Saturday, February 20, 2010

Good Advice on Buying Olympic Tickets

From fellow CouchSurfer, Ashish Bajaj:

My family & I got back from Vancouver a few days ago and I wanted to share lessons we learned about how to buy tickets.

Tickets are released by each country's Olympic committee each day. There are at least 3 ticket centers in Vancouver that sell them. The earlier you get there the better. The central office always has a long line but it moves. The line at the office near the outdoor torch is short but it barely moved when I was there. There are representatives from walking around the line who have a list of available events.

If you have a Visa debit or credit card and are a Canadian resident, you can also buy the tickets online. You will still have to stand in one of the lines to pick them up or you can pick them up within two hours of the event at the venue. The number is 800 842-5387.

The fan-to-fan website is another official way I know of to get tickets. Tickets for events Mon-Fri seem to be less marked up than weekend events. That website doesn't seem to work for same day tickets (they don't appear on the site).

The US vendor, CoSport, adds new tickets to their site every morning. They are significantly marked up.

Other than that, there are people selling tickets on the street. We found that the scalpers are much more willing to sell tickets at face value the day before (or day of) the event - no surprise there. There's a chance that they're selling a ticket that will be no good because someone could have sold that same ticket on the fan-to-fan site. VANOC has built in some disincentives to keep people from doing that, but you never know.

Anyway, I hope this helps someone. If I said anything incorrect, I apologize - if you know more, please feel free to add to or amend my suggestions.

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