Sunday’s papers report the news that Serbian and Chinese Olympic officials have been caught offering to sell tickets outside their jurisdiction in blocks of up to 1500 tickets at a time. This in turn begs an obvious question: who is buying the tickets, and who will be filling their seats?
The suspicion is that some of the tickets are being sold to British sports fans. Thursday’s and Fridays’ issues of the Metro newspaper ran an advertisement for tickets for the London Olympics. “The Games may not come to London again”, it began “are you and your family really going to miss them.” (Phew, so no pressure there). It was the prices that really caught the eye: £295 for the unglamorous Canoe Sprint at Eton Dorney, £495 to watch the slightly most desirable sport of handball in the Olympic Park, and £695 for the morning athletics events at Stratford on 3 August.
What delights await the spectator who stumps up £695 for a single ticket? The 1st round (of 2 rounds) in the hammer, the 1st round (of 2) in the 3000 metres steeplechase, and one (repeat, just one) final: the shot put. All that for just £695 per person? A bargain, I’m sure you’ll agree.