14 Aug 2012

Q and A: How to get Paralympic tickets

Tickets for the Paralympic Games are selling out fast – so what is the best way of getting hold of one of the few remaining seats? Here’s our Q and A.

Work on paralympic stadium (getty)

How many tickets are left?

More than 2.1 million of the 2.5 million available tickets have already been sold – and organisers say this could be the first Paralympics to sell out in the 52 year history of the Games. That means 400,000 tickets will go on sale over the next two weeks. Some of the most popular events, including athletics, cycling and swimming. Contingency tickets will go on sale next week, priced from £10, but they are expected to sell out fast. All the sessions for the Olympic Park have already gone, but London Mayor Boris Johnson says organisers may release some day passes for the Park, as demand has been so high.

Where is the best place to get tickets?

The official website set up for all Olympic and Paralympic tickets is still the official place to buy tickets. However many people have reported considerable problems when they’ve tried to use it: saying that despite spending a while selecting tickets, they then discover their choice is no longer available. Locog says that is because thousands of people are all trying to buy tickets at once, and by the time people have managed to enter their details, someone else has bought the tickets they were after.

What about Ticketmaster?

Ticketmaster say they have “very limited ticket availability” via their website, which is currently getting around a million users a day. They anticipate that LOCOG will be releasing more tickets over the next two weeks, and advise people to keep checking the site to see what’s there. But they warn it might not be easy: “Tens of thousands of fans are potentially simultaneously hitting ‘Request’ for exactly the same tickets, but only one successful customer will be allocated these tickets, and they will appear as available until they have actually been sold.”

Read more: Disabled mother outraged at Paralympic seating for wheelchair users

Can I use social media to find out when tickets are up for sale?

Traffic on the Paralympic ticket website has risen by 200 per cent since the start of the London 2012 Games, so when tickets do go up for sale, they are being snapped up fast. An unofficial Twitter alert feed has been set up, @2012Ticketalert. There are various other apps and other web tools set up to alert fans to available tickets: one of them, @benmarsh, has set up a ticket checker that will let you follow up to five events, and recieve audio alerts if any tickets suddenly become available, along with a link showing where to buy them.

Can I still go to the opening ceremony?

Some tickets were showing availability for the opening ceremony of the Games, but only at the top prices of £500 or £350. It is a similar story for the closing ceremony – featuring a performance from Coldplay – which only has seats left for £250 or £350 each.

How does this compare with previous Paralympic Games?

London has already outstripped ticket sales at the Beijing Games, which reached 1.8 million. 1.2 million tickets were sold at the Sydney Games in 2000, while just 850,000 were sold in 2004, at the Athens games. Inevitably, transport chiefs are already worrying about the pressure on London’s transport networks when the twelve day festival begins on 29 August.