The London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has announced the launch of its long-awaited ticket exchange Web site, which will go live on January 6, 2012.
Ticket holders hoping to sell their unwanted tickets will be able to post them to the site from January 6 to February 3. Tickets may be sold only by the original purchaser, and they must be sold at face value.
Those who wish to return tickets purchased from the Games’ list of overseas “Authorized Ticket Resellers” must contact those sellers directly.
Any tickets which go unsold by February 3 will be returned to the ticket holder’s account, with another opportunity for resale beginning in April.
Tickets still remaining for the Olympic soccer tournament and Paralympics will remain on sale until February 6, when seat assignment begins. In the spring, these tickets and others identified as “contingency” tickets (to be released as venue capacities are confirmed) will go on sale online and by phone.
In a December 14 press release announcing the site launch, LOCOG CEO Paul Deighton said that organizers promised to create this system for fans whose circumstances may have changed.
“I’m convinced that most people will want to hold on to their tickets,” Deighton said, “but we are pleased to offer this resale program which will give those who wish to use it, an opportunity to securely sell their tickets to others who wish to go to the Games or purchase more tickets and help us to achieve our aim of having full venues.”
Olympic organizers have been adamant about thwarting ticket resale.
However, organizers also have been heavily scrutinized for the Olympics’ particularly confusing ticket sales and difficult buying process. As a result, fans have begun turning to online services for help.
This past June, UK-based TicketCollective.com introduced its Facebook-linked service for fans who want to connect and share information with their Olympics-bound friends. In keeping with Olympic resale laws, the site does not directly promote or allow ticket swapping or buying.
“The application process for London 2012 Olympic tickets on the whole was a lonely experience, with individuals up at all hours applying for groups of tickets, and with a lot of people ending up disappointed,” explained a TicketCollective press release. “So we thought we’d make the whole thing far more sociable and ensure that those with tickets know which of their Facebook friends are attending the same events, and give those without tickets the ability to search and find friends who may have any spare.”