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London 2012: Olympics tickets deadline expires

27 April 2011 10:45
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LONDON. April 27. KAZINFORM The deadline for buying Olympics tickets has expired, after organisers extended it by an hour due to a last-minute surge in demand.

The London 2012 website accepted sales until 0100 BST on Wednesday, pushing the time limit forward from the original 2359 BST Tuesday deadline.

According to BBC News, because of the large numbers of people trying to access tickets, the website came under severe strain from 2230 BST.

Managers denied it had crashed but said it had been slowed by demand.

In a statement the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (Locog) said it had still been processing applications, albeit more slowly.

There are 6.6 million tickets available in all, but about half will go to corporate and VIP guests.

Applications will be processed in May and June and those who have been successful will be notified by 24 June.

Organisers said people should ensure they had money in their account to pay for every event they have applied for.

Before tickets went on sale on 15 March, more than 2.5 million people had signed up to the official website.

'Massive surge'

Standard prices range from £20 to £2,012 - the top ticket for the opening ceremony - and oversubscribed events will be decided by a random ballot.

There has been criticism of the prices, the ballot system and the fact that money is taken from accounts before applicants know which events they have secured.

But organisers said for more than 200 sessions, children under 16 paid the same number of pounds as their age, and those over 60 were charged £16.

Chairman of London 2012 Lord Coe said there was a "massive surge" in ticket applications over the weekend and those people applying on the last day stood as good a chance as those who applied earlier.

Asking people to try for the "less obvious" sport events, he conceded that about half of the tickets for big events would be available for ordinary people.

He said: "Overall, 75% of the tickets there are for public application. That's the rough split. But... for some of the bigger events, that will come down."

There were 650 sessions across 26 sports and 17 days to choose from and people were limited to a maximum of 20 events each.

The most popular events, including the men's 100m final, had a limit of four tickets per person.

'Sky's the limit'

But it was not clear how many tickets have been sold as Olympics organisers refused to release data, said the BBC's sports editor, David Bond.

London 2012 chief executive Paul Deighton had urged applicants only to ask for as many tickets as they could afford to buy, even though they were not guaranteed to receive any.

Organisers will now begin matching demand with sessions.

They need to raise 25% of their revenue from ticket sales.

Applications for tickets for the Paralympic Games open on 9 September.

UK applicants for both Games were advised only to use the official 2012 website, which includes a service to check whether other ticketing sites are legitimate.

To read more see www.bbc.co.uk

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Zhanna Nurmaganbetova

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