Thoughts on the London 2012 Gymnastics Schedule

london-2012

So the full schedule of events for the London 2012 Olympic Games was released last night at 00:01. I’ve had time to mull it over and view the feedback online since the release.

When the prices were originally announced back in October, I thought £150 for the preliminaries isn’t too bad. It’s a possible once in a lifetime experience and with the Games being so close to home, I would gladly pay it. Although I didn’t realise that the £150 is just for a 2 hour session, not even the whole day of qualifying. It seems other gymnastics fans were surprised too. Yes, there are tickets for £20 and £40 for the qualification rounds but the problem is we don’t know which gymnasts we’ll see, it’s complete pot luck and the seats aren’t likely to be the best. I previously said that I’d be happy to see any gymnasts from any country competing but £150 for 2 hours seems steep.  The price ups to £50 for a basic ticket for the team finals with the best seats at £450.  I don’t know about you but I have terrible eyesight so I might just be better off at home watching it on the television and seeing it properly rather than forking out over €500 for just one ticket and squinting to try to see the gymnasts. Ollie Williams retweeted a picture taken from the back row of the London 2012 stadium, not too bad for £20.

Like most fans, I’d love to attend the final days event on August 7th, the Women’s Floor & Beam final (that Men’s High Bar is in there too – excellent!) so I’ll probably opt for the £185 tickets. Without accommodation, flights and general spending money I’m already at €438 (with the current conversion rate), I’m presuming there might also be booking fees?  I know in the back of my mind that it’ll be worth it and it’s a day or days I would never forget but the prices seem so dear.

I thought that one of the aims was to make tickets affordable, yes for families tickets are more affordable with children under 16 only paying their age for a ticket but as Little Miss Gymnast points out the idea to make tickets more affordable has been scrapped. It also will still cost Sarah and her family of 3 a lot for a short qualifying session buying tickets at the mid priced range. As she says I think the pricing and scheduling might prevent a lot of genuine gymnastics fans from attending the best sporting event in the World being held on their doorstep, not to mention those close by too from Ireland and other parts of Europe.

So, I put the question to you.. how do you feel about the prices?

Did you expect them to be more reasonable? Do you think the prices are normal?

Are these on par with other Olympic Games prices?

Presuming you had planned on travelling to London, do these prices deter you from travelling?

Leave a comment below with your views and lets have a great discussion.

9 Comments

  1. Christeenee says:

    Oh where do I start? I’m hugely dissappointed at the ticket prices. At best I was willing to fork out for the qualifying days but i’m NOT buying three separate session tickets! I’m not even going to buy one since we have no idea who will be in which session until much nearer the time. I’m also very sceptical about the price category and where the seat zones are. I’m not prepared to take pot luck on any seat. I went to the world champs at the O2 in 2010 and the best seats were about £60 (and for that I could choose where I wantd to sit)not so if you want to see the olympics! I said to myself when I was there that it wouldn’t be worth coming to, if all I could get were the cheap seats since they are so high up and far away. The O2 does state that they don’t advise the top row seats if you suffer from vertigo so it’s a complete no-no from me. These prices are clearly aimed at the affluent! Do they have a seating plan to refer to?

  2. ilaria says:

    In my opinion these prices are insane, of course I expected them to be more expensive than euros or worlds but this is like ten times higher.
    I’ve been to worlds in 2007, euros in 2010 and I will go to euros this year, and I’ve never seen tickets so expensive
    I would love to go and see the olympics but with these prices I’m really starting to reconsider, I would have to ask my parents for the money (then I would pay them back) and I’m from Italy so I would also need to pay for travel and accomodation etc…
    Besides there’s not the option to buy a “complete” ticket for all the events (or all the finals, or whatever), they also split the qualifications, who would pay up to 450£ only for qualifications?
    I’m really disapponted, I know that London is generally very expensive and that olympic tickets are obviously more expensive than the ususal competition, but this is crazy…
    Anyway I hope I can find a way to attend :)

  3. Dymphna says:

    Im really dissappointed that the qualification rounds were split into three sessions. It’s very mean. They seem to be just trying to let everyone have a little taste of the gymnastics rather than allow the real fans to be there for the whole thing. I mean what makes for a better atmosphere ? A crowd of people who never watched gymnastics before or a crowd of knowledgeable gym fans who can “Ooooh” and “Ahhhh ” in all the right places !!! The knowledgeable crowd always adds to the atmosphere at a live competition.

