Olympics: Unlucky punters get second chance at 2012 tickets

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The Independent Online

The 1.2 million people who missed out on London 2012 Olympics tickets will get first chance to land a seat when the second round gets under way on June 24, organisers said Friday.

Three million tickets were sold in the first round which ran from March 15 to April 26, but of the 1.9 million people who applied, just 700,000 were successful.

However, the disappointed 1.2 million applicants will get an exclusive 10-day window in the next round, from 0500 GMT on June 24 until 1700 GMT on July 3, but the process this time is first come first served.

The remaining tickets will then be offered to first round winners, who can buy some extra seats from 0500 GMT on July 8 to 1700 GMT on July 17.

In total, 2.3 million tickets are up for grabs over the split second round. Nearly three quarters of them - 1.7 million - are for the football tournaments, which are being held in major stadiums across Britain.

"We recognise that the massive demand for tickets has meant that many sports fans were disappointed not to receive tickets in the initial application," London Games chief Sebastian Coe said.

"That's why we are prioritising them specifically in the second round, and giving them the first choice of tickets available.

"There are over two million Olympic tickets on offer at a wide range of prices and our objective is to get these into the hands of as many of the original applicants to the Games as possible."

The remaining tickets are for 310 sessions, including 44 medal events. The other 335 sessions have sold all the available seats.

There are no tickets left for the opening and closing ceremonies, the swimming, gymnastics, diving, track cycling, tennis and badminton, among others.

Besides the football, plenty of tickets remain for the boxing, judo, hockey, handball and volleyball.

Availability is low for events including athletics, rowing, table tennis and the basketball finals.

Some commentators believe the disappointment engendered by the first round could see organisers struggle to drum up enthusiasm for round two.

Furthermore, many of the cheapest tickets, which started at £20 ($32.40, 22.60 euros), have been sold, with remaining seats leaning towards the more expensive price brackets.

The athletics has one session left at £65, four at £95, with other sessions available from £150 up to £725.

In the first round, 1.9 million people put in 22.5 million ticket requests. More than 1,500 ballots were required to sell three million tickets to 700,000 lucky applicants.

On average, they scooped between four and five tickets, spending £275 on seats.

More than two million ticket requests were received for the opening ceremony, and more than five million for the athletics - including more than a million for the men's 100 metres final.

London Games chief executive Paul Deighton said many venues did not have a precise complete seating plan as broadcasting positions are being finalised, so a batch of contingency seats would become available.

"As soon as we are able to release these seats, we will, and seats for some of the most popular sports and sessions, and the ceremonies, will be available again next year," he said.

Any tickets remaining after the second round - organisers believe it will be more than a million - will begin to be sold from December 2011 up until the Games begin.