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The ticket prices -- especially those offered through CoSport -- are truly obscene. Most events will cost several hundred dollars to attend -- perhaps almost 10 times what comparable tickets cost in Beijing. Obviously, Canada is a much more expensive country than China, but there seems to be a conscious decision on the part of organizers to really jack up the price for the "premier events" (like hockey finals costing almost $700). Bad news for scalpers, but also bad news for the "little guy" who wants to enter and hopefully win some decent tickets for himself.

I also have the feeling that CoSport priced the tickets at the peak value of the Canadian dollar (it's recently plunged 25% against the US dollar) and folks able to buy in Canada will save big money (between the exchange rate and CoSport's fees).

I was planning on going (I went to Beijing, and have been to several Olympics), but it's just not worth it to me to attend $500 sporting events.

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The ticket prices -- especially those offered through CoSport -- are truly obscene. Most events will cost several hundred dollars to attend -- perhaps almost 10 times what comparable tickets cost in Beijing. Obviously, Canada is a much more expensive country than China, but there seems to be a conscious decision on the part of organizers to really jack up the price for the "premier events" (like hockey finals costing almost $700). Bad news for scalpers, but also bad news for the "little guy" who wants to enter and hopefully win some decent tickets for himself.

I also have the feeling that CoSport priced the tickets at the peak value of the Canadian dollar (it's recently plunged 25% against the US dollar) and folks able to buy in Canada will save big money (between the exchange rate and CoSport's fees).

I was planning on going (I went to Beijing, and have been to several Olympics), but it's just not worth it to me to attend $500 sporting events.

How much did you pay for what events and seating categories in Beijing?

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Beijing was different....their ticket prices were by far the lowest in decades.

Vancouver on the other hand has finances to worry about.....ticket prices are in line with previous Olympic Games (other than Beijing) and in fact, overall ticket prices are for 2010 are [marginally] cheaper than 2002 and 2006.

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How much did you pay for what events and seating categories in Beijing?

Nothing to compare with Beijing.

Beijing Games are People Chinese Games... Prices are those related to the cost life in China and are here to maximize the attendance rate

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I just took one hour to made a comparison of the tickets' prices between Torino 2006 and Vancouver 2010 (with the today's exchange rate between the Euro and the $CAN)

There is some differences, but in overall they are the same.

The average cost in Torino was 121 $CAN and in Vancouver it is 125 $CAN.

Sport by sport in Vancouver 2010...

Alpine Skiing

Category A is shipper (15% to 30%) in all events but Category B is the double (44% to 54%)

Biathlon

Shipper and more accessible. The first price is 25$ against 32$ in Torino which had 3 categories. The cat A is 70$ (vs 79$)

Bobsleigh

Rather the same. From 30$ to 85$ (vs 40$ to 79$)

Cross Country Skiing

Shipper and more accessible. From 25$ to 70$ (vs 32$ to 111$ with 3 categories)

Curling

Strange, Vancouver has only one category !

So, almost equal on category A (65$ to 125$ vs 63$ to 111$) but Torino had a Category B between 32$ to 63$

Figure Skating

5% shipper in Vancouver in Cat A (from 420$ to 525$) and Cat B (from 269$ to 395)

But 25% more expernsive in Cat C (from 150* to 175$)

But Vancouver create a 4th category (at 50$) in 4 events, so made it more affordable tha Torino : Short Programs, Compulsary Dance and Original Danse

Freestyle Skiing

More expensive in Vancouver.

+ 5% in Cat A and + 37% in Cat B, except in Ski Cross (equal in Cat A and +11% in Cat B )

Ice Hockey

What a surprise !!!

All tickets (except a 3rd category that we did not have in Torino, and even the finals are more expensive) are higher (10% to 58%)

Luge

Not a huge difference in prices

Higher in Cat A (+7%) but lower in Cat B (-25%)

Nordic Combined

Shipper in Vancouver. Prices are from 40$ to 120$ vs 95$ to 142$

Short Track

Higher in Cat A (+8%), the same in Cat B and lower in Cat (-21%)

Skeleton

Lower in Runs 1 & 2 but more expensive in the finals (+6%)

Ski Jumping

Shipper in Cat A and B (80$ to 210$), but Torino had a affordable cat C as first price (55$ to 79$)

Snowboard

10% shipper in Parallel Slalom and Snowboard Cross, but 10% higher in halfpipe

Speed Skating

Oops... So high!

