ORGANISERS of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games have revealed that more than 2.3 million requests for tickets were received – making the sporting event one of the most popular ever held in Scotland.
There was also a late flurry of applications as the initial phase of ticket sales drew to a close.
Thousands of people logged on in the hope of securing seats at next year’s sporting spectacle, with officials having to reinforce the online sales portal to cope with the last-minute requests.
With huge demand for premium events such as athletics, gymnastics and swimming, many of those hoping to watch the action first-hand are likely to miss out.
Some people applied for up to £1,500 worth of tickets on the final day, although others were critical of organisers, claiming that a four-ticket maximum in place for several events meant larger families would miss out.
For in-demand events, a draw will be held to allocate tickets, although those who have applied for sports such as table tennis, hockey and netball are expected to stand a better chance of securing seats.
Ty Speer, the deputy chief executive of Glasgow 2014, said the number of applications submitted since the window opened on 19 August suggested there will be “great crowds”.
He also reassured those who waited until Monday evening – the cut-off time for applications was 6pm – that they have the same prospects of getting tickets.
He said: “Everyone has a fair chance. The applications that went in on the first day, the applications that went in somewhere in the middle of the process, and applications on the last day will all be treated fairly.”
While visitors to the Glasgow 2014 site endured lengthy waits on 19 August when the application process opened, the web portal appeared to be running without any major problems on Monday.
Speaking before the deadline was reached, Mr Speer said: “We knew the website on the opening day would have a lot of traffic and we wanted to manage that traffic carefully to make sure everything was stable and operating.
“[For the last day], we updated the site to deal with what we expect will be large traffic late this afternoon.”
Even before the late rush of applications, hundreds of thousands of people had submitted claims for seats.
Organisers said there were “already substantially more ticket requests than seats available” at eight events: athletics, diving, swimming, mountain biking, track cycling, artistic gymnastics, judo and triathlon. Both the opening and closing ceremonies were also “very popular”.
Some potential spectators with larger families reserved criticism for organisers over the four-ticket maximum on events such as swimming and diving.
Anna Traquair, 45, from Dalkeith, said she had reluctantly applied for the rugby sevens, which has a ten-ticket maximum, but said her children – Phoebe, 12, Will, 11, and eight-year-old Charlie – would miss out on their favourite sports.
She said: “The organisers are trying to encourage children, and I feel really let down. It’s a shame I’ve been prevented from applying for quite a large percentage of the events because of the size of my family.”
A spokeswoman for Glasgow 2014 said: “Limits have been applied to make sure more people have a better chance of obtaining tickets and also to deter against unlawful resale.”