Start saving now: London 2012 unveils ticket prices

Track cycling fans hoping to view Beijing repeat first-hand will need to cough up as much as £325

by Simon_MacMichael   October 15, 2010  

London 2012 Velodrome impression (picture credit - London 2012).jpg

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 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

Mountain Bike
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.”

21 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Well, good luck to them.

Anyone envisage a CWG like emptiness to the stadia?

"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

John_the_Monkey's picture

posted by John_the_Monkey [422 posts]
15th October 2010 - 13:47


It'll be much better on the telly with that nice Huw Porter and Chris Boardman anyway Plain Face

Darned if I do…

Mr Sock's picture

posted by Mr Sock [152 posts]
15th October 2010 - 13:56


Hmmm, not sure "the people" will be able to afford many of these. Looks like it will be "the corporates" games after all Surprise

Bromley Biker

posted by Neil Philpott [11 posts]
15th October 2010 - 14:02


Adding on the costs from getting to London and trying to find somewhere to stay will make it eye-wateringly expensive. Looks like the best option is to stay at home and watch TV. Even the MTB DH World Cup at Nevis Range was £18 for the finals day including trips in the gondola - with free parking, bus transport.

I doubt that transport will be free for the Olympics, never mind the parking.

vsmith1's picture

posted by vsmith1 [57 posts]
15th October 2010 - 14:08


I think several friends may well be told they are putting up with Holly and me for a few weeks in 2012, Ive volunteered for the games and if I manage to get the cheaper tickets I will go - no way can I afford the top rack, it will be full of city boys and girls.

not all carbon is the same.

Jon Burrage's picture

posted by Jon Burrage [1081 posts]
15th October 2010 - 14:11


Isn't the problem at Olympics events lack of spectators as opposed to people fighting over seats? Except for the "big" events.

I live in the Docklands area. This only reinforces my plans that come the Olympics, I will rent out my flat at an extortionate price, head out to Spain and watch the odd event on Sky.

I think the fact that they are charging so much for tickets is unethical and grossly unfair to the ordinary man in the street - and children. All Brits should be given either reduced price tickets, or freebies, especially for the children, who will get excited about the Olympics.

Because of the high price of tickets, it will inevitably become a Corporate style event which is not what the Olympics is supposed to be about. How very disappointing that Coe and Boris et al. have sold the event as for the people, yet it will become an event for people who have money like Wimbledon, Ascot etc.


posted by londonplayer [671 posts]
15th October 2010 - 14:33


Still seem a little pricey - add the travel costs from non-London parts of the UK and it really starts to look expensive. The Pay-Your-Age idea appears good on the face of it, but why not extend it to 18 ? That way, you would encourage sixth-formers as well. Too many youngsters of that age seem to be giving up sport so if they could have their enthusiasm rekindled, maybe they would participate again.

Cycling - not just a pastime or sport - free your soul on the open road.

timbola's picture

posted by timbola [210 posts]
15th October 2010 - 14:49


Hardly surprising but still galling. I had no intention of going and have to admit to being very cynical about the whole thing. From loss of existing facilities, crap "legacy" facilities, MTB races being in Essex rather than a proper venue cos of transport considerations, distance from the olympic venue (unlike the Isle of Wight which is next door to London's east end). I for one really wish "we" hadn't got the Games, we should have sold it to the French after we won.

And is it just me or is it time that the Commonwealth Games were knocked on the head? Did the people of India get any benefit from these games? The World Cup - how will the ordinary citizens of South Africa benefit from the event?

bikeandy61's picture

posted by bikeandy61 [391 posts]
15th October 2010 - 14:50


@ londonplayer - spot on

posted by Pickypong [55 posts]
15th October 2010 - 14:50


The ticket prices don't seem to have worried the couple in the picture who are happily discussing the programme instead of watching the team pursuit... and is it just me, or has Team GB somehow managed to get two teams into the race?

