Paralympic prices revealed, but confusion remains on free PA tickets


More than half of the tickets for the 2012 Paralympics in London will be priced at £10 or under, organisers of the games have announced.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) said that two million tickets would go on sale from 9 September 2011.

Tickets for those under 16 or over 60 will start at £5, while tickets for the opening and closing ceremonies start at £20.12, with a top price of £500 for the opening ceremony.

Three quarters of tickets will be priced at £20 or less. Some tickets will be reserved seating, as with the Olympics, but some will allow spectators “general admission”, so they can choose their seat on a “first come first served” basis.

In another departure from Olympic ticketing policies, “day passes” will allow spectators “general admission” to a range of sports taking place that day at the Olympic Park or the ExCel centre.

This could mean wheelchair tennis, rugby and basketball and seven-a-side football in the Olympic Park, or judo, table-tennis, sitting volleyball and boccia at ExCel.

But tickets for athletics, swimming, cycling, as well as the finals of some other sports, will only be sold on a reserved seating basis.

The games take place between 29 August and 9 September 2012, with 20 sports at 19 venues.

As with the Olympics, the price of a ticket for a wheelchair space will include a seat for a personal assistant (PA) or companion next to it.

But the controversial Olympic “Ticketcare” scheme will apply for disabled people with other impairments who will need to bring a PA. If they are successful in their application for a ticket, they will have to apply for an additional free ticket for their PA.

The announcement comes six weeks after LOCOG was forced to rethink its ticketing policies for the Olympics after disabled activists warned they would breach disability discrimination laws.

Only 10 tickets per session were to be reserved for the PAs of disabled people who do not use wheelchairs, such as those who are blind, or have autism or learning difficulties.

But disabled activists forced LOCOG into a climb-down after warning that the plans were based on arbitrary limits rather than the need to make reasonable adjustments to allow disabled people to attend.

But LOCOG has still reserved a “minimum” of just 6,450 Olympic tickets in total for these PAs – out of 6.6 million Olympic tickets available – although it has said this “could easily go up”.

A LOCOG spokeswoman said that “exactly the same policies and process” would apply for the Paralympics.

She said: “As per the Olympic Games we don’t have a set quota. We will wait to see what the levels of demand are when the application process has closed at the end of September.

“It is our aspiration to fulfil as many requests as possible from spectators who need a PA or carer to come to the games.”

But when asked whether this meant the “minimum” quota of 6,450 would also apply to the Paralympics, the spokeswoman declined to comment further.

Applications for tickets will open on 9 September and close on 30 September.

12 May 2011