Organisers of the Paralympics have revealed that there has been an unprecedented rush for tickets, leading to queues forming outside ticket offices as sports fans attempt to secure seats at their preferred event.
In fact, with three weeks to go until the official start, events including athletics, swimming and cycling have sold out entirely, with 1.4 million people having snapped up tickets already. This beats previous Paralympic cities total ticket sales by quite some way, with 1.2 million sold in Sydney and only 850,000 at the last Athens event.
The only city to have sold more Paralympics tickets than London so far is Beijing, but officials from Locog say they are optimistic that the 1.8 million record could be beaten by London spectators by the time the Games have begun.
Hopefully, the boost in revenue for the Paralympics will see commercial property stadiums packed out, and turn the spotlight onto lesser known Paralympic events such as wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball.
Chief executive of the British Paralympic Association, Tim Hollingsworth, stated his joy at the ever rising numbers of tickets being sold, saying that performing in front of thousands of people in packed stadiums will provide a boost to competing Paralympians.
He continued; “Since the start of the Olympics, Games fever has hit the country and we have seen a noticeable rise in the number of enquiries we are receiving.
“Ticket sales have so far been stronger than for any other Paralympics. We want the stadia to be packed to the rafters with British supporters.
“I know our athletes can’t wait to compete in front of what looks set to be the biggest crowds ever at a Paralympic Games.”
Many sports fans wishing to take part in the hubbub surrounding London 2012, but who were unable to pick up tickets for the Olympic events, are turning to the Paralympics as their way of being a part of the action. This allows them to both witness the action live from the newly built London stadiums, and also to cheer on British athletes competing for medals. With the atmosphere electric in London as Britain’s medals tally continues to rise, the country is ready to back Team GB in the Paralympics too, it seems.
Director of Communications at the International Paralympics Committee, Craig Spence, revealed that traffic to the organisation’s website has increased by a staggering 200 per cent since the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games last month.
He said; “People have seen the packed stadia and the special atmosphere that has been created in London and they want to be a part of it.”
The Olympic Games themselves have proven to be something of a success story, with none of the predicted public transport meltdowns or security issues predicted having materialised in or around the commercial properties affiliated with London 2012. Additionally, the remaining tickets for events continue to sell quickly, with Locog announcing that, during June and July alone, over 200,000 tickets were sold.
Currently, 900,000 tickets to various Olympic events remain available for purchase, but Locog expect most of these to sell out within the next couple of weeks.
Yet many fans have gone an extra step in securing their Olympics tickets, with queues forming at 4am earlier this week outside Club France – the French Olympic committee’s makeshift London office.
With the Eurozone crisis still looming large over much of Europe, foreign Olympics committees are often finding themselves with unwanted tickets to high profile events including athletics events such as the men’s 110m hurdles. As such, Club France put their remaining tickets up for sale, with eager spectators paying up to £477 for seats in the athletics stadium.
A spokesman for Locog said; “The Olympic Games have shown us that the UK has taken the Games to heart and we are confident this will continue with the Paralympics.”
Do you have plans to visit a London stadium to view any Olympic or Paralympic events? Would you settle for tickets to any remaining Olympic or Paralympic events, or do you think spectators should have been allowed to choose specific events they would like to see from the start?
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