Bradley Wiggins' family misses out on Olympic Velodrome tickets - how did you get on?

Three-time gold medallist's family among thousands of disappointed fans as ballot results revelealed

by Simon_MacMichael   June 1, 2011  

London 2012 Velodrome track.jpg

Sports fans across Britain are this morning discovering what tickets, if any, they have secured in the ballot for seats at the London 2012 Olympic Games, and from what we’ve seen on Twitter, there are a lot of disappointed cycling fans out there – not least the family of Bradley Wiggins, who tweeted that his wife and children will have to resort to watching his bid to secure a fourth gold medal on TV.

Only rowers Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent, fellow cyclist Chris Hoy and pre-war swimmer and water polo player Paulo Radmilovic have won more gold medals than Wiggins, who should figure in the Great Britain team defending the team pursuit title it won at Beijing in 2008.

The Team Sky rider also won the individual pursuit gold there and at Athens four years earlier, although his hopes of completing a hat-trick on home soil in London were thwarted by the event being dropped from the Olympic programme.

Leaving aside the issue of why the country’s fifth most successful Olympian of all time should have to enter the public ballot to secure tickets for his nearest and dearest in the first place, huge demand from fans eager to see Great Britain's track cyclists attempt to repeat the Beijing gold rush has left most would-be spectators disappointed.

So, how did you get on? We’d love to hear that at least some fans have managed to get their hands on some of the coveted tickets for the events at the Olympic Velodrome.

If you missed out, how do you feel about the ticket application process, and do you think it could have been made fairer, perhaps by setting some tickets aside for those who are members of clubs affiliated to British Cycling rather than a free-for-all?

25 user comments

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I've got the best seat in the house: sat in front of the TV enjoying great close-ups and camera angles, plus all the slo-mo replays and, hopefully, expert on-the-spot analysis.

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posted by cavasta [193 posts]
1st June 2011 - 10:20

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I didn't apply for any tickets, didn't want any tickets, and wasn't disappointment to not receive any tickets. I will be cycling in the Alps for the entirely of the Olympics, staying in a chalet without a TV. I only wish I could opt out of all the pre-games hype and advertising that is already ramping up since the last major event for idiots, the royal wedding, finished.

Any event that costs billions of pounds to put on, yet does not involve putting a man on the surface of another planet, or solving some major problem faced by the human race, and is in fact just a jumped-up school sports day, is too illogical for me to tolerate. I don't want to hear about it, I don't even want to to talk about how much I loath it. In fact I hearby resolve never to mention it again and will stop commenting in the middle of typing this sent...

posted by handlebarcam [527 posts]
1st June 2011 - 10:47

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the ballot means tons of people have signed up for whichever was the blessed credit card now, which is why it was this stupid ballot system. Sponsor repaid.

posted by a.jumper [679 posts]
1st June 2011 - 11:20

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Noooooooooo tickets for us, either. Crying If Wiggo's family wants to watch it at our place, they are most welcome ! I will be watching the Olympic Time Trial live, though - taking a car-full - supporting David Millar, of course Wink - hang on, sorry, that's in a parallel universe. Wish he was riding, though - when's his book coming out, by the way ?

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

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posted by timbola [203 posts]
1st June 2011 - 11:42

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Tickets very expensive so only put a punt on getting my family into seeing the mens sprints in the velodrome. No luck there I’m afraid.

Ticketing system seems very unfair as the wealthy can put a punt on swathes of tickets to guarantee at least one place. I hope they spread the tickets as evenly as possible among applicants in the ballot system, not that it matters much now.

posted by 2byte [13 posts]
1st June 2011 - 11:43

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I think the ticket process has been done in the only way possible. It avoids touts taking all the best tickets and selling them at vastly inflated prices and by not telling you what you've got until the money is out of your account it stops people from applying for hundreds of tickets then saying 'sorry, I can't afford all those, I'll just take the ones for the 100m final and cycling thanks'.

