Pedants will want to argue for the FIFA1 World Cup, the US Superbowl or even Angling as a mass participation sport but the London 2012 Paralympics are being billed with some justification as the world’s 2nd biggest sporting event after the Olympic Games in the same stadium and Olympic village. The claim is backed up by record ticket sales so far, with the previously unheard of possibility of the first ever sell-out Paralympics.
After Britain’s most successful Olympic Games in over a century wound down with the closing ceremony on Sunday, ticket sales for the Paralympics have been very brisk indeed according to Locog reports. More than 2.1 million tickets out of a total of 2.5million had been sold by Monday, and the organisers are doing their best to make sure they can call this the first ever sellout in the history of the Paralympic Games, which dates back 52 years. The previous record of 1.8 million ticket sales at Beijing in 2008 has already been overtaken. Once the sellout has been established, they will then start to release more tickets in dribs and drabs, following the same process that kept eager ticket hunters up late at night during the Olympics, hitting the refresh button again and again.
Did you know that Locog2 has a Director of Paralympic Integration in the person of Chris Holmes, a nine-times gold medal-winning former Paralympic swimmer? He says:
We are seeing an extraordinary increase in the public appetite for these Paralympic Games. Going past the 2 million ticket sales mark has put us into uncharted territory.
Craig Hunter, the manager of Britain’s Paralympic team for the London 2012 Games said every athlete in Great Britain’s 288-strong team was ready to have the Paralympic Games of their lives.
I think the sales are showing just how much the British public love sport and sporting success. Before the Games demand was high, but has got even higher over the past few days as maybe people who couldn’t get tickets for the Olympics decide they still want to see the action and so are coming to the Paralympics. With already more than two million tickets sold we are expecting to see stadia filled to capacity. The atmosphere is going to be incredible.
IPC3 president Sir Philip Craven said:
Our aim now is to sell every single ticket. It would be fitting that when the Paralympic Movement returns to its spiritual birthplace in three weeks’ time it does so in front of packed sold-out venues.