The BUCS Championships, which is doubling up as the official test athletics event for the Olympic Games, has already sold out of tickets
Friends and family of students hoping to compete at the BUCS Visa Outdoor Championships at the Olympic Stadium have been frustrated to find it was quickly sold out.
Tickets for the official Games athletics test event on May 4-7 went on sale three weeks ago, but one potential buyer told Athletics Weekly that the website said tickets were unavailable on the website on the second day.
LOCOG admits tickets for all sessions were sold out within a week, except for a few sessions which still have wheelchair and companion seats available. Although the venue will hold 40,000 spectators during the Games, the organisers decided to only admit 2000 for Friday, Sunday and Monday and 6000 for Saturday for the test event.
However, the full capacity is being used for an entertainment event on the evening of the second day of the championships.
In order to give coaches, friends and family the best chance of obtaining tickets, only those affiliated to British Universities & Colleges Sport were allowed to apply for them.
Colin Petty, whose son is hoping to compete at the event, said tickets were unavailable within 48 hours of them going on sale. “I know they’re saying we can’t cope with many more, but if they’re talking about using this as a test event then it’s not really a big test if they’re only allowing a very limited amount of people in.”
BUCS say they are hoping more tickets are released for sale at a later date, but LOCOG say they are still looking into whether this will be possible.
Last year LOCOG came under fire as more than one million people missed out in the ballot for tickets for the Olympics. Only one in 63 applicants for tickets for the session including the men’s 100m final were fortunate. Long-serving athletics fans were feeling particularly aggrieved as, other than a small allocation for the 1500-member British Athletics Supporters Club, no scheme was put in place to ensure the most loyal fans had more chance than those who had never before attended an athletics event.
However, many had assumed it would be easier to gain tickets for the test event.
A spokeswoman for LOCOG explained why so few seats were being made available, saying: “Our testing processes are designed to be robust and efficient. Bringing 2000-6000 spectators into the Olympic stadium will adequately test elements such as security, transport, work force and venue flow. These numbers are significantly more than spectator numbers recorded at previous BUCS events.”
The event typically has around 50 spectators, says BUCS.
It is not just spectators who have been frustrated. As AW reported earlier this month, the more successful universities for athletics are concerned some of their top athletes will be unable to enter the championships. The high demand to compete at the Olympic stadium has led BUCS to refine its entry process this year and it could mean that only one athlete per institution per event can compete.