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Breaking News on Extortionate London Olympics Ticket Prices

The London Olympics powers at be are deeply divided about the their ticket pricing structure and they could abandon all of the original ticket promises of low prices and charge as much as £3,000 for the premium events, such as the opening ceremony.

It has been leaked that intense discussions have occured surrounding having the best tickets for the Olympic opening ceremony sold at extortionately prices, but then offsetting that with a small amount of much cheaper tickets.

However, consultants of LOCOG have advised the board that £1,000 is the very most that the British public will tolorate.

“There are some very fruitful discussions going on right now about it all,” an Olympic source said.

“If we charge a lot for the premium events that means we can have cheaper tickets for other events, but there have been public statements that the tickets would be affordable and that is causing some disquiet.”

The politics of striking the right balance between the huge demand for the limited seats that are available for the opening ceremony at the London Olympics on July 27th 2012, and restricting the inevitable uproar from the British public is at the centre of the internal debate.

This issue also spills over into high demand events at the London Olympics that are held in limited space arenas such as the aquatics centre.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has previously argued that Olympic tickets should be widely affordable, especially locals in the surrounding London boroughs to the Olympic Park.

The London Olympics Organising Committee chairman, Sebastian Coe, is very mindful that he has promised cheap tickets to the British population since the 2005 bid success.

However, the Government, along with some internal LOCOG menbers, are aware that the London Olympic operating budget of £2.15 billion is already under extreme pressure, despite a determined focus on procuring goods and services during the Games at much lower rates.

The organisers still need to raise over £100 million in additional sponsor support and are hopeful of making £80 million from official merchandise sales alone.

But the ticketing revenue, which was originally forecast at £441 million, has to be increased in order to take into account the recent increase in VAT levels.

LOCOG have also increased the number of tickets available for the London Olympics to 10 million, largely by raising the number of Paralympic event tickets. However, they have backtracked on their original statements that half of the tickets for the Games would be priced at under £20.

The Olympic board has to sign-off the ticketing price structure next month in order that it can be presented to the International Olympic Committee for approval. LOCOG is planning to make the ticket prices public towards the end of October. The tickets will then become available to purchase around March 2011.

In the last few months, pre-registration for tickets has resulted in over 100,000 people expressing an interest in every sport, even events like handball and taekwondo.

Fuelling some of the demand for tickets is the European Union law requiring all of the EU nations to be eligible for the British public ticket ballots.

To ensure that all interest is not lost, it is strongly believed that there will be a very small number of cheap tickets for both the opening and closing Olympic ceremonies. This will ensure that LOCOG can promote the sale of the tickets as being within their previously outlined range.

So will we see London Olympic opening ceremondy tickets for as little as £50? Possibly….

Prices for tickets at previous Olympic Games opening ceremonies include:

Beijing 2008: Yuan 200-5,000 (£19-474)

Athens 2004: €50-950 (£41-£775)

Sydney 2000: $200-1500 (£115-863)

It’s going to be interesting to see what they decide. This may very well be the decision that shapes the London Olympics to be one of the best, or one of the worst, Olympic Games of recent times.

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