Just how many Olympic tickets went to the public?

Data tucked away in the Ticketing Report by London 2012 confirms that the UK public’s ability to buy tickets for more popular events was significantly restricted.

The triathlon, track cycling, and ceremonies topped the table of events where low proportions of tickets sold to the public.

Thousands of other tickets were sold through other avenues. As Sky reports:

“Only 1,668 (39.5%) of the 4,277 seats were sold to the public when Jason Kenny claimed gold in the men’s sprint final with the rest of the seats going to the Olympic family, sponsors and foreign ticket vendors.”

Of those that were available to the UK public, most were highly priced, reports The Telegraph:

“Only 1,957 [tickets for the velodrome] were made available to the public. Most of the tickets sold cost more than £150, with 364 tickets going at £325, 322 at £225 and 494 at £150.

“Locog had previously told the London Assembly that it had broadly apportioned an equal number of tickets in each price category but these latest figures … would indicate it failed to stick to its pledge.”

Information on total sales and sales to the public by sport is published in an appendix to the report in PDF format, but we’ve had to clean it up to present it below in a way that can be properly analysed.

The data is available as a Google spreadsheet here, and in the table below, ordered by percentage sold to the public (lowest to highest):

In contrast, data (not published here) on sales of tickets to the Paralympic events suggests that corporate sponsors and foreign ticket vendors were less interested in obtaining tickets, with 91% overall being sold to the public, and only wheelchair tennis and rugby falling below 70%.

Event Total Saleable Capacity Total sold UK Public Sold Public sold % of total Unsold Unsold %
Triathlon 8732 8613 2294 0.27 119 0.01
Cycling – Track 38301 37966 17846 0.47 335 0.01
Swimming Marathon 4752 4582 2304 0.5 170 0.04
Ceremony 104149 103865 53784 0.52 284 0
Swimming 172986 171939 91100 0.53 1047 0.01
Gymnastics Rhythmic 20076 19432 10746 0.55 644 0.03
Gymnastics Artistic 171481 170250 100972 0.59 1231 0.01
Shooting 23386 22865 13624 0.6 521 0.02
Judo 99235 97897 59598 0.61 1338 0.01
Cycling – BMX 16162 15914 10274 0.65 248 0.02
Athletics Marathon 7545 7298 4840 0.66 247 0.03
Tennis 217661 216930 142272 0.66 731 0
Athletics 946752 944345 644915 0.68 2407 0
Fencing 106392 105824 72330 0.68 568 0.01
Diving 167481 165154 113987 0.69 2327 0.01
Badminton 113017 111729 78589 0.7 1288 0.01
Beach Volleyball 408823 405952 284491 0.7 2871 0.01
Water Polo 116288 114398 80051 0.7 1890 0.02
Basketball 465385 462433 326197 0.71 2952 0.01
Table Tennis 138924 137930 98120 0.71 994 0.01
Handball 284442 282930 204889 0.72 1512 0.01
Equestrian Jumping 77138 76769 55669 0.73 369 0
Canoe Slalom 52789 51616 38351 0.74 1173 0.02
Taekwondo 72023 71602 52916 0.74 421 0.01
Modern Pentathlon 32231 31736 23889 0.75 495 0.02
Rowing 196234 194398 145271 0.75 1836 0.01
Archery 61150 60410 46032 0.76 740 0.01
Wrestling Freestyle 71895 71077 54134 0.76 818 0.01
Total 8473293 8209469 6264657 0.76 263824 0.03
Volleyball 498748 495737 382335 0.77 3011 0.01
Olympic Park 152838 151109 116953 0.77 1729 0.01
Hockey 588630 586625 457503 0.78 2005 0
Gymnastics Trampoline 27510 27113 21552 0.79 397 0.01
Sailing 56575 53418 41946 0.79 3157 0.6
Synchronised Swimming 63785 63176 49629 0.79 609 0.01
Wrestling Greco-Roman 43322 42774 33750 0.79 548 0.01
Boxing 202901 200914 162677 0.81 1987 0.01
Canoe Sprint 119805 119018 97606 0.82 787 0.01
Equestrian Dressage 77227 76655 62663 0.82 572 0.01
Equestrian Eventing 105563 105266 87567 0.83 297 0
Athletics Race Walk 11283 10935 9139 0.84 348 0.03
Weightlifting 92442 90137 75338 0.84 2305 0.02
Cycling Mountain Bike 33914 33558 28777 0.86 356 0.01
Cycling (Road Race) 32997 32809 29750 0.91 188 0.1
Cycling – Road (Time Trial) 2970 2733 2494 0.91 237 0.08
Football 2088078 1874854 1703636 0.91 213224 0.1
Orbit 79275 76784 71857 0.94 2491 0.03
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