lottery, particularly for events such as swimming, cycling and athletics finals. Which? is calling for information on the number of tickets and level of demand per session and for a seating plan to be published so buyers know what they are getting for their money.

Locog has declined to disclose the information amid concerns that at least half the tickets to top events have been reserved for VIPs.

Games chiefs are braced for criticism tomorrow when they start to charge bank accounts and credit cards up to six weeks before telling customers which, if any, tickets they have won.

Matthew Bath, technology editor of Which?, said: "The Games are supposed to be universal and accessible but there is an odd lack of information and clarity on the chances of applicants winning."

Games chiefs reported strong demand after the six-week ticket sale closed, with 1.8 million people making 20 million applications for the 6.6 million tickets on general sale.

Demand exceeds supply in about half the 650 sport sessions, and where that happens tickets will be allocated after a computerised lottery. Payments will be taken over a four-week period from tomorrow although Locog will not inform applicants on their allocations until next month.

They say that providing more information to applicants at this stage would be too time-consuming.

Organisers of the Athens and Beijing Games sold tickets though a ballot but informed applicants of their allocation before taking payments. …

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