    Anyway, Im going to pay whatever I need to get tickets. My main aim would be to get to all three qualification sessions for WAG and then to the WAG team finals. anything after that is a bonus but even if I could afford to pay the astronomical prices for all sessions, actually getting the tickets will be worthy of an Olympic gold itself.

    I just really really hope that the true gym fans will get to fullfill their dream of being at an Olympic final.

  4. Kleon says:

    My main question of this is if I would have a job by this time to afford the travel XD.
    Right now going to London is only a dream, a very expensive dream. of course i wanted to watch W team final, W all-around and event finals.
    I knew London is expensive (was there in 2009, not worlds related, just with friends) but those prices… seriously those prizes are too high.
    My last (and only) Travel to London from Spain was around 200€ flight and hotel, I’m afraid hotels will be more expensive because of the olympics. So if i want “Olympic holidays” I have to be prepare to save 1000€ or so, “ouch”
    I think I’ll stay home

  5. Admin says:

    I love how you’ve put it Dymphna. I obviously expected the finals to be the most expensive but I really do think that they’re being very unfair with the prices. I’m definitely going to end up paying a good bit for tickets and I know it’ll be worth it but it’s still crazy!

  6. JackyL says:

    I am really dissappointed that as a British Ggymnastics registered club we cannot buy a block of tickets for our gymnasts. It would be so inspiring for our young gymnasts to go to the qualifying day and all sit together to watch, with their coaches. As it is we will have to rely on parents trying to get tickets and we will all be split up. What happens if one gets the first and last sessions on qualifying days….hours in the middle spent unable to go in and see the action. Very sad. I think that BG members should have had priority booking and reduced prices. Real fans and participants should be there watching, as they will really appreciate it.

  7. ClaireW says:

    I totally agree with JackyL.

    Both my daughters are British Gymnastics members and it is so disappointing that clubs cannot get block tickets. Clubs were able to for the World Championships, so why not the Olympics?

    My daughters (and all BG members) give up their time after school, at weekends and during holidays, to train and it is such a shame that the Olympic organisers did not acknowledge this when organising the booking system, to allow BG members the chance to see some of their idols.

    I will register for the cheap seats for one of the qualification rounds but am very disappointed that the pricing structure basically makes it unaffordable for my daughters to watch the entire day. :o(

  8. JoeyL says:

    I was looking forward to buying tickets to see the men’s team and men’s event finals but unfortunately the prices are indeed steep.

    I do not know the exact prices for Athens or Sydney, but I do know in Beijing the prices were much cheaper (most expensive seat was 185 pounds in the event finals.) I understand China has a lower standard of living in terms of cost but I still think 495 pounds for the best seats is a crazy price! Since there is no official seating chart published, I have a feeling they’ll try to maximize AA and A seats as much as possible (regardless if the last row of an A ticket is on the 3rd or 4th floor…)

    What makes it more sickening to me is how none of these hardworking gymnasts get paid from the olympics — not even if they’re medalists (nowadays the norm is for the gymnast’s home nation’s olympic committee to give cash prizes.) I just have no idea who gets to keep all this money!

    I know I sound jaded but I really wish there was more transparency here as to why the prices are so high and to show a definite seating chart. Otherwise, I will probably just stay home and host a gymnastics viewing party at my place and wait until Rio de Janeiro in 2014 to watch olympic gymnastics live. ***I have a feeling Rio tickets will be cheaper than London tickets.

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