How to Get the London Olympics Tickets You Want

by from, Last Updated: 14 November 2014

London 2012 Olympics tickets are now on sale. Here's how to maximise your chances of getting the tickets you want at minimum cost.

Swimming Race

When can I buy them?

Tickets for the London 2012 Olympic games went on sale on 15th March, 2011. But it doesn't matter if you weren't among the first to get your application in.

Unlike ordinary sporting events, tickets aren't being allocated on a first come, first serve basis; a ballot system is being used instead.

You have until 26th April 2011 to decide which of the 649 sporting events you'd like to watch, what price you're willing to pay, how many tickets you need, and to get your application in. After this date tickets will be shared out between everyone that applied.

If an event receives more applications than there are tickets available, a ballot system will be used to allocate seats. Unfortunately, this means there's no guarantee that you'll get tickets for all or any of the events you apply for.

Full details of all the scheduled Olympics sporting sessions, ticket availability and prices are available on the London 2012 website.

Where should I buy them from?

London Olympics ticket scams are catching people out already so it's imperitive that you only buy tickets from legitimate sellers so you don't get caught out. These are:

You can use the ticketing checker on to verify whether a website selling tickets to the Olympics is legitimate.

How can I maximise my chances of getting the Olympics tickets I want?

There's no way to guarantee you'll get any of the tickets you apply for. However, you can try the following:

Pay more
Cheaper tickets are likely to receive more applications than those that are more expensive. So, if you are desperate to see a particular event and can afford to pay a little more, you may be more likely to succeed in your application (this is, of course, by no means guaranteed).

Get strategic
Sprint finals, beach volley ball and the other big events are likely to receive the most ticket applications. So, if there's a sport you particularly want to watch consider applying for sessions earlier on in the games instead of just the finals.

Similarly, if can afford to do so, consider applying for sessions across multiple days. The more you apply for, the more likely you'll be to get tickets to at least one event.

However - and this is really important - if you're successful in any or all of your ticket applications, you will need to pay for them in full.

Work out an Olympic budget before you start your application and make sure you don't get carried away.

How much are London Olympics Tickets?

Tickets vary in price from £20 right up to the £1,000s. However, 90% of the tickets available are £100 or less.

You can check out ticket prices for every scheduled session on the London 2012 website.

Discounted tickets for the under 16s and over 60s will be available to 200 sessions.

How should I pay?

You will need a Visa credit card, a Visa debit card or a Visa prepaid card to purchase tickets for the Olympic games.

If you don't have a Visa card there's still time to apply for one should you wish. Alternatively, you can fill in a paper application form at a Lloyds TSB branch (or a Bank of Scotland branch in Scotland) and pay by cheque. You will need to send off a cheque covering the total value of all the tickets you have applied for. Refunds for unsuccessful applications will be issued after balloting has taken place.

Payment for online applications will be taken between 10th May and 10th June - before you're told which events you have tickets to!

As such you will need to make sure that you have sufficient funds available in your current account, enough credit on your prepaid card, or a large enough credit limit remaining on your credit card between these dates to cover the cost of all the tickets you applied for just in case.

Can I resell tickets I don't want?

If you over-apply and need to sell London Olympics tickets you will be able to do so, but not for a while.

An official Olympic ticket resale website has been set up by London 2012 and is available from 6th January to 3rd February.

The Olympic committee are cracking down on illegal sales so it's best to offload your tickets through the official channel unless you want to face huge fines and possible arrest!

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