Why I am pleased I didn’t get my Olympic tickets

I did apply in the first round.   For quite a few (about £800 worth) and during that process I got quite irked about some of the rules around the application.

You had to be able to afford all of the tickets (well, derrr, obviously) BUT they would not tell you if you had “won” any for about eight months.   So you had to remember to keep that money clear on your card for all that time.   If the money was not available on your card, you wouldn’t get anything.

And the card had to be valid at that point.   I have cards that expire in April of next year so if I was applying now I would be in trouble, the card would be out of date, and I can’t ask the bank to send me a new one now.

Oh and the card had to be Visa.  You couldn’t apply using a Mastercard or American Express.

When I started to think about the logistics of getting to events I was relieved when my application failed and we got nothing.

Friends of mine are off to the hockey (one of the events I did apply for).   The game starts at 9am.   You have to be there an hour before.

So travelling in the rush hour.

To get from Fleet you would need to be on the first train out which is 05.10, as the 06.10 doesnt get into Waterloo until just after 7am and that is too late to get across London.    Can you imagine getting a family up and out of the house by 5am?

Or if you drove, using the Park and Ride facility you “have to allow an hour and a half to get to the Olympic Park and an hour to get from the drop zone to your seats”.

Add to that getting round the M25 and you are talking about leaving home at 3am.

What about a hotel?  Not a chance unless you fork out £300.

I am all about logistics and planning and this would be giving me nightmares.

Then I learned that Coca-Cola have banned any evidence of Pepsi Cola in all establishments along the torch route.  In pubs, shops etc there is to be no visible branding for Pepsi.

That stinks quite frankly.

Oh and you cannot take your own water in with you.   You have to buy it inside.

The cost of a family going to the Olympics is going to be astronomical.

Now we hear this:  Visa have ordered the closure of cash machines that accept Mastercard and American Express.

The closure of cash machines.

Have you ever heard anything so ludicrous?   Visa have also banned the use of “rival cards” at check outs.    They say they are installing 8 ATMs though that will take Visa.   Oh great.  Eight.   Eight cash machines for how many spectators?

When did sponsorship allow companies to trample all over EU competition rules?

Sponsorship is one thing but this is more like corporate sponsors holding us to ransom.

And I for one am pleased that I am playing no part in any of it.

No, I shall be at home watching the Olympics.   With one hand using my Give As You Live shop front to be shopping online with my Mastercard.

And with the other hand I shall be sticking two fingers up to Visa and Coca-cola.

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  • The closure of the cashpoints really irks me. Visa say they’ll install eight temporary ones for the duration of the Olympics like they’re doing us a favour but they’re ordering a dozen or more cashpoints to be closed so there is no way their machines will cope with the demand. I wouldn’t be surprised if you get charged to use them too.

  • Corporate sponsors are the true puppet masters of the olympics . This is what annoys me about this. So much red tape up when you want to try and dotage part in the olympics. I’ll be like you and sat watching it at home for free.

  • I was pleased when London was awarded the “honour” of hosting in 2012 mainly I think because Paris had been in the running for the job.
    I wasn’t ecstatic – I gave as much support to the London bid as London had given to the Manchester bid some years earlier – Nil!
    As a taxpayer I must ask why it was necessary to build a shiny new velodrome in the Olympic Park when we have a fantastic facility in Manchester? I know it’s some distance away but it could have been used very easily. Other sports are using “remote” locations so why not cycling?
    The business about sponsors eliminating competition is presumably written into the contracts that have been signed so our anger and wailing must be against the UK Olympic organising committee for concluding such deals. I’ve heard reports of UK civil servants/local government officers [trading standards officers] being involved in eliminating competition and if this is true I hope that the costs involved will be charged back to the lucky sponsors. Anyone offering odds?
    I did not apply for tickets. (Surprised?) I shall attempt to watch certain events on my TV and that will be the extent of my participation.
    I’m one of the surprisingly large number of people who have expressed disenchantment and I’m not really sorry!

  • I nominated an amazing friend to carry the Olympic torch, we made sure we hit the deadline and waited for one of these oh so special places. I was then horrified to hear that a larger number of places for the relay had been allocated to the sponsors to use; in fairness they were running “heroic stories” too, and in fact my friend got his torch place that his daughter pitched for via Nat West. It just left a bad taste in the mouth, at odd to te Olympian ideal. I realise that the sponsors provide a spectacular amount of funding, but these draconian crack downs really are also at odds to the greatness of the human spirit that this is meant to be about!