ORGANISERS of Glasgow 2014 have revealed demand for tickets is the highest of any Commonwealth Games in history.
They hailed the “record” and “unprecedented” sale of 92 per cent of tickets which were made available to the public for next summer’s sporting spectacle.
Spectators have snapped up 854,614 tickets for the 11-day event so far, a figure officials said exceeded their expectations. The level of sale was the equivalent of “shaving a second” off the 100 metres record, organisers said.
In a sign of the Games’ appeal at home, more than half of the tickets (57 per cent) were bought by Scots, according to preliminary research, with 22 per cent purchased by those in the Greater Glasgow area. Four in every ten tickets sold went to UK residents.
Just 3 per cent of sales came from the rest of the world, although organisers stressed that tickets for Commonwealth nations come from an additional pot, sold through other Commonwealth Games associations.
The remaining 76,000 public briefs across six sports – as well as the opening and closing ceremonies – will go on public sale today, with the hope that the Games will eventually sell out altogether.
However, the team behind Glasgow 2014 told The Scotsman they were not ruling out the idea of distributing unsold tickets to community groups. They also said they were determined to ensure other parties – such as officials, sponsors, and hospitality clients – took up their full allocation.
The breakdown of the ticket sales revealed the enormous demand for high-profile events such as athletics, swimming and cycling.
A resounding 766,510 requests were made for track and field sessions at Hampden, the equivalent of selling out the city’s new SECC Hydro arena every night for two months.
Cycling, too, proved a major draw, with 364,107 applications, while swimming sessions at Tollcross International Swimming Centre – where Scotland’s Michael Jamieson is tipped to win gold – attracted 327,308 requests, meaning that organisers could have sold out the arena ten times over.
The most popular day for spectators is 27 July, a date that may offer Glasgow its first glimpse of Usain Bolt with the heats of the 100 metres. It will also see finals in the pool and track cycling.
Ty Speer, deputy chief executive of Glasgow 2014, said the sales generated so far “must be a new record amount for a Commonwealth Games at this point”.
He added: It’s an amazing result for Glasgow 2014 and for Scotland, and a fantastic position to be in.”
The remaining tickets were due to go on sale from 10am. They include for badminton, boxing, lawn bowls, rugby sevens, squash and weightlifting.
Over half are priced at £15 for adults and £7.50 for under-16s and over-60s. Tickets will be sold via tickets.glasgow2014.com and on the hotline, 0844 826 2014.