Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Just the tickets

So the Olympics tickets went back on sale yesterday to residents of the European Union with the news that of the total 5.3 million tickets (3 million for the public and 2.3 million for International Olympic Committee officials, sponsors and others) only 1.83 million had been sold so far.

Clearly word got around, because having made my online 'shopping list' for some tickets on the very swanky site last night, the website couldn't let you go to the check out because of the high demand. They've done this thing where once you go through to the check out you get three minutes to complete the order or those tickets get released and you have to start again. Problem was it kept telling you your time had run out before the order page even came up. After about an hour they replaced that with an internal error message page saying demand was too high, but it still couldn't get through.

So, got up bright and breezy this morning and made it through to the check out first time. At which point - with three minutes remaining to get the order in - we discover that the only credit card they're accepting is Visa, presumably because they're a sponsor, which seems very bizarre. The Euro2004 football tournament is sponsored by MasterCard and they make it clear that that's the preferred card, but you can still use Visa and others. So, being as I don't have a Visa I had to holler for my girlfriend to bring hers in and the application went through. Then we had a bit of a panic that as the order wasn't in her name but the card was we might have a problem so we rang the Olympics Tickets Customer Service number in Greece, where after some initial doubt they assured us that it would definitely be fine. Let's hope so.

We already had tickets for football, tennis and track and field and we bought some more football, badminton, beach volley, volleyball, basketball (amazingly there were still tickets left for a session in which both Greece and the USA play matches) and archery (ten euros a ticket to get to see one of the events happening in the old 1896 Olympic Stadium). It's a very easy to navigate website and there do seem to be tickets available for most events - quite reasonably priced too (most around 20 Euros), until you get to the finals.

Feel quite excited now. Really loooking forward to seeing so many different sports. If you include cycling (no tickets needed for the races around Athens on Sunday Aug 14) and hockey (we're waiting for the fixtures so that we can see GB play) we're going to see nine different events! Can't wait.


-A. said...

The 'Visa only' rule applied in Sydney last time, and it is the most bizarre and frustrating policy. It is a sign of real arrogance on behalf of the IOC, as well as the exploitation of a monopoly, that they can impose such a silly rule. Still, I hope you enjoy the events you get to see.

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