24 Jun 2011

Olympics website buckles as more tickets go on sale

The ticket website for the London 2012 Olympics struggled to cope with demand after the window for the second round of sales opened at 6am on Friday morning. It is now back online.

Olympics website buckles as more tickets go on sale - Getty

Many people who had risen early to try to beat the rush endured the frustration of their online applications failing to go through.

Instead they were directed to a webpage saying: “We are experiencing high demand. You will be automatically directed to the page requested as soon as it becomes available. Thank you for your patience.”

This frustration was shared by people who attempted to apply for tickets throughout the day.

Even some who got to the stage of requesting tickets and providing their bank card details were then told: “Sorry we cannot process your request please try again later.”

A spokesman for LOCOG told Channel 4 News: “The process was like the Tube in the morning. Too many people on the platform, not everyone can get on and we had to close the doors on some. But another train came soon after.”

Olympic ticket ballot: your questions answered

Sports fans hoping to secure tickets from 6am today were urged to “remain patient” when applying.

A statement on the official website said organisers were expecting “a lot of people” to sign in.

The process was like the Tube in the morning. Too many people on the platform, not everyone can get on and we had to close the doors on some. But another train came soon after. LOCOG spokesman

Fans were told not to refresh their browser if they were greeted with a message about “high demand” while applying.

“Please just remain patient and we will process your request as soon as we can,” the statement said.

There had already been sell-outs for 21 events including the ceremonies, diving, swimming and tennis in the initial sale.

With this second round of sales London 2012 is on track to hit £400 million of its £500 million revenue target from ticket sales. London 2012 must raise £2 billion from the private sector to stage the Games.

The aim of the second chance sales window was to get two thirds of the 1.9 million original applicants to the Games, London 2012 chief executive Paul Deighton has said.

Anyone who got tickets in the first round will get another chance to buy from 6am on July 8 to 6pm on July 17.

What Channel 4 News’ Facebook fans said:

Alex Whittaker: I was on at 6am and had everything ready to submit at 6.02am but when it reached the “Verified by Visa” bit it rejected my card, a phone call to the bank (who said it hadn’t been rejected) and 20 mins later application finally submitted, suspect that was too slow though

Bridget Wijnberg: I can now spell “currently unavailable”. No horse riding of any kind, no rowing, no athletics (obviously), no fencing, no gymnastics, no swimming, no taekwondo….

Katy Parker: I managed to get tickets for one of the boxing finals the first time round, after reading many horror stories, I now feel rather fortunate. The next big hurdle will be finding a hotel that is not charging extortionate rates!

Howard A Latham: At least anyone can go onto the tube. In this case anyone who didnt want to join a lottery was excluded from this process.

John Pearse: The flood filter that put you on a queue would’ve been fine, except that when you got to the front of the line it told you it couldn’t continue with the process. So you’d patiently waited for nothing. That happened several times before I was finally told that my application had gone through, but it’s “only a request at this stage”

Peter McCusker: Between 4 family members and roughly £7,000 in applications in the first round. We ended up with two tickets to the football, and it looks like they’re giving those away!

Mark Smith: The whole process took about 50 mins to complete, despite making my initial ticket selection within minutes at 6:03 this morning. All in all a very unclear and misleading process. Late for work as a result.