Payne: Close of 2012 Ticketing Second Phase Should be Commended

July 4, 2011

London 2012 has revealed that more than 750,000 Olympic tickets have been sold to nearly 150,000 successful applicants in the “second chance” sales round which closed yesterday, July 3.

The start of the second of ticket sales began on June 24 on a first-come, first-served basis, and was open exclusively to applicants who did not receive any tickets in the first round sale which took place earlier this year.

According to Michael Payne, the former marketing director of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), London 2012 should be congratulated for the success of its ticketing programme, not criticised because it is oversubscribed.

Payne believes the huge criticism that London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe and his team have come in for over its ticketing strategy has been completely unjust and that it should be celebrated as the most successful in the 115-year history of the Games.

Payne stated: “I have been intimately involved with the ticketing programmes of some 14 Olympic Summer and Winter Games. As a former director of the International Olympic Committee, I helped oversee the design and development of these Olympic ticket programmes.

The international sports community and international media looks on at the London Olympic ticketing programme, with utter amazement and total disbelief. They have never before seen an Olympic Games sell out 23 out of 25 sports [not including football], never mind achieve this, with one year to go to the Games. This does not even normally happen by the time of the Closing Ceremony.

“Never before in the 115 year history of the Olympic Games has the world ever seen such a successful Olympic ticket programme – validating I believe the IOC’s original decision to bring the 2012 Olympics to  London  to ensure full stadia packed with knowledgeable, passionate fans.”

“Normally Organising Committees are criticised for empty stadia and building too large venues that then become white elephants. Let’s be fair, and recognise the tremendous and unprecedented success of the London 2012 ticketing programme – something Britain should be justly proud of.”

Thomas Cook is now the only place for large numbers of fans to obtain tickets to the London 2012 Olympic Games after the second application ballot closed. As a Tier Two sponsor of London 2012, the package holiday provider has a number of deals for various sports during next year’s Games, including athletics, gymnastics, volleyball and water polo.

Thomas Cook’s London 2012 Partnership managing director Stephen Vaughan said: “The day of LOCOG’s second chance sales saw our busiest day so far, with more web visitors and bookings than any other day since we began.

“Athletics is top of many people’s wish list as they look to experience the iconic Olympic Stadium – and we’re adding new Games Breaks all the time but they’re selling fast – on Friday afternoon, a release of 20 new packages sold out in 40 minutes.”