Cat A is 185$ in all events vs 111$ to 150$ in Torino

Cat B is 95$ in all events vs 47$ to 79$ in Torino

Generaly, Vancouver propose a more affordable first price, but the Cat A is generaly higher in the Ice Sports (Ice Hockey, Figure Skating, Speed Skating)

Edited by memorabilia
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Beijing was different....their ticket prices were by far the lowest in decades.

Vancouver on the other hand has finances to worry about.....ticket prices are in line with previous Olympic Games (other than Beijing) and in fact, overall ticket prices are for 2010 are [marginally] cheaper than 2002 and 2006.

Nothing to compare with Beijing.

Beijing Games are People Chinese Games... Prices are those related to the cost life in China and are here to maximize the attendance rate

Ugh, it makes me even sicker that I thought about attending Beijing for like, five seconds, after Athens, and then wrote it off as being too costly and never thought about attending again. What a screw up. Big time regret here. Now I'm planning on attending London which will be highway robbery. What an idiot.

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Ugh, it makes me even sicker that I thought about attending Beijing for like, five seconds, after Athens, and then wrote it off as being too costly and never thought about attending again. What a screw up. Big time regret here. Now I'm planning on attending London which will be highway robbery. What an idiot.

Someone make me really sick and tell me what Category A & B tickets would have cost at Swimming, Gymnastics, Athletics and Opening Ceremonies in Beijing.

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Someone make me really sick and tell me what Category A & B tickets would have cost at Swimming, Gymnastics, Athletics and Opening Ceremonies in Beijing.

It sounds like some of the recent Winter Games have been expensive. I remember Alberville and we went repeatedly to speed skating for under US$15. The woman's freestyle finals cost us something like $50 (it's now north of $500, right?). I know I never paid $100 for anything, and most tickets were about $20 to $30.

Even Atlanta wasn't that expensive. I remember the most expensive tickets being Athletics and they were less than $80.

The idea that Olympic tickets should be several hundred each is absurd. Maybe the Opening and Closing ceremonies, but for the sporting events? It's highway robbery.

Beijing wasn't all that great for the fans -- they preferred half empty stadiums to ticket allocation and there wasn't much "atmosphere" around the venues -- but it was cheap. Tickets were about 20 bucks on average -- if you could get them.

The whole thing seems to be run for the sponsors, which is a shame.

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Unfortunately ticket prices will always reflect the local incomes. Some of my friends who work in ticketing even say that the prices are generous because of the extremely low situational availability. i.e. you can't just get an opening ceremony ticket for a show the week after if the first one is sold out.

If the prices are truly too high, why do they have to have lotteries amongst so many willing to pay the price?

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Even Atlanta wasn't that expensive. I remember the most expensive tickets being Athletics and they were less than $80.

The idea that Olympic tickets should be several hundred each is absurd. Maybe the Opening and Closing ceremonies, but for the sporting events? It's highway robbery.

Please, everybody, give accurate figures, and no just "i remember...." or "someone told me", ... sometime we remember not very well things from the past !

So, for Atlanta i checked on the Order form, we had here in France at the beginning of 1996. I will use a exchange rate Francs / USD on the 1st January 1996.

Here are some prices :

Atlanta

Opening & Closing : from 306 USD to 912 USD

Athletics : from 24 USD to 117 USD

Baseball : from 13 USD to 21 USD

Fencing : from 19 USD to 41 USD

Gymnastic : from 57 USD to 306 USD

Judo : from 34 USD to 64 USD

Swimming : from 78 USD to 230 USD

Basketball : from 19 USD to 121 USD

So, it could look as not too expensive, especially the Athletics & Basketball finals. But you have to take in consideration the inflation (around 19%)...

