Sochi to Adopt London 2012 Ballot System for 2014 Ticket Sales

July 13, 2011

Sochi 2014 president Dmitry Chernyshenko says Russia’s Winter Olympics organizers will sell tickets via the controversial ballot system adopted for London 2012 Olympics.
High demand meant that thousands of people missed out on tickets in the first and second round of ticket sales for next year’s Summer Games, but London’s experience has not deterred Sochi Olympics chiefs, who are shortly to launch the tender for the 2014 Games ticketing agent.

Chernyshenko said: “I believe we will use the best practices and the same approach in our ticketing campaign.”

Asked if that meant using a ballot system, he added: “We are certainly going to use it.”

Chernyshenko’s comments to a small group of reporters came at the IOC Session in Durban last week where he updated members on Sochi’s preparations.

He indicated that Sochi 2014 was more than halfway towards raising its US$2bn operating budget. Already US$1.1bn in sponsorship deals have been signed and the merchandising programme has only recently started, which will gain more revenue.

Chernyshenko also said that negotiations are underway for several more sponsorship deals, worth a total of US$200m.

He said: “Our goal is to try not to use public funds for the Games, to use only sponsors’ money. So far we are delivering that. We are really confident and we are solid with our financing.

“I think by the end of the year the majority of the contracts will be signed.”

He added that Sochi had already appointed several license holders in its merchandising programme including tableware and toys. Sales of the three 2014 Olympic Mascots – a hare, a polar bear and a leopard – are expected to generate huge revenues. 

National interest in the 2014 Games is growing, and initiatives are in place to engage Russians, meaning that record merchandising sales are expected. One such initiative is the torch relay which will visit more than 130 cities across all regions of Russia, making it the longest domestic relay in the history of the Olympics.

Chernyshenko also revealed that the first completed competition venue will be the 12,000-seat Bolshoi Ice Palace, venue for Olympic ice hockey, in the middle of 2012.

Commenting on construction of the 40,000-capacity main stadium, he said all stands were built and the metal structure of the roof was going up, adding that “they are absolutely on track.”

The venue for the opening and closing ceremonies in the coastal cluster is expected to be fully operational in August 2013.

“Sochi is the biggest construction site in the world now,” Chernyshenko said.

“We are running more than 150 construction sites. We are building more than 370km of new roads, 200km of railways and tunnels, tens of power stations.

“There are many things that already, two-and-a-half years to the Games, we can consider as a real tangible legacy not only for Sochi as a city but for all the country.

“We aim to finish all our Olympic infrastructure by the winter of this year because we plan to have two full test event seasons prior to the Games. We are well on track.”

Chernyshenko concluded: “We are delivering our commitments in full swing. In some areas we are ahead of our plans.”

With Formula One chiefs preparing to stage a Grand Prix in Sochi in autumn 2014, Olympics organisers are desperate to ensure there are no conflicts of interest which might disrupt Games construction works.

Chernyshenko said Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone and his designers were working in “full compliance” with building projects for the Games.