Over a million people who got nothing from the first ballot for Olympic tickets will have the chance, starting at 6am this Friday 24 June, to break that duck with first access to 2.3 million remaining tickets, including the 1.7 million that still have to be shifted for the football. 700,000 people who at least got a single set of tickets in round one will have a chance to add to their stash on 8 July from whatever is left. It is true that this time it’s first come, first served, but there are still factors that mean you really need to come up with a proper strategy before diving in.
- First of all, it’s not quite a strictly real-time sale. You won’t get automatic, immediate confirmation of your purchase as you might on a regular ticketing site. London 2012 Organisers say, “Applicants will be notified whether their request for tickets has been successful between 24 and 48 hours after the request is submitted. Payment will be taken after the 10 day process.” This implies to us that the ticket system needs a short time to ‘catch up’ with what’s still left at any given time, so it would seem there is a very small chance that you might apply for tickets that, two days later, you discover you had just missed out on. We’ll clarify this if we get further details.
- Secondly, it’s a one shot deal. Unlike the first ballot, once you’ve submitted your order you can’t recall it and then alter or add to it. And there’s no paper option this time.
- Thirdly, you can only apply for three sessions. We think many people haven’t realised this yet. In retrospect, a decent plan for the first ballot was to apply for all your 20 sessions to give yourself the best chance of coming up with at least one. This time, to make sure there is still something left if you can’t get online in the first five minutes, the shopping baskets are much smaller.
With these restrictions in mind, Londonist has produced this guide to help you sort out your ticket priorities. The list below focusses on what we consider to be the best value seats still available at each of the seating categories. We have seven choices for each of A to D and a couple for the much rarer E category. Here they are, in our order of preference in each category.
AT001 (£150) – Cycling gone. Swimming gone. Still some athletics left! If you’re going to go over budget, it might as well to be at the traditional heart of the Olympic action, but if breaking the bank for finals tickets is a step too far, why not go for one of the morning heats sessions? There are five still available, but for us AT001 is chockful of action, including Jessica Ennis in the heptathlon, and gives you the honour of being there at the inaugural session.
HO038 (£115) – there’s a few tickets left at this price for your only remaining chance to see a hockey medal session. This is the women’s bronze match, which world rankings suggest could well feature Great Britain against Germany, China or Australia.
WL006/9 (£125) – London’s 17 year old weighlifting sensation, Zoe Smith, took bronze in last year’s Commonwealth Games at 58kg (session WL006 at the Olympics), but won silver at 63kg (WL009) in last month’s world youth championships. An exciting session in prospect here, but which will it be?
WF008 (£95) – freestyle wrestling is not everyone’s cup of tea, but this is a great value chance to have a ringside seat as no fewer than three sets of medals are decided.
RO003 (£95) – seats (presumably) by the finish line out at Windsor for seven sets of rowing heats including the ever popular mens fours, or gamble on RO004 with nine events including semi finals.
TK007 (£60) – there are precious few taekwondo tickets left at all and these are the only ones at ringside, for a round of 16 heats.
VO039 (£115) -the women’s bronze match is your only remaining chance to watch volleyball medals won and lost from courtside. You’re likely to see two of Japan, Italy, Russia and China.
ED001/2 (£65) – these team dressage sessions offer the only equestrian seats left at all. Category A is also available, but involves a price leap to £95
AT008 (£95) – This athletics session looks fantasic value as it has good availability and offers the chance to see GB contenders Andy Turner in the high hurdles and Phillips Idowu (Twitter permitting) in the triple jump along with good ol’ Usain Bolt and company in the 200m.
FB038 (£75) – The men’s final is the only football match that has sold out, but the Wembley semi still has availability with these seats £50 less than category A in a stadium with all round fantastic views.
FE016 (£65) – these are the only fencing medal tickets left at all and they are for the women’s team epée (pictured above), likely to be contested by Romania, Germany, South Korea and China.
WG004 (£55) – wrestling again, but this time Greco-Roman and once more three sets of medals decided in 150 minutes of action.
TT011 (£55) – good value for the best table tennis singles tickets still available. These are for the women’s semi-finals.
TK001/04/07/10 (£45) – these four sessions offer the cheapest taekwondo tickets left
AT006 (£65) – these are the cheapest athletics tickets available. You’ll see heats for five events over two and a half hours with possible British challenges from European Indoor silver medallist Tiffany Porter in the 100m hurdles and, in the 1500m, both world silver medallist Lisa Dobriskey and Charlene Thomas, surprise winner at last weekend’s televised European Team Championship, not to mention European outdoor finalist Michael Rimmer in the 800m.
BK001 (£35) – get into the Olympic Park on day 1 of the games AND watch some basketball! Concession tickets are also available for this session.
CF003/4 (£35) – Four canoe sprint golds in each session down at Windsor! The only dampener is that the crews will likely have gone past you some way before the finish line.
SY004 (£50) – one for the connoisseur, perhaps, but the synchronised swimming team technical session offers the equal cheapest entrance to the Aquatics centre for the only sport based there with tickets still available.
TT025 (£35) – good value seats for the women’s team table tennis semi-finals
AR009 (£30) – the cheapest way into Lords to watch the archery in this historic setting. You’ll see four elimination rounds.
RO003 (£50) – the cheapest rowing seats, with good availability to watch seven events including, as above, the men’s fours.
WL009 (£45) – a great weightlifting choice IF Zoe Smith competes at 63kg…
BV006 (£40) – the cheapest tickets to take in the spectacle of beach volleyball on Horseguards Parade.
HO003 (£20) – these women’s group matches offer the cheapest hockey, with entry to the Olympic Park, on the first weekend.
BK015/019 (£20) – these are the cheapest basketball tickets still available, including, once again, access to the Olympic Park. Concessions are even available at BK019.
WF002/4 (£20) – a bargain to watch two women’s freestyle wrestling gold medals decided!
BX021 (£25) – the cheapest seats for men’s boxing quarter finals
HB038/9 (£20) – a great price to watch top handball, either for a men’s quarter or a women’s semi-final, again on the main Park.
VO041 (£40) – in the rafters at Earls Court, but you’ll see the men’s volleyball bronze medal decider, possibly featuring the USA or Italy.
BV030 (£45) – the cheapest seats for a beach volleyball quarter final session. This one features two men’s matches.
Picture of the women’s epée world cup from 2005 via Kashmera’s Flickr stream.