For memory, some Athens 2004 prices (from Official Euros prices convert with the exchange rate from 31st January 2004)

Athens

OC / CC : from 61 USD to 1168 USD

Athletics : from 12 USD to 369 USD

Gym : from 45 USD to 246 USD

Judo : from 18 USD to 50 USD

Basket : from 18 USD to 369 USD

So regarding all those figures, past games in occidental countries were not so affordable....

For me it is not chocking to see high prices for some final like 100m in Athletics, Basketball finals, Gym Gala, but you should have affordable tickets in some other events or qualifications to maximise your attendance rate and offer to the mass the opportunity to live the Games !

And about WOG, generally they are more expensive than SOG, because less seats to sell and more "First Rate Sport" : Figure Skating, Hockey, Ski Jumping, Downhill....

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For me it is not chocking to see high prices for some final like 100m in Athletics, Basketball finals, Gym Gala, but you should have affordable tickets in some other events or qualifications to maximise your attendance rate and offer to the mass the opportunity to live the Games !

And about WOG, generally they are more expensive than SOG, because less seats to sell and more "First Rate Sport" : Figure Skating, Hockey, Ski Jumping, Downhill....

Well, your list actually matches my memory (I didn't attend Athens, but I remember Atlanta). There was no circumstance where I was unable to find tickets for under $100 to any event (except Opening & Closing ceremonies, which have been expensive for a long time -- FWIW, I had many people willing to sell me those tickets at face value in Atlanta).

FWIW, going to the Olympics isn't like the Super Bowl in that you need to buy LOTS of tickets -- not just one or two. In Beijing, I attended 12 events. I brought my family with me. That would pretty much bankrupt us in Vancouver. :)

I did check the official prices vs. CoSport. As I suspected, CoSport's fees are about 25% higher (due to fees and currency changes). It would definitely be a good idea to buy tickets in Canada if you could get them there.

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From Insidethegames.com

Date: 15/10/2008

OCTOBER 15 - THERE are less than 500 days to go until the start of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and insidethegames' new columnist, PAUL GAINS, discovers that officials in Canada are confident of reaching their marketing target despite the current economic climate

DURING the Winter Olympic bidding process John Furlong, the chief executive officer of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, declared his organisation would “walk the Olympic spirit through every door in Canada.”

These words have since become the central theme of the Vancouver Olympic Committee’s (VANOC) marketing initiatives.

[...]

Controversial ticketing policy and tourism fears

In recent weeks VANOC has come under some criticism for its ticketing policies.

Fears that corporations will buy up the majority of tickets are invalid Shaw says.

Two weeks ago Canadian residents were given first crack at the 1.6 million tickets allocated for the public which is 70 per cent of all tickets available.

She also points to the patron programme which is not unlike previous Olympic ticketing initiatives.

For the princely sum of C$285,000 (£139,250) a hundred individuals will receive at least four tickets to all the prestigious sports including the men’s and women’s hockey final, speed skating, curling figure skating as well as the opening and closing ceremonies.

The money paid into this programme effectively subsidises lower ticket prices through a charitable programme.

“Last Friday there was an article in the Vancouver Sun about it and that day we got ten calls and three people brought their cheques,” Shaw reveals.

“There are only 100 packages.

"I think we are at 12 or 17 [sold].

"All organising committees have to find revenue streams and this allows us to fund charitable ticketing programmes which are important to us.

“This allocation is a small percentage.

"They don't come out of the public allocation of tickets anyway and allows children and people of lesser means to attend the Olympics.”

[...]

Paul Gains is a Canadian-based freelance writer whose work has appeared in Time, the New York Times, Toronto Star, GQ and many other publications around the world. He covered the recent Beijing Olympics for CBC Television and was the athletics news editor for the 2004 Athens Olympic News Service

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If the Olympics are the Rich Man games, what about the F1 ? People pay thousands of USD just to watch a race over the course of a few days.

The difference is the F1 doesn't have the same lofty ideals or redeeming values.

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FWIW, going to the Olympics isn't like the Super Bowl in that you need to buy LOTS of tickets -- not just one or two.

