London: Two million people have registered an interest for tickets for the London 2012 Olympic Games, despite the prices being higher than initially promised, the head of the organising committee said Saturday.
Paul Deighton expects a further 500,000 to sign up for information updates by the time the 6.6 million tickets for the public go on sale in March.
“One of the key things for us in March is to make sure that things go smoothly,” said Deighton, the chief executive of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).
“With two million people (on the database now), and probably nearer 2.5 million by March, it is also about making sure they are transferred into the ticketing system.”
He added: “The sheer scale of this is mind-blowing.”
The organising committee needs to get 25 percent of its revenue from ticket sales and is keen to pack out the stadia with screaming fans “as it works for the athletes, it works for television and the atmosphere”, Deighton said.
Data from the two million registered people so far suggests that “by and large more females than males” have signed up and many are opting to see several events, he said.
Deighton said this means “they want an Olympic experience” and “may be hedging their bets so if they cannot see Tom Daley in the diving, they will try and see someone in something else”.
Six years ago, in the run-up to Britain's bid for the Games, officials promised that ticket prices would start at 15 pounds, but they have since said this is not possible.
Tickets will now start at 20 pounds and end at 725 pounds for the showpiece 100 metres athletic final, although 1.3 million tickets will be reserved at discount prices for children and people aged over 60.
“In general, through all we have actually done, I think that we are pretty much on the money,” Deighton insisted.
First Published: Saturday, December 25, 2010, 19:00