CHILDREN will have more access to events at Glasgow 2014 than at any previous Commonwealth Games, with half-price tickets available to under-16s for the first time.
Members of the public will today have a chance to “be part of the one of the world’s biggest events” as up to a million tickets for the Games go on sale.
Organisers are expecting a huge wave interest from people applying to watch the sporting spectacle, and have called on them to help make sure the city’s arenas are “filled with saltire flags and cheering Scots”.
Applications can be made online from 10am today, and will be accepted for the next four weeks. With no first come, first served policy, every spectator will have the same opportunity of securing a seat for one of the 17 sports in the competition.
Tickets will be on sale until 16 September. Adult tickets start at £15 and two-thirds of them will be less than £25. For the first time at a Commonwealth Games, half-price concessions will be available for under-16s.
The opening of the event’s box office comes as Sir Bradley Wiggins revealed he would “love” to win a gold medal at next year’s Games. Although the Olympic champion said he does not know if he will take part in the time trial or track events, the occasion was something he would “love to be part of”.
The start of the sales process will be marked at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre this morning, when Michael Jamieson, the Glasgow-born ambassador for the Games and Olympic silver medallist, dives into the refurbished pool.
Jamieson, who secured his silver in the 200 metres breaststroke at London 2012, trained at Tollcross when he was a boy and will return to compete for Commonwealth gold for Team Scotland next summer.
He anticipates Glasgow 2014 will be a highlight of his career and has encouraged people to stake a claim for a ticket and watch it live.
“The difference between watching a big multi-sport event on television or actually being there and experiencing it is second to none,” he said. “These are elite athletes in every one of the 17 sports competing against their rivals so no matter which sport you get tickets for you will be enthralled, excited and entertained. There is nothing to beat live sport.”
Glasgow is preparing to welcome 4,500 athletes from 71 nations and territories of the Commonwealth who will take part in the 11-day event next summer.
Lord Smith of Kelvin, Glasgow 2014 chairman, said: “Glasgow 2014 in every sense is a Games for everyone and a fantastic opportunity to experience world-class sport up close in one of the world’s great sporting cities.
“We look forward to welcoming elite athletes from across the Commonwealth and the best welcome we can give them are stadia packed with supporters cheering them on.
“Now is your chance to be part of this friendly force of fans for what I hope will be a great moment for sport, for Glasgow and Scotland.”
Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said: “This is a chance to be part of one of the world’s biggest events and the largest ever multi-sport event in Scotland.
“With affordable ticket prices and concessions for children and over-60s, this is a truly family friendly Games that will guarantee top-class sporting drama for spectators and a great Glasgow welcome for visitors.”
Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland, said: “We’re working hard to promote the Games as a must-see event next year with Glasgow the start of a fantastic adventure here in Scotland.
“Our message is clear: enjoy a magnificent Commonwealth Games, enjoy one of the best cities in the world – now go and enjoy the rest of Scotland.”
A new Commonwealth Games section has been launched on VisitScotland.com, providing information about the city, the event and travel elsewhere in Scotland and last month a £2.5 million campaign was announced to target millions of potential visitors from across the Commonwealth.
At least 70 per cent of tickets will be made available to the public via the ticketing system that opens today.
Organisers have said there will be an equal opportunity to apply for tickets during the four weeks, saying it makes no difference when the application is made as long as it is received by 6pm on Monday 16 September.
Michael Cavanagh, chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland, said: “We urge the public to buy tickets now to ensure that the venues are filled with saltire flags and cheering Scots, helping to make home advantage count.
“From swimming to weightlifting, our athletes are training hard to give you something to shout about, so come along and play your part in the Games.”
Applications for tickets can be made online on glasgow2014.com/tickets from 10am or via postal applications.
Applying for tickets
Applications will be accepted from 10am today at glasgow2014.com/tickets. E-mail will be the primary method of communication regarding ticket information and the Games.
To increase your chances of obtaining tickets, tick “Increase Your Chances” to indicate that you will accept a lower-price ticket if your preferred price category is not available. If you have only requested tickets in the lowest price category, this will not apply to you.
If you have a disability or impairment and require a personal assistant, you may select a personal assistant seat at no extra charge when applying for tickets.
You can pay by debit and credit card, pre-paid credit card, cheque or postal order. Applicants will be notified about their tickets between 30 September and 7 October.
Details about any remaining tickets will be released in October.
Frequently asked questions about buying tickets for Games
Q How many tickets are there and from when can I apply?
A About one million tickets will be going on sale today at 10am via www.glasgow2014.com/tickets.
Q How long have I got to apply then?
A All ticket applications must be submitted by 6pm on 16 September. You can only submit one application per household.
Q Is it first come, first served once applications are open?
A No, it makes no difference whether you apply for tickets on the first day, last day, or anytime in between.
Q What if one sport proves
too popular and is oversubscribed?
A Where ticket applications for particular sessions – for example the 100m final – exceed supply, organisers will hold a “fair, simple and completely impartial” draw.
Q If I apply for tickets for one sport is there any danger I will be sent tickets for another sport?
A You apply for the tickets you want. It’s not a lucky dip – if you’ve requested tickets for netball, you won’t be given tickets for table tennis.
Q Is there any risk of applying for four tickets for one event, but only receiving half that number?
A If you ask for four tickets, you will either be successful or unsuccessful in your application for four tickets. You will not be allocated one, two or three tickets.
Athletes share their thoughts about next year’s event
“The Commonwealth Games is a special event for me. I have fantastic memories of competing for Scotland”
Sir Chris Hoy (cyclist)
“it’s a bit like a mini-Olympics, it gets a lot of television coverage. I’d love to go back there and try to win a Commonwealth gold.”
Bradley Wiggins (cyclist)
“It would be really nice to have another history-making medal under my belt.”
Nicola Adams (boxer)
“It’s another major competition on home soil and I’d love to race at a Commonwealth Games.”
David Weir (wheelchair athlete)
“It’s absolutely great and I think my training is really going to step up leading into the Commonwealth Games.”
Robbie Renwick (swimmer)
“In this instance it’s as big, if not bigger, than the Olympic Games for me. It’s as close to home as it gets.”
Michael Jamieson (swimmer)
“The Commonwealth Games are something I’m looking towards. That’s what I’ll be focusing on next year.”
Jessica Ennis-Hill (heptathlete)
“At Glasgow 2014, I want to get a medal. To have a home crowd at London 2012 is special but for the Commonwealth Games to be in Scotland is huge.”
Lynsey Sharp (runner)
I am sure the whole of Scotland will be getting behind the Games. It will be good to pull on a Scottish jersey and hopefully get on the podium again.”
Neil Fachie (para-cyclist)