The demand for tickets to see the London 2012 Olympic Games “hit the roof” as sports fans scrambled to get seats in the final hours before today’s deadline.
The six-week window to apply for the 6.6 million tickets available to the public closes at at 1am tomorrow morning, South African time.
More tickets will be released closer to the two-week event, which kicks off on July 27 next year, but organisers have stressed that the initial release is the best chance to land a seat.
“Applications have been steady but at a high level, which is in line with operational expectations – but this week it has hit the roof,” said London 2012 chief executive Paul Deighton.
“We have got a massive number of orders, which is not surprising, because people have taken on board that it’s not a first-come, first-served system.
They have sat down with their families to decide what they want.
“In the last week we have been getting three or four times the applications above and beyond what was coming in for the previous five weeks – and the sky’s the limit based on the pattern that I am seeing at the moment.”
There are 650 sessions across 26 sports and 17 days to choose from. Punters will be limited to a maximum of 20 events each.
A random automated ballot kicks in for over-subscribed events.
The opening ceremony is almost certain to be over-subscribed.
Ticket prices range from £20 (more than R220) to £2 012 (about R2 240).
Applications will be processed between May and June this year.
Notifications, by email or letter, for successful applicants, will be sent in June.
London 2012 needs to get 25% of its revenue from ticket sales. It needs to raise £2 billion from the private sector to stage the games.