Sadly I didn't get any tickets either but what bothers me most is that for the main cycling events as little as 40% of the seats are actually going on sale to the public with the rest going to corporate sponsors and the 'olympic family'.

posted by drheaton [3429 posts]
1st June 2011 - 12:06

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handlebarcam wrote:
... I will be cycling in the Alps for the entirely of the Olympics, staying in a chalet without a TV. I only wish I could opt out of all the pre-games hype and advertising that is already ramping up ...

You can. Go and live in the Alps in a chalet without a TV.

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posted by hatchet harry [13 posts]
1st June 2011 - 12:25

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drheaton wrote:
It avoids touts taking all the best tickets and selling them at vastly inflated prices

It wont stop it though, as sure as eggs are eggs the touts will have a truck load of tickets, I've spoken to the touts where I work and they cant wait for the olympics and the pay day its going to bring.

Bear in mind that football teams have ballots for tickets months in advance and require credit cards and they have no problems getting their hands on those.

posted by farrell [1247 posts]
1st June 2011 - 13:44

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Once again we see that much like the World Cup all the tickets have gone to sponsers/avertisers and in general hangers on and spongers. Not the real fans that work their ass off to pay good money to see sport they love.

Load of pish...

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posted by CycleGringo [94 posts]
1st June 2011 - 14:14

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and they said FIFA was corrupt!!


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posted by antonio [923 posts]
1st June 2011 - 16:24

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Its all over-priced for tiny slots of racing anyway. So I decided just to go to the stuff that's free - Road race, TT, mountain biking, triathlon etc.

Having short arms and long pockets helps with those decisions!


posted by Michael5 [121 posts]
1st June 2011 - 17:05

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We didn't get any either Crying

Applied for quite a few too - about 1600 quids worth, not that we wanted that many. And it wasn't all high-profile stuff and finals either.

The annoying and disappointing thing to me is that my son, who is a pretty good swimmer, will not get the chance to see his sporting heroes in his hometown.

It should have been done on a preference basis so that once you got tickets for some events you had less chance of getting others, to spread them more evenly.

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posted by abudhabiChris [494 posts]
1st June 2011 - 17:44

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Nope, no tickets either, just will watch the free events.

posted by onlyonediane [159 posts]
1st June 2011 - 20:14

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Well I have a volunteer interview next week so might see something. Not the cycling though.

posted by 0liver [76 posts]
2nd June 2011 - 9:23

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I got one ticket out of 14 (hopefully one of the Triathlon days).
I though the process was ok. Just waiting for the second round in July.

posted by thereverent [295 posts]
2nd June 2011 - 13:07

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I got nothing at all. I applied for loads. Opening and closing events, athletics all sorts of others. I was hoping to take the kids to the event of a lifetime. They are only 7 and 5 and they would have remembered it for the rest of their lives. I am gutted. The games may as well be in China as we will now have to watch it on the TV. My 7 year old told his friends that his Dad was getting tickets. I am going to look like a real muppet now. Not for the first time I suppose!

Giant Rob.
King of the East Midlands

posted by Giant Rob [60 posts]
2nd June 2011 - 21:40

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Nothing and I applied for over 3 grand worth including some less popular sports, archery and badminton. Never thought I'd get the cycling but would have gambled more if I'd known how few I was likely to actually get. Not enough info on how many tickets at different price levels and didn't feel like spending £100 each for 4 of us on one event. Still, there are second chances and free events so will watch some things live. Olympics and FIFA have both been caught doing worse than this lottery but think there could have been more transparency. Wonder if a whistleblower will divulge how many tickets at different price bands there really were and if it changed due to the popularity of some events.

posted by Alan Tullett [1426 posts]
2nd June 2011 - 22:36

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Bet the Touts got plenty though. I hate them and all the "reselling partners"

posted by thefatcyclist [562 posts]
2nd June 2011 - 22:44

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i got one set of tickets from the 4 that we applied for.

we went for:
opening ceremony
some track cycling
mens 100m
some preliminary mens football

we got the football, which was all we were really expecing to. good value too, 2 games in a row at wembley for £23 per ticket including booking fee.


what are you talking about?

