Lisa Markwell: Why buying tickets is
the craziest Olympic sport of all

So I needn't have panicked and bought first-round,

back-row seats for the table tennis

Share

Just 64 days to go. Sixty-four days till the Olympic Games are over, as the already-old joke goes. You can see that fatigue has set in among Londoners, in their weary tread on the Underground staircase (while the escalator undergoes "essential maintenance for the Games"). Also, there appears to be competitive holiday booking – who can get away farther, for longer, during the London 2012 fortnight. (The grumpiness does not extend to the Paralympics.)

No doubt for many, the early-onset ennui will be replaced with a moderate level of enthusiasm once the Games begin, when it will be permissible to sit in front of the telly all day drinking on-offer supermarket beer and perving over Tom Daley and Victoria Pendleton. And we will, won't we, be sitting on the sofa? Most of us aren't going to any events BECAUSE WE DIDN'T GET TICKETS.

But I must wipe away the spittle-flecked fury I've been cultivating for one moment, the fury I felt when once, twice, and almost three times I failed to purchase tickets for London 2012. It turns out that I needn't have panicked and bought crappy back-row first-round rubbish seats for the table tennis. Today, another slew of 43,000 tickets go on sale in a last-ever, must-have, honest-guv, you-can-trust-us development.

And unlike all the other convoluted systems designed to make us carve our own eyeballs out with our Visa cards (because only Visa cards are accepted), this will be a straightforward first-come, first-served sale. There's just the one problem: pretty much anyone with a passing interest in the Olympics has bought their tickets and doesn't have any money left for more. Or they've spent their money on a darling little gîte in France instead. Or on a hundred M&S chocolate salted caramel éclairs (trust me, they're worth it). The opening and closing ceremony and six sports available range in price from £20 to £995, but most are – imagine my surprise – at the upper end of that scale.

The real shock news is that the beach volleyball hasn't sold out, despite every man I meet rubbing his thighs and huh-huhing whenever it's mentioned. Perhaps they took my advice and sated their desire to see scantily clad girls by purchasing a jazz mag.

The Sports Minister, Hugh Robertson, admitted yesterday that he expects to "get some stick" when the truth about who was allocated what, ticket-wise, is made public after the Games. Relax, Hugh baby. It sounds like there will be quite a few more last-chance opportunities for tickets, if we want them, before 27 July. Anyone with cash to burn, a strong pair of binoculars and an ardent desire to see Fiji play football has nothing to complain about.

twitter.com/@lisamarkwell

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Ashdown Group: Part-time Payroll Officer - Yorkshire - Professional Services

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful professional services firm is lo...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Nicola Sturgeon could have considerable influence over David Cameron in a hung parliament  

General Election 2015: What if Cameron were to end up in hock to the SNP?

Steve Richards
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before