Details of how to get hold of London 2012 tickets have been released.
Our handy guide contains everything you need to know in order to enjoy the greatest show in sport as the Olympics hit Britain for the first time in over 60 years - including the best times to see home-grown athletes winning gold.
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How can I buy tickets for the Olympics?
There is a 42-day window in which you can apply, running
from March 15 to April 26, 2011. You can either apply online at www.tickets.london2012.com or alternatively through
completing a form given out at branches of Lloyds TSB and Bank of
Scotland - or, for those who live in Northern Ireland, public libraries.
There's one odd thing to look out for: bizarrely, online ticket
applications must be paid using a Visa debit or credit card, so if you plan to
buy online make sure you have the right brand of plastic.
How much will tickets
Anywhere from nothing to £2,012, depending on what you are
going to see. The top whack is for a few selected seats at the opening ceremony.
Having said that, you're basically looking at a minimum of
£50 to see a medal decided in athletics or swimming. Most of the other sports
follow similar pricing levels, though tickets to the boxing gold medal session start
at £95 and low-demand sports such as archery have gold medal session tickets for
as little as £30.
Remember, tickets are for sessions, rather than entire days.
Morning tickets generally cost less than half of an evening session ticket, unless
medals are on the line (for example on weekend days), in which case there is
usually no difference.
Also, that £50 is a minimum, with prices shooting up quickly
for better seats. As an example: athletics tickets prices for an evening
session are usually £50, £125, £295 and £420, with a handful of £725 tickets. Track
cycling afternoon/evening sessions cost £50-£95-£150-£225-£325. Football £20-£30-£40.
Expensive? Yes. But at least every ticket includes a 'free'
zone 1-9 travelcard to let you on trains, tubes and buses.
When should I apply?
Any time during the window. If tickets for any session are
over-subscribed, a ballot will be held to see who gets in.
What if I can't go?
Once you've applied for tickets you are obliged to buy them
- but fear not, if your plans change there will be an online ticket exchange
where tickets can be swapped or sold at face value.
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Splash out - You
can pay up to £725 for tickets to
the evening session of the athletics on Sunday 5th August. Then again, you could
be there to see history being made as Usain Bolt runs in the 100m final.
Save some pennies
- If you just want to soak up the Olympic atmosphere and aren't bothered about
seeing who comes out on top, cheapish tickets - between £20 and £30 - are
available whenever no medal is being awarded. You could see half a dozen beach
volleyball matches in a single session for £20 on the afternoon of August 2nd,
Watch for free - The
road cycling race and individual time trial at Hampton Court are both unticketed
- although you'll need to pay up to £60 for a seat at the finish line for the
road race. You'll also be able to head to Lord's, where cricket makes way for
archery for the Olympics. The ranking rounds on 27th July are free.
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Pick of the dates:
Friday 27th July - The opening ceremony at the Olympic
Stadium. Expect the usual mix of fireworks,
acrobats and cute children with a talent for lip synching.
Saturday 28th July
- Isle of Man cyclist Mark Cavendish
will be one of the hot tips to take gold in the road race, which finishes on The
Mall by Buckingham Palace.
Sunday 29th July
- Everyone's favourite Olympian next door Rebecca
Adlington expected to defend her title in the 400m freestyle.
Monday 30th July
- Tom Daley and Pete Waterfield set to take part in the synchronised platform
Wednesday 1st August
- More cycling action, with the
individual time trial at Hampton Court.
Thursday 2nd August
- The cycling in the velodrome
begins, with men's and women's team sprints to be decided on the opening day.
Friday 3rd August
- First day of the athletics, and Jessica
Ennis will be straight into action in the heptathlon, hopefully picking up her gold medal on Saturday
evening, while Peter Reed and Andy Triggs Hodge will be favourites
for the men's pairs in the rowing.
Saturday 4th August
- The final day of the rowing should see reigning Olympic champs Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter going for double sculls gold.
Sunday 5th August - The
central day of the Games will be one of the best: Usain Bolt will go for a second consecutive Olympic 100m gold, while in the velodrome Chris Hoy will be looking to set more
records in the individual sprint. On the water, Ben Ainslie
will be hoping for a gold in the Finn,
and as if that weren't enough, it's also the final of the men's singles tennis tournament. Can Andy Murray earn gold on the turf of Wimbledon?
Tuesday 7th August
- The men's triathlon takes place in Hyde Park, with Britain's Alastair Brownlee one of the favourites
to take the gold. His brother Jonny is also among the contenders.
Thursday 9th August
- British medal contender Phillips Idowu
goes for gold in the final of the triple
jump, while Usain Bolt will be
looking for another medal in the 200m.
Saturday 11th August -
Tom Daley will go for Olympic gold at
the event in which he was crowned world champion in 2009: the individual 10m platform diving.
Sunday 12th August
- The last day of the Games sees the closing
ceremony, but also both of the marathons.
Will Paula Radcliffe be able to finally
break her Olympic jinx?