Olympic Resale Site Goes Down

London’s efforts to impress the world with the way it hosts this year’s Olympic Games took another knock when the ticket resale site went down within hours of opening.

At press time it wasn’t clear when it will be up and running. The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games is saying Ticketmaster first needs to “investigate some issues customers have been experiencing.” The site was suspended for a fourth day as of Jan. 9.

A LOCOG spokesman said it wants buying and selling Olympic and Paralympic tickets through Ticketmaster to be “a good customer experience” and that the site will reopen once the issues are resolved.

A technical glitch on the site appears to be causing confusion over ticket availability.

People trying to buy tickets were able to view apparently available tickets, but – after several minutes – were told the tickets weren’t actually available.

Hours later, the website was showing the same tickets as still being available.

LOCOG says the problem was due to tens of thousands of people trying to buy tickets, as well as a delay in those tickets being removed from the system once they had been purchased.

As the major resale sites have been persuaded to stay out of the Olympic tickets market, the official site is the only place where fans can trade their tickets.

The breakdown of the site, which is to stay online until Feb. 3, came a couple of days after LOCOG confirmed that four of the synchronised swimming sessions have been oversold by 10,000 tickets.

This was apparently caused by putting the events on sale before the venue’s seating had been configured.

LOCOG and Ticketmaster are understood to have spent much of the Christmas holiday contacting ticketholders and offering them an alternative. Some fans actually enjoyed an upgrade, as they purchased tickets for synchronized swimming but would rather have attended other events.

The ticketing process has so far proved to be one of the most controversial issues in the lead up to the London showpiece.

It’s already attracted criticism for the way the tickets were allocated, the level of information regarding how many tickets were available, and because the system was felt to favour those prepared to front the most money for the higher-priced tickets for top events.

LOCOG has reportedly already banked £537 million of the £670 million box office it estimated the Olympics would generate.

It still has around 1.2 million tickets, most of them for the soccer competition, which will go on sale at the beginning of April.