Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Olympics Tickets Balls-Up

NB: I am not the Devil

Still the whining goes on about Olympics tickets, and still no-one seems to have identified the problem.

Look. I was given a ticket for an event which I won't be attending as it has no value to me. Ain't I the hideous one, eh?

Its original price, according to what I can find out, was £87 if you were to buy it from the official site. I'd have sold it for a fiver and been ecstatic about it, except that I'm not allowed to by law.
The unauthorised selling of Olympic tickets is a crime under the Olympic Act punishable by a £20,000 fine, and police have warned they will take tough action against touts.

It therefore resided, until recently when the council picked it up, in my recycling bin.

We know very well why this approach was taken. It's because there is an attitude in our country which is so fearful of "the privileged" sucking up tickets by virtue of being rich, that every effort has been taken to stop them doing so. It's easy to concede that there is some merit in that, even if it can arguably be seen to be driven by ugly envy.

However, it's been done in such a cack-handed way that they have forgotten how good humans are at sorting themselves out and ending up with a mostly decent result.

The London 2012 organisers had already priced anyone without a massive deposit account from buying the vast majority of the popular tickets anyway, quite rightly too as they are obliged to get return for the tax cash they have spent.

But while those who seem committed to egalitarianism and (presumably) re-distribution of wealth, are happy to see the rich restricted from buying seats at the expense of the less well off, they have woefully overlooked the more important aspect of re-distribution of value.

The value I placed on that ticket was quite literally zero. I would have happily given it away but for the fact that I had no-one to give it away to as no-one in my social circle was interested in one adult ticket (the spectre of over-bearing security and oppressive restrictions on what is allowed on the day of 'celebration' may have contributed to the disinterest, I reckon).

Someone, somewhere, would place a different value on it, though. If I was able to offer it for sale - in a free market - the person who valued it most highly would be able to see the event and be just as ecstatic as I would be for receiving, say, a fiver for something I personally thought was worth nothing.

They might believe it's a steal as they were prepared to pay only half of the £87 asking price, but got it for a fiver. I'd be dead happy that I got £5 for something which wasn't absorbent enough for me to even find value by wiping my bum with.

If the organisers are so dead set against re-distributing the natural value of Olympics tickets - by way of brutal laws involving £20k fines, no less - how on Earth can they be surprised that they are left with empty seats all over the place?

The only possible result is that just about everyone is left unsatisfied. Except, oddly enough, the privileged and the rich who the rules were meant to frustrate in the first place.

Meanwhile, Mrs and Mr SportsFan are allowed to believe that it's a corporate failure, instead of a massive mistake by those who swallow our taxes and refuse to recognise that a free swapping of value could have put bums on many of those empty seats the BBC, and others, are scratching their muddled heads about.


Anonymous said...

Had the organisers been able to snap themselves out of their one-size-fits-all, regulatory mindset, they could even have set up their own redistribution system. They could have organised a website to buy back unwanted tickets at, say, one third of face value and then resell them at half price, with the possibility of a grand sale a couple of days before the event - payment by debit card and self-printed tickets.
Just too difficult to figure out, I suppose.

andy5759 said...

DK, your reasoning is spot on. If only such clear thinking was possible from the Pow(d)ers That Be and our coked up Lame Stream Media.

TheFatBigot said...

There is an "official" website for unwanted tickets. The pricing system is unknown to me, but there is such a site and has been since shortly after the first tickets were raffled.

Adam said...

As fun as it is to complain about the Olympics this is your cock up. There has been a well publicised official website where you can sell on unwanted tickets at face value, and this has been open most the year.

It took me 2 seconds to google the page; top result for "resell London Olympic tickets".

While I would have no problem with people selling at whatever price they want, one official site is useful just so people know they are genuine tickets.

Unknown said...

They can't stand real capitalism in action. What are markets but redistribution of assets? (PS-Disinterest = neutral, like a judge. The word you're looking for is uninterest).

blingmun said...

"It's because there is an attitude in our country which is so fearful of "the privileged" sucking up tickets by virtue of being rich, that every effort has been taken to stop them doing so."

Sorry stopped reading there. Tickets for the opening ceremony were £2012 (gedditt?! - but seriously they were that expensive).

If any public money be spend on this glorified sports day then ALL tickets should have been allocated by a lottery. My financial circumstances are dire and I wasn't really in a position to spend any money on luxuries like Olympics tickets when it was time to put your name down. Yet I paid taxes during that time to pay for the fucking thing.

Anonymous said...

Fuck that slimy bastard Coe and his toilet mate Cameron.This ticket fuck up is the best thing that could have happened to these shithole olympics.I have been forced to pay 350 nicker a year from the bastard council tax for this load of shit,so multiply that by 7 (that's how many years we have been paying for) and that's what every council tax payer in the surrounding boroughs had to pay for these rich fuckers games.Is it a coincidence that all these boroughs are amongst the poorest in the fucking country.Why wasn't the cockroaches in kensington and chelsea and knightsbridge made to pay!

Dick Puddlecote said...

Blingmum: You didn't read far enough to see this bit then.

"The London 2012 organisers had already priced anyone without a massive deposit account from buying the vast majority of the popular tickets anyway"

It was kinda part of the point of the article. If they're going to such lengths to stop the rich buying at a premium, perhaps they should have done as you said. Sold them ALL for peanuts. I agree with you, see?

Dick Puddlecote said...

Adam: For a fiver (which is about all I would have expected for the resale) do you really think it's worth anyone's while searching for an 'official' site even if they knew it existed?

Why does the state replicate what is already available in the free market, and where everyone with anything from a kettle to a laptop to sell automatically steers to?

It's worse than I thought then. They're spending money on something which isn't much known about (se TFB's comment) and which is quite obviously not working as intended or they wouldn't be scrambling around trying to fill the visibly empty seats. Just to fulfil some daft, and hypocritical (see previous comment by me), equality agenda.

Still a balls-up.

Anonymous said...

Could you have sold if for the benefit of a genuine charity and so not made a profit from it?

(ie, show me the receipt of your £5 donation to the PDSA and you get the ticket)

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