Commonwealth Games will be ‘cheaper than Olympics’

Mascot Clyde celebrates the 500-day countdown to the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Picture: PA
Mascot Clyde celebrates the 500-day countdown to the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Picture: PA
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ORGANISERS of Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games have pledged that ticket prices for events will be much easier on the pocket than the London Olympics.

Officials said that while they are yet to set final prices for next summer’s sporting extravaganza they had learned crucial lessons from the 2012 event.

The cheapest tickets in London were £20, but seats for the much sought-after finals of most competitions started at £50, with the best seats costing several hundred pounds.

However, the Glasgow event will be “a lot more affordable”, organisers insist.

Ticket prices for Games events and arrangements for selling them are to be announced within the next few weeks.

More than a million tickets will be made available for the 12-day programme. It is not yet known what proportion of tickets for the various competitions will go on sale to the public.

However, organisers told The Scotsman that “every effort” would be made to avoid the prospect of empty seats – a problem which dogged the early stages of the London Olympics.

The opening ceremony in London failed to sell out in advance, with top-priced seats costing £1,600 and £2,012 left on the shelf until the last minute.

Olympics officials said that 90 per cent of the tickets for the Games were priced £100 or less, with two-thirds of them costing less than £50.

The British Hospitality Association has challenged Glasgow 2014 organisers to make the Commonwealth Games “even more accessible” than the London event, by seeking greater involvement from the general public and the city.

Chief executive Ufi Ibrahim told a tourism conference in Glasgow last week: “The Games in London were the most successful in the history in terms of accessibility, but we want to see Glasgow match and beat the impact it had when the Commonwealth Games are held next summer. I do think that is realistic.”

Gordon Arthur, head of marketing at the Commonwealth Games, said: “Our tickets will be a lot more affordable than the London Olympics.

“We will be looking to learn lessons from last summer. We don’t want empty seats, but that wasn’t really down to the level of ticket prices and how tickets were sold.

“It was more to do with parts of the venues that had been
allocated to the ‘Olympic Family’ and was a complex issue, but we are working hard to avoid any problems next summer.”