Archery among surprise hits as Olympic ticket deadline passes

LONDON 2012 organisers reported a huge surge in demand for Olympic tickets before last night’s deadline pinpointing archery, badminton, water polo and rhythmic gymnastics as the sports which had attracted surprising levels of interest.

Organisers predicted, despite a six-week application period, a late scramble, which last night saw the website crash under the weight of traffic forcing a one hour deadline extension, for tickets and Locog are increasingly confident they will hit their goal of bringing in 80 per cent of their total ticket revenue target of £500m by the end of the public ballot process.

But they have also conceded that the target may not be met until they have conducted further rounds of sales, which could involve going back to those who have failed to secure tickets for certain events and offering them alternatives.

“We have seen a real surge of applications over the bank holiday and into yesterday as the deadline approached,” said a London 2012 spokesperson.

“We have had applications across all sports – obviously some sessions have been extremely popular and those which are oversubscribed will go to ballot.”

There has also been some criticism of the prices, which range from £20 to £2,012. Organisers argue that 90 per cent of tickets are below £100 and point to special “pay your age”prices for children and reduced prices for senior citizens in some sessions.

“We looked at alternatives and determined that this was the fairest and most open way,” said Paul Deighton, chief executive of the London 2012 organising committee.

“I don’t think people have gone in for massive over-subscription, I think people are sensible to box themselves into a corner where they will end up with masses of tickets they don’t want and can’t afford.”