The London organising committee for the Olympic Games has confirmed it will be ticketing four test events in Summer 2011 starting with the Hadleigh Park International mountain bike tournament at the end of July.
Members of the public will be able to purchase tickets via Ticketmaster from May 26 as part of what Locog has branded as the ‘London Prepares’ series ahead of the London 2012 Olympics in July of next year.
In addition to Mountain Biking Locog will also ticketing the FIVB Beach Volleyball International at the Horse Guards Parade, an international invitational basketball tournament at the Basketball Arena and the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup at the BMX Track – all in August.
In contrast to the Games – where top tickets to some events are as much as £750 – the test event prices will range from just £5 to £35 but can only be purchased using a Visa card.
- FACTS AND FIGURES
42 – Events
26 – Venues
3 – ‘Clusters’
17 – International Federation events
6 – Events where Locog is not the event organiser
10,000 – Volunteers
8,000 – Athletes
50 – Countries
200,000 – Spectators
These events are included in the first ‘cluster’ of test events, which take place between May 2011 and September 2011 and will include events not organised by Locog and events that are not publicly ticketed.
Locog’s aim is to test the ‘field of play’ at venues (lane markings in the canoe sprint for example), its technology (scoring, timing and ticket scanning) and its team of volunteers and staff.
Paul Deighton, Locog chief executive, stressed that ‘London Prepares’ should not be seen as a day-by-day rehearsal of the Olympics but rather as an opportunity to see elite sport at the new Olympic venues.
“It’s a big lengthy programme of 42 events but what we’re not putting on is a ‘Mini Olympics’ as it won’t all happen over 19 days,” said Leighton.
“I think we’ve been very creative and pragmatic about how we test what we need to test but in a highly efficient and controlled way. A way that helps us feedback into our planning for the Games that doesn’t ever mean we take our eye off the ball getting ready.
“It will also give the public the chance to see some world class athletes in the UK at some of our new venues. In the events that we’re ticketing we’ll be able to test and learn from the behaviour of the spectators. We’ll be watching them just as they’ll be watching us.
“These are effectively dress rehearsal opportunities for us but the public are going to see the rehearsal and not the dress. We won’t be branding our venues and they will look and feel very different at Games-time. So that’s a surprise we’ll be keeping for then.”
Leighton confirmed that the cost of the programme would be in the region of £40 million before stressing that Locog did not consider the series to be a commercial project, with ticket and sponsorship revenue expected to be fairly insignificant.
Locog ticketed test events in Summer 2011:
Mountain Bike: July 31 – Hadleigh Farm, Essex
Beach Volleyball: August 9-14 – Horse Guards Parade
Basketball: August 16-21 – Basketball Arena, Olympic Park
BMX: August 19-20 – BMX Track, Olympic Park