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

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

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £60,000

£25000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Care Workers Required - The London Borough of Bromley

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This homecare agency is based in Beckenh...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Polish minister Rafal Trazaskowski (second from right)  

Poland is open to dialogue but EU benefits restrictions are illegal and unfair

Rafal Trzaskowski
The report will embarrass the Home Secretary, Theresa May  

Surprise, surprise: tens of thousands of illegal immigrants have 'dropped off' the Home Office’s radar

Nigel Farage
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas