Richie Churchill: I didn’t apply for any Olympic tickets

Posted on June 23, 2011 by

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Today people found out whether or not they got tickets to something really exciting at the Olympics or some over-priced comedy sport they now no doubt regret applying for.

I didn’t apply for any tickets for the Olympics.

One reason for this was because – aside from some of the court based sports – I just don’t get why you’d want to be there, watching these athletes, from a single defined viewing position, from a great distance, when you could be watching them all in close up on TV. This is before you look at the ridiculous way you had to “apply” for tickets which you may or may not have to ultimately buy and if you do “win” them you can only pay using VISA.

Restricting payment methods to only that of one of the sponsors? As Adidas are a sponsor will you not be allowed in to see the men’s 100m final if you’re wearing a pair of Nikes? If you drive to the event in anything other than a BMW does your ticket become void (and what if you filled up with Shell rather than BP)? Would those travellers from abroad who foolishly used Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines or Lufthansa be shunned away at immigration for not complying with protocol and flying British Airways? Best not look on your Casio watch to check what the time is, only Omega watches are allowed in the venues!

Now you may say those are ridiculous suggestions, but is it any more ridiculous than only letting people pay for tickets via the medium one of the sponsors, VISA, and not accepting payment from Mastercard or American Express? OK, not accepting American Express wouldn’t be a shock to anyone.

But there is also the other reason, the big reason I didn’t apply for any tickets, that is to say, London Transport. As a London commuter, frankly, the service is average at best and a ruddy joke whenever it gets busy, like say, during that rush hour which unexpectedly hits at the same time every day, or when, god forbid, some kind of weather occurs. When the Olympics is happening, it will be a nightmare travelling around London and that’s on the assumption that the “improvement works” actually finish on time.

I plan to stay as far away from London as I can during the Olympics, sitting at home, with a chilled beverage, watching all the action unfold at home using whatever magic the boffins have come up with for the Red Button that year. There’ll probably be some amazing new app to view all the events on, with real-time stats on the competitors and multi-lingual commentary, but it will only work on Samsung Tablets.

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