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28,000 snowboarding tickets at Cypress canceled


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VANOC cancels 20,000 more Cypress tickets

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 | 12:21 PM PT

CBC News

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/02/16/bc-cypress-ticket-cancellations.html#ixzz0fjXzXltp

Olympic officials have been forced to cancel an additional 20,000 general admission tickets for six more events at the rain-plagued Cypress Mountain ski and snowboard venue north of Vancouver.

VANOC announced on Tuesday morning it plans to issue refunds for the standing room tickets after rains turned the spectator area into a dangerous mud pit.

On Monday, VANOC cancelled 8,000 tickets for the men's and women's snowboard cross events at the venue, located just north of Vancouver. The new cancellation brings the total number of cancelled tickets to 28,000.

The cancellations include the general admission category B tickets to:

* Snowboard halfpipe on Wednesday and Thursday.

* Ski cross on Feb. 21 and 23.

* Snowboard parallel giant slalom on Feb. 26 and 27.

The cancellations will not affect:

* Those with the category A grandstand tickets to the events listed above.

* Those with general admission tickets for the freestyle skiing aerials competitions.

* Those with tickets for alpine or Nordic skiing events in Whistler.

Warm winter creates problems

Olympic organizers have been struggling to keep the troubled Cypress Mountain venue open for Olympic competition during one of the mildest winters in more than 100 years for Vancouver.

In addition to the cancelled tickets, fog at Cypress also delayed the start of the women's snowboard cross event on Tuesday morning.

Further north at Whistler, weather has also forced the rescheduling of some alpine ski races, including Tuesday's men's super-combined event because of heavy snow, but no events at that venue have been cancelled.

The 31-day period ending on Feb. 9 was a record-breaking mild spell for Vancouver, according to Environment Canada meteorologist David Jones, who notes it's been at least 114 years since the area has recorded so many warm mid-winter days in a row.

As a result, organizers have been forced to truck and helicopter snow and hay bales to the mountain to build up the course and the spectator areas.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/02/16/bc-cypress-ticket-cancellations.html#ixzz0fjY4U9Mg

But the heavy rain melted the snow covering the hay bales in the spectator area, creating cracks.

VANOC decided to cancel tickets for the area for safety reasons after staff began sinking through up to their knees in the spaces between the bales, said Caley Denton, VANOC's vice-president of ticketing.

"Our senior management and venue team have spent significant time on site to try and find a way to accommodate spectators in the standing room areas for the events. We've exhausted all avenues but it just wasn't possible to make the area safe for spectators," said Denton.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/02/16/bc-cypress-ticket-cancellations.html#ixzz0fjYCnW9k

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Don't believe it. They can't handle the crowds so they're dumping the cheap seats (well, not seats, but you get what I mean).

Totally agree - I was there today and conditions are totally fine for spectators and competitors apart from some fog which cleared

What I saw was just about ZERO SPACE for standing tickets. I believe they oversold the tickets overestimating the capacity of the site.

Interestingly this only effects half the site so far - the other half of the site with the moguls and aerials which has exactly the same conditions has not been cancelled.

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SO if they said the first 4000 tickets canceled was a $500,000 loss, then at 28,000 now canceled it's about $3.5 million lost. I winder if anyone is freaking out about the money?

Well I hear the helicopter they used to ship in the snow cost $12000 a hour to rent

I've seen it - its unlike any other helicopter I have every seen - and can believe it

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VANOC has said they will lose $1.5-million from refunding these tickets...they've probably spent a similar or higher amount on snow retrieval at Cypress, and it's coming from a contingency fund.

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I've got standing room tickets for the Men's Ariels final. I'm a bit worried about that one being canceled. Does anyone know why it affects the snowboard events and not the ariels?

You will be ok. It is down to space. These events are on two different sites right next door to each other

The Snowboarding site is too small. That is the REAL reason they cancelled the tickets

It is nothing to do with the weather as far as I am concerned.

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I looked into this issue today at the Half Pipe competition. Here's what I found out:

- I asked a volunteer steward where the standing room people where going to go - she pointed to where the media cameras and photosgraphers where who do the interviews with the snowboarders when they have finished their run. I asked where they would move the press to if they had standing spectators. She couldn't answer that. I asked why it was safe for media but not for spectators who have paid for tickets. She said "we don't mind if press break a leg."

- They had laid down mats on the ground in the press area. I believe this is normal. It shows this is how they could have dealt with the spectator problem too - just lay mats

- Nowhere near the course or spectator areas can it be said to be muddy

- Another volunteer told me if they had incorporated the standing room space they would have had to make the finishes cut off a lot earlier.

- The site feels like it is at maximum capacity without the standing room only people

- Sportsworld have told me they have never encountered a ticketing incident like this at a Games before

- At most I estimate the snowboarding site had space for 400 standing room spectators, slightly up and to the right of the press under the large TV screen.

- There was no space at the bottom of the course (due to press) and none to the left (due to trees and a small passageway to exit the snowboarders for their second run

My conclusion is the "weather problem" was a big fat lie covering up incompetance in the build and design of the final layout of the site.

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We've lost a few as well. I tend to agree that I think at least some of this has to do with OBN capacity issues. We waited 2.5 hours to get off the mountain after the Men's Moguls.

Otherwise - you can't tell me that for $1.5 million (lost ticket sales) you can't find a solution to this problem. I gotta think that $1.5 million would buy you an extra set of grandstands, or a way to solidify the standing room area. 4'x8' peices of plywood could do wonders if the issues is people falling between hay-bales....

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Well I was up there for the ladies' snowboard cross event (and saw our gal Ricker KICK IT!!!!). The fencing for the event was clearly reduced compared to what was on the venue diagrams from the Spectator Guide. I made a point of exploring things too.

I don't think VANOC is lying at all. Much of the B standing area is on inclines; the areas left open for the actual event weren't. And there's lots of run-off within the perimeter as well.

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Well I was up there for the ladies' snowboard cross event (and saw our gal Ricker KICK IT!!!!). The fencing for the event was clearly reduced compared to what was on the venue diagrams from the Spectator Guide. I made a point of exploring things too.

I don't think VANOC is lying at all. Much of the B standing area is on inclines; the areas left open for the actual event weren't. And there's lots of run-off within the perimeter as well.

I don't know what you mean by run off within the perimeter. I saw no spare space yesterday about from a gap for about 400 people that looked extremely safe and ready for spectators under the tv screen

I asked about using the inclines and got told they never intended to use them. The only one you could possibly use was to the right of the snowboard cross course. That would take spectators almost onto the snowboard cross course. It would be too dangerous to put spectators there because the snowboard cross competitors could crash into them. The staff I asked said they would not use the inclines for that reason

The map below shows standing spectators being in front of the stands. At the half pipe event ALL that space was taken up with press standing areas. None of the press were falling into the ground either

http://www.vancouver2010.com/olympic-spectator-guide/venues/cypress-mountain/maps/big-cym%28snowboard-stadium%29-venue-map_148170Pt.html

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