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posted by jezzzer [339 posts]
3rd June 2011 - 13:45

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We got nothing. We applied for loads of tickets, but only for the 'blue' flag events, i.e. heats with reduced price tickets for the kids. I was sure we'd at least get some for the men's hockey heats, but no!
It makes me wonder how many of these cheap seats are actually available. I don't know anyone who managed to get a child ticket for anything. I suspect there were only a very few of them available.

The main problem with this lottery, is that at no point do they explain the difference between the different price points, nor how many of each they had to sell. Does anyone know what the difference between the £20 and the $2012 priced tickets is?

I wouldn't mind so much, but I cycle past the olympic park every day on my way to work, and was getting rather excited about the whole thing.

posted by AleT [51 posts]
3rd June 2011 - 15:03

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Very disappointed not to get any tickets for any of the events applied for, particularly the cycling. Ridiculous though that Wiggins and other top cyclists don't have some tickets reserved for them.

posted by paulfg42 [368 posts]
3rd June 2011 - 19:17

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Don't know what you're all moaning about! I bought 10 tickets to the men's cycle road race from a very nice bloke in the pub. Sepp something or other...Prime spot on Box Hill as well...

But seriously it looks like a bit of a mess. I thought it was hilarious that Boris popped up as one of the 'disappointed'. What's the betting that he and his family ( and mistresses) will suddenly be offered tickets by banker mates with corporate tickets to spare?

Collossal waste of cash of course. Look at the problem Greece has. I read also that the main sponsors we are going to gave to endure such as Cocacola and Nike have clubbed together to offer just 10% of the bill. The rest funded by us - and we can't get in!

Silly me. You're probably right....

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posted by MercuryOne [1011 posts]
3rd June 2011 - 19:24

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For the last couple of years I have attended and supported the track cycling in Manchester Velodrome. I have always managed to get great seats at a great price via British Cycling and unfortunately on manay occasions there where many empty seats.

Now its the Olympics, the tickets are ridiculously expensive, the venue is in London ( not excatly central in the UK ) and cycling fans found it almost impossible to get tickets.

Why didn't established cycling clubs get a ticket allocation - so the real cycling fans could attend? It will be sad when future track events are held in London and attendance is small. Big thanks for all Sky and BC did for the Manchester events - hope you come back!

Johnnycookie FLP>DNF>>DNS

posted by johnnycookie [28 posts]
6th June 2011 - 7:12

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So now it appears that contrary to the initial reports that 250,000 of the 1.8m who applied had missed out, it was actually 1 million people missed out and 800,000 who got tickets.

The people organising this are either incompetent or liars, possibly even incompetent liars.

I didn't believe the 250,000 figure because there were too many people who missed out. We didn't know anybody who actually received tickets.

Nor do I believe that 800,000 people were allocated 6.6m tickets. That would mean on average they received 8 tickets each, and in reality some people must have received many more than that.

Even if it is true, how do you defend as fair a system where fewer than half the people who applied didn't get anything and a minority got the entire allocation.

There's no clarity and no transparency. It stinks to high heaven. Pat McQuaid and Sepp Blatter couldn't have done a better job.

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posted by abudhabiChris [494 posts]
7th June 2011 - 5:00

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johnnycookie wrote:
Now its the Olympics, the tickets are ridiculously expensive, the venue is in London ( not excatly central in the UK ) and cycling fans found it almost impossible to get tickets.

I'm with you on the ticketing issue, but as for location, don't forget it's cities not countries that bid for the Olympics.

Birmingham bid in 1992, Manchester in 1996 and 2000, and on each occasion they were eliminated early on in the voting.

I suspect that if either had been the UK city bidding this time round, we'd be looking forward to Paris (or possibly Madrid) 2012 right now.

While LOCOG can get away with having the sailing events in Poole and the rowing just outside London at Dorney, there's no way the IOC would have let them stage the cycling events in Manchester, say.

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [7839 posts]
7th June 2011 - 9:19

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