London 2012 Olympic prices

It’s almost as if the organisers of the London 2012 Olympics are incapable of learning anything from anyone.

Earlier this month, the gaze of the equestrian world was focussed on the World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Kentucky USA.

The WEG is the World Cup of all equestrian disciplines. Like other World Cup competitions, the WEG is held every four years; the venue changes on a ‘bid’ basis, this is also like other World Cup competitions.

In terms of competition ‘difficulty’, the WEG is a CCI**** (four star) competition, this is the highest degree of difficulty in the equestrian world.

The only other four star competitions in the normal *annual* Eventing calendar are:

Lexington (US), April
Badminton (GB), March
Luhmuhlen (DE), June
Burghley (GB), Sep
Pau (FR), November
Adelaide (AUS), November

To this list we have to add the two four star events that occur on a periodic basis:

WEG (US), October 2010
Olympics (GB), July 2012

Let’s add, to the list of *annual* four star events some additional information:

Lexington (US), April US$50 (incl car parking) – £31
Badminton (GB), March £101 (incl car parking) – £101
Luhmuhlen (DE), June €80 (incl car parking)  – £70
Burghley (GB), Sep £70 (incl car parking) – £70
Pau (FR), November €51 (for VIP pass incl car parking) – £45
Adelaide (AUS), November A$80 (incl car parking) – £50

This tells us that, for those of us in Europe, amongst the annual four star competitions, Badminton Horse Trials is exceptionally poor value.

Elsewhere in Europe, Pau, Luhmuhlen and Burghley all seem to be more or less in the same financial ballpark.

So we have a market.

Let’s add to the marketplace, the prices for this year’s WEG in Ketucky: £200 (incl car parking).

Fucking… ouch!! That’s painful.

OK, so now let’s add the final ingredient, the prices for the London 2012 Eventing competition: £275 (*not* incl car parking).

Fucking, fucking, fucking OUCH!!!

A point of clarification: the prices for four star Eventing competitions are not set by the local/national discipline. Oh no.

The prices for four star Events are set by the sport’s international governing body, the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI).

Unfortunately, the organisers of this year’s WEG have taken a financial hammering. According to today’s Sunday Telegraph, the FEI managed to sell just 52% of their tickets.

I can’t help wondering how many of the £275 tickets the FEI reckon they’re going to sell.

I’m seriously pissed off with the FEI, they seem to be guilty of what the Americans call ‘price gouging’.

The prices the FEI charged for the CIC*** (three star) competition at this year’s Gatcombe Horse Trials were absolutely criminal.

What is it with sport governing bodies that seems the make them see the punters as nothing more than cash cows?

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3 Responses to London 2012 Olympic prices

  1. Vicola says:

    Well they’ve priced me out. I signed up to get the alerts on tickets for the 2012 games because I wanted to go and see the eventing. The equestrian events are the only ones I’m interested in (although I do like to have a giggle at the synchronised swimming). There’s no way I can pay that much for a ticket, given that I’m also going to have to pay for transport to the venuw and unless it’s accessible from my brother’s flat in West Norwood, a hotel (at no doubt an inflated price) too. So no, once again I shall be watching the eventing from the comfort of my living room, where it will no doubt be screened at 3am so that we can spend daylight hours watching more non-stop coverage of some skinny people running round and round a red track until we die of boredom.

  2. Gumpher says:

    I’m with you, although I hadn’t seen the £275 for the eventing.

    Fucking ouch indeed.

    The big fanfare of tickets from twenty quid is a load of bollocks. Unless of course you want to see some Latvian lesbian straddling a Ugandan midget in the qualifying rounds of the Greco-Roman wrestling.

    We quite fancied the gymnastics, but the cost for the four of us is a nonsense.

  3. Jesus wept. Surely those prices cannot be true. There only seems to be on thing for it… everyone boycott the events that are over-priced. The only problem is, that the prices might rise the next year to compensate for the lack of attendance.