Olympic Games: No such thing as free seat in Salt Lake City

ALREADY ROUNDLY criticised for their over-zealous generosity, the Salt Lake Olympics Committee have now said there will be no free tickets available for the 2002 Winter Games. Prime seats for speed skating events will cost up to pounds 106, ski-jumping at the Utah Winter Sports Park will set spectators back between pounds 66 and pounds 115, and seats for the ice hockey final will cost up to pounds 260.

The SLOC chief operating officer, Fraser Bullock, said on Thursday that the goal was to make the most money possible on the popular events while keeping cheap seats available at as many venues as possible. The aim is to bring in pounds 110m in ticket revenue. There are some bargains to be had, however: a pounds 21 ticket will get fans in to see bobsled, luge, curling, figure skating or Alpine skiing, while Nordic skiing prices start at pounds 18.

Those savings may well be offset by budget-busting prices for the opening and closing ceremonies. The numbers have not been set but are likely to fall somewhere between next summer's games in Sydney - where ceremony tickets will cost pounds 590 - and the 1996 ceremonies in Atlanta, pounds 455 at today's prices.

"We do know that we're going to be less than Sydney. We're not going to go higher than that," Bullock said. But entrance to some sporting events may end up costing even more, because the SLOC plans to put the first 86,600 seats - 10 percent of all public tickets - up for auction on the Internet. With bids starting at the face value of the tickets, expect prices to soar.

Rather than an attempt to gouge spectators, SLOC officials say, the move is an attempt to foil ticket touts, who pushed prices for the Winter Olympics in Nagano and Lillehammer up by as much as 10 times face value. SLOC hopes to have its auction online next August.

"We know those tickets are going to be sold on the Internet anyway," Bullock said. "So it might as well be by us."

Another 20 per cent of tickets will be allocated to Utah residents, who will get two or three months to buy them with priority seating. The remaining public tickets will be sold through a lottery similar to the one operated for the Atlanta Games, through the Internet and by mail.

Olympic sponsors will pay for their own tickets, but will get first pick of seating and will take about 13 per cent of the tickets. In a new experiment, SLOC hopes sponsors will agree to donate any unused seats to Utah youngsters. In Atlanta, those last-minute drop-out tickets were resold and the proceeds split between the committee and the sponsors.

Beyond the public seats, SLOC calculates the media will take up 243,233 seats. Participating athletes, the International Olympic Committee, international sports federations and other members of the "Olympic family" will get another 66,000 seats, trimmed down by about a third from SLOC's original estimate.

SLOC plans to present its ticket structure to the IOC in Greece on 4 October, and hopes to have IOC approval for the plan by the end of the year.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones