London 2012 organisers have announced details of ticket prices for the Olympic Games, and the bad news is that if you’re planning on being at the Velodrome in person to see if Team GB’s track stars can repeat their Beijing gold rush, you’d best start saving now, with the best tickets in the house for the finals costing an eye-watering £325 and the cheapest giving you not so much as a penny’s change from a £50 note.
Tickets won’t go on sale until March 2011, although you can sign up now to register your interest here. Organisers LOCOG have clearly identified track cycling at the 6,000-seat Velodrome as one of the big potential spectator draws for the Games, although that £325 is far from the highest price being charged during the two and a half weeks of competition.
A glance at the full list of ticket prices reveals that the top-priced tickets for the opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford cost £2,012, which presumably appealed to them from a marketing point of view although £1,995 might work better from a consumer psychology perspective. Meanwhile, anyone hoping to catch the Beach Volleyball finals on Horse Guards Parade will have to find a minimum of £95.
The track competition runs from Thursday 2 to Tuesday 7 August, and the good news is that tickets for the qualifying sessions start at a more wallet-friendly £20, though even then they go up to £150 for the best positions. Tickets for the BMX preliminaries (Thursday 9 August – Friday 10 August) range from £20-£95, with the finals costing £20-£125, while there are just two prices for the mountain bike competition (Saturday 11 August – Sunday 12 August) - £20 and £45.
For the road race and time trial (Saturday 28 July – Wednesday 1 August), there are three tiers of pricing - £20, £40 and £60. Although details of the road race route are yet to be finalised, it’s expected to head out of Central London towards Box Hill for several laps before heading back into town. The route will be confirmed next year, but for now organisers have confirmed to road.cc that the tickets apply to the start/finish zone and that the rest of the route will be free to spectate.
The full list of ticket prices for the cycling events is as follows:
Olympic Park - BMX Circuit
Preliminary £95 £65 £55 £40 £20
Final £125 £75 £55 £45 £20
Hadleigh Farm, Essex
Final £45 £20
Road (Road Race)
£60 £40 £20
Road (Time Trial)
£60 £40 £20
Olympic Park - Velodrome
Preliminary £150 £95 £65 £40 £20
Final £325 £225 £150 £95 £50
Special pricing applies to all sessions other than the track finals for children and seniors. The list of ticket prices for all events states at the top that children aged 16 years old or younger at 27 July 2012 will pay their age for a ticket, while seniors aged 60 and over on the same date will pay £16. Confusingly, however, in a footnote it says that full details of these special ticket prices will be released in March 2011 when the tickets go on sale.
Some 100,000 tickets across all Olympic events will also be distributed free to schoolchildren in London and elsewhere in the UK under the the London 2012 Ticketshare scheme.
London 2012 Chair Seb Coe said: “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.
“When we won the right to stage the Games, we made a promise to inspire young people to choose sport and our ticket prices will get as many young people as possible to the Games. The 1.3 million tickets in the Pay Your Age scheme and the London 2012
Ticketshare scheme reflect this ambition, and the fact that we will offer 2.5 million tickets at £20 or under will also deliver this aim,” he added.
“We have one very clear message to the public. Sign up to our ticketing website to get all the information you will need over the next five months as we build up to the start of ticket sales in March next year.”
Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson commented: “Spectators are a vital part of every Olympic Games, providing the atmosphere that inspires athletes to perform. 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.
"London 2012 Ticketshare is also a fantastic initiative. Backed by our Olympic-style schools sport competition and the London 2012 ‘Get Set’ programme, schoolchildren from across the country will get a chance to experience the magic of the Games first hand and for free.”
Mayor of London Boris Johnson added: “One of the greatest legacies we can lever from the London Games is to see young people in the capital embrace the Olympic and Paralympic Values. We want these Games to motivate them towards sporting and academic achievement and there’s no better way than by watching the world’s best sports men and women competing at the highest level.
“Having invested so much I also want Londoners to have a real sense that these are their Games too,” he continued. “So it is right that, through the schemes aimed at youngsters, we can acknowledge their support by rewarding thousands of London kids with the unique opportunity to be part of this amazing sporting spectacle.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.