Demand for Paralympic tickets is ‘unprecedented’


Demand for tickets for next year’s Paralympics in London has reached “unprecedented” levels, according to the 2012 organising committee.

Between 9 and 26 September, 116,000 people applied for tickets to next summer’s games, applying for a total of 1.14 million tickets.

Out of 300 ticketed sessions, 126 are now over-subscribed in at least one of the price categories and so will need to have their tickets allocated via a ballot – the first time any Paralympic games has had to take such a step.

There are only three sports – road cycling, sitting volleyball and powerlifting – in which there are no oversubscribed sessions in at least one price category.

Although it is the first time any organising committee has put tickets on sale so far in advance – and not on a “first come, first served” basis – a spokesman for the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said that “we never have seen demand like this”.

He said: “To have applications for 1.14 million tickets after a three-week ticket window is phenomenal.”

In 2008, the Beijing organising committee eventually sold 1.82 million tickets at full price, while the government bought another 1.64 million and distributed them to community groups, schools, and other organisations. Athens sold just 850,000 tickets for the 2004 Paralympics, while Sydney sold 1.2 million in 2000.

But the figures for the past three Paralympics are for final ticket sales, while there is nearly a year to go until the 2012 games open.

Sir Philip Craven, the IPC’s president, said: “To have over a million tickets applied for 11 months out from the games is unprecedented and underlines the growing excitement for what will be a tremendous sporting event.

“This will be the first time ballots have been held for a number of sports, and I could not be more thrilled.”

Payment for tickets will be taken by 31 October, with notification of whether applications have been successful sent by 18 November.

More Paralympic tickets will be put on sale in December, with a final batch to be made available next spring.

29 September 2011