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [8253 posts]
15th October 2010 - 15:01


I dunno - millions of tickets at £20 each ... I live in London, and I'll be taking off both weeks to enjoy the spectacle. It's likely to be the biggest event that'll ever happen on my doorstep, and I'm not going to miss it over some vague concerns over pricing: there'll be dozens of things that will be free - marathons, time trials, sailing - and I think it'll be great just for the atmosphere.

Londonplayer, tbh, just sounds like a curmudgeonly git. £50+ is a lot for a ticket, but what do people pay every week to see Premiership matches? or the opera? Or an England game? We can't pay for the Olympics to happen with whining - they need cash from somewhere.

(Apologies for the rant)

timlennon's picture

posted by timlennon [229 posts]
15th October 2010 - 15:07


Plenty of people have been priced out of watching premiership football too though Tim, while plenty more were never priced in to the opera… and don't get me started about West Ham moving to a stadium with a running track around the pitch. Gah!

I agree though, there'll be plenty of free stuff to see, and free cycling too - most of the road race and the TT.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4147 posts]
15th October 2010 - 15:14


Very true, Tony - are you a Hammer, then? Can't say I'm too sure about the ground, but am liking the idea of the possible increase in revenue.

I do agree that the Olympic body needs to make maximum effort to fill the stadia and give everyone a chance to watch, and I'm hopeful they'll find ways to make the whole event as accessible as possible, but some people seem to think you can stage billions of pounds worth of Olympic games and just turn up for nothing!

timlennon's picture

posted by timlennon [229 posts]
15th October 2010 - 16:08


It's going to be a pricey event for the best seats. If you want to have a full, interactive exploration of the prices, and see how much your favourite event is going to cost you, check out this guide.

(BTW - hi Simon - must chat soon!)


posted by acotgreave [1 posts]
15th October 2010 - 16:11


Yes, Tim I'm a hammer - your feelings on the ground are the same as mine. I'm excited by West Ham having the chance to fill a 60,000 capacity ground - which I think they probably can, it's just a shame the view won't be a patch on the old Boleyn Ground or possibly not even the newer messed around with version.

Being from that part of the world it's actually the idea of the legacy that excites me more than the thought of the games themselves… I must be getting old Sad

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4147 posts]
15th October 2010 - 16:16


Well if the road races come to Box Hill as expected then I'll be going there and nowhere else, nice and local for Guildford. They'll also be on when I take my annual two week break so no need to skip off work; Oh, I forgot, I'm self-employed Big Grin

Did Nightrider 2013 and 2014 for Parkinson's UK. Might just have one last go in 2015.

jova54's picture

posted by jova54 [627 posts]
15th October 2010 - 16:25


Tony, you must be getting old - the out of stadium stuff will be on far more exciting roads than the Docklands they did for the Tour of Britain, and I'm probably far too optimistic in hoping to be able to cycle everywhere safely with my two little girls by then!

(We still get quite good atmosphere at the Boleyn, with season tickets in the cheapest and rowdiest section ... Mind, I've only managed one game this season with one 2yr old, and one 5mth old.)

timlennon's picture

posted by timlennon [229 posts]
15th October 2010 - 16:32


timlennon wrote:
Mind, I've only managed one game this season with one 2yr old, and one 5mth old.)

Are those the infamous West Ham Under Fives that used to terrorise fans around the country?


Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [8253 posts]
15th October 2010 - 16:51


Simon_MacMichael wrote:

Are those the infamous West Ham Under Fives that used to terrorise fans around the country?


Haha. They'll be an awful lot older before I ever take them to our stand! My friend always moves to the 'family' stands above when he takes his two (7 and 9 years old).

timlennon's picture

posted by timlennon [229 posts]
15th October 2010 - 16:55


Only one word for the majority of those prices......"obscene" Sad

I suppose people will buy them but come the day if we see pictures of poorly attended venues it'll come as no surprise!

.....And as for the road events no doubt most people will view out on the course.

Of course the economy could have recovered so well by then that tickets will be selling for 10x that on the black market Big Grin

posted by BikerBob [115 posts]
15th October 2010 - 18:08


On the telly in HD for me.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1356 posts]
17th October 2010 - 8:51