More Than 1 Million Miss Out on 2012 Olympic Tickets

LONDON -- Two thirds of those who applied for tickets for the 2012 London Olympics missed out in the first round of sales.

Organizers announced Friday that 1.2 million of the 1.9 million people who applied for tickets ended up with nothing. Just 700,000 individuals -- mostly Britons -- split 3 million tickets between them after a six-week sales window.

However, those missing out will be given the first opportunity to buy tickets when another 2.3 million go on sale on June 24.

"We certainly understand people's disappointment," organizing committee chief executive Paul Deighton told The Associated Press. "But we think we allocated tickets as fairly as we could."

Tickets were not put on sale on a first-come, first-served basis and events that were oversubscribed were allocated through a lottery system. A third of the tickets have been sold to London residents, while the average successful application for four tickets cost $283.

While tickets remain for sports such as track and field, others like track cycling, rhythmic gymnastics, triathlon, modern pentathlon and the cross-country equestrian competition are sold out.

The opportunity on June 24 will include 1.7 million tickets for soccer matches across Britain on top of the 500,000 already sold. Hockey and volleyball tickets are among the other 600,000 tickets available starting next Friday.

By next month, organizers expect to have raised $647 million from ticket sales, with another $162 million anticipated by the time the Olympics start on July 27, 2012. In total, 6.6 million tickets will be available to the public.

The expectation of seeing Usain Bolt in the 100 meters final attracted 1.3 million applications, but only 30,000 of the 80,000 seats at the Olympic Stadium will have gone on general sale. So far 21,000 tickets have been sold and the remaining 9,000 will be made available next year.

Tickets that go on sale to the British public can be bought by anyone living in the European Union.

But only 3 percent of sales through the official site have come from outside Britain. People also can buy tickets in their own country through a designated company or the national Olympic committee.

"If you benchmark that (demand) against other games, it's a massive domestic interest," organizing committee chairman Sebastian Coe said. "I would be hard pushed to give you such a demand for any other sporting event in my lifetime."