London Olympic glitch creates oversold tickets
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By ROB HARRIS,
Updated January 5, 2012
LONDON (AP) A ticketing mix-up by London Olympic organizers will pay off for some buyers: Instead of tickets for synchronized swimming, they'll get to see the 100-meter track final.
Organizers said Wednesday they accidentally oversold 10,000 tickets for synchronized swimming because of human error in processing applications.
As a result, customers have been offered the chance to exchange those tickets for other events they applied for but were unsuccessful - including some of the most glamorous and coveted events.
About 200 more people will be able to watch the men's 100 final in the Olympic Stadium, the highest demand sports event of the games.
Organizers realized a few weeks ago that they had sold twice the number of tickets available for four sessions of synchronized swimming.
"In December we contacted around 3,000 customers who had applied for tickets in the four sessions during the second round sales process," the organizing committee said in a statement Wednesday. "We are exchanging their synchronized swimming tickets for tickets in other sports that they originally applied for."
The alternate tickets will come from the pot of 1 million for all events that are to go on sale in May once the seating configuration has been finalized at all venues.
Some ticket buyers took to Twitter on Wednesday to reveal their delight at the administrative blunder.
"Just exchanged our Olympics synchronized swimming tix for men's & women's medley finals & freestyle finals," London-based author Stella Duffy tweeted. "Sorry synchros, but woo hoo!"
The process for people to resell any unwanted tickets in their possession opens on Friday.
Many people, including some of Britain's top athletes, have been unhappy at the ticketing system because of its complexity and perceived lack of fairness of the ballot.
Two-thirds of ticket seekers failed to earn any in a first round of sales last year, with 22 million requests for the 6.6 million tickets available.
In July, the company managing the ticketing system also accidentally charged about 700 people twice for tickets.
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