That's a great point. These tickets aren't exactly affordable, but considering the size and scale of the event, ticket prices aren't what's stopping my plans. The problem so far is hotel rooms. It seems that a lot of hotels are already sold out and the rooms offered in Cosport's packages come down to over $1000 a night. Cosport's supposed to be offering rooms by themselves, but either that's been changed or they're all sold out. VANOC's website -- 2010destinationplanner.com -- isn't offering rooms yet but I don't have a lot of hope that they'll be any more reasonable. I'd love to go to Vancouver but if these are the prices I'll have to wait for London (which I'm sure will be just as bad) or keep my fingers crossed for Chicago.

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That's a great point. These tickets aren't exactly affordable, but considering the size and scale of the event, ticket prices aren't what's stopping my plans. The problem so far is hotel rooms. It seems that a lot of hotels are already sold out and the rooms offered in Cosport's packages come down to over $1000 a night. Cosport's supposed to be offering rooms by themselves, but either that's been changed or they're all sold out. VANOC's website -- 2010destinationplanner.com -- isn't offering rooms yet but I don't have a lot of hope that they'll be any more reasonable. I'd love to go to Vancouver but if these are the prices I'll have to wait for London (which I'm sure will be just as bad) or keep my fingers crossed for Chicago.

Don't worry about finding a place to stay. It ALWAYS works out. Hotels always charge the moon, the official committee always books up the hotels and then, magically, there are places to stay at affordable prices.

In Beijing, if you didn't want to use frequent hotel stay points (which I got by signing up for free credit cards), you could get published rooms at decent places like the Holiday Inn Express a few weeks before the Games for less than $130. In Albertville, I used the official "stay with a family" to pay a very nice lady about US$60 for my wife and I to stay at her place. We could see the flame from our bedroom!

Bottomline is you can't worry about accomodations. It WILL work out. Your problem is tickets. If you want to buy them early, which I always recommend, they will cost you a boatload of money here.

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No it will not just "work out". If the Hampton Inn is charging $ 1,500 / night, you think another downtown hotel is going to charge $ 75 / night ?

These hotels all want to make a killing.

By the way, Shangri-La's "introductory" rate for January is $ 350 / night. Walk down Georgia and look at their fancy lobby with fireplace and chandiliers.

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No it will not just "work out". If the Hampton Inn is charging $ 1,500 / night, you think another downtown hotel is going to charge $ 75 / night ?

These hotels all want to make a killing.

By the way, Shangri-La's "introductory" rate for January is $ 350 / night. Walk down Georgia and look at their fancy lobby with fireplace and chandiliers.

I am sorry, but you are just dead wrong about this. The insane prices scare "everyone" away and there is always someplace to stay. It is simply not a problem. I always feel sorry for the suckers who lock themselves into the sky-high prices. Stay flexible and it works itself out.

The same is likely on tickets, but here luck plays more of a role. You simply have to "bump into" the right people. In Beijing, I had people give me, for free, swimming tickets that were worth several hundred dollars "on the street." But there is no way I know to predict such opportunities. Lodging, however, is much simpler to play. Just wait, until a few weeks before the Games to look. Worse comes to worse, the Olympic committee will find you a homestay. Interestingly, in Beijing, they launched such a program toward the end, but my understanding is that almost no foreigners availed themselves of the program.

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The Hampton Inn is apparently offering a 4 night package here for $ 6000 (?)

I mean have these hotels lost their minds?

I can tell you, you are full of sh!t. The Hampton Inn is an Olympic Family hotel and was completely booked by the Vancouver Organizing Committee.

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Atlanta

Opening & Closing : from 306 USD to 912 USD

Ha. That reminds me; I sold my 2 OC tickets which did cost me like $295. for 3x the cost. So I made like 200% return on those 2 tix; and then a few days after (so, like 4 days before the OC), ACOG started the obscene gesture of releasing more tickets to deflate the scalpers' market. I sold mine just in time.

And then for 2 Boxing tickets which were priced at I think $40; I sold a pair for $200.00.

Not bad, eh?

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