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How do I apply for London 2012 Olympic tickets?

Members of Great Britain's Cycling Team turn out for the opening of London's Olympic Velodrome venue in February.
Members of Great Britain's Cycling Team turn out for the opening of London's Olympic Velodrome venue in February.
  • Organizers: 90% of London 2012 Olympic tickets will cost less than £100
  • If there are more applicants than tickets available then a random ballot will take place
  • Applicants have till April 26 to apply for tickets on the official website
  • Organizers have said that applicants need to beware of bogus websites and ticket scalpers

London (CNN) -- Tickets finally go on sale Tuesday for the 2012 Olympics, with 500 days till the world gathers in London for the opening ceremony on July 27. Full details can be found on the London 2012 website.

When can I apply for tickets?

A total of 6.6 million tickets go on sale online from midnight GMT on Tuesday March 15 (that's 8 p.m. ET Monday March 14). They stay on sale till 10.59 p.m. GMT on Tuesday April 26 2011 (6.59 p.m. ET on Monday April 25).

How do I apply for tickets?

If you live in the UK or one of several European nations -- including France, Germany, Italy and Spain -- then use the Olympic website.

Visa, which sponsors the Olympics, is the only credit card that you can use: debit, credit and pre-paid cards are all accepted. UK residents can also apply by check through branches of the bank, Lloyds TSB.

Residents of other nations, including the United States, will need to apply via their National Olympic Committee; or consider inclusive hospitality and travel packages; or be very good friends with Usain Bolt.

As always with any big ticket event: beware of bogus websites and ticket scalpers.

How much do tickets cost?

Twenty pounds ($32) will buy you a seat for a session at the opening heats of the archery. The best seats for the opening ceremony come in at £2,012 ($3,250). There are special concessions for young people and seniors. Organizers say that 90 percent of seats will cost less than £100 ($160).

A session lasts several hours and may feature more than one event: an athletics session, for example, may include a variety of heats, qualifying rounds and finals.

Is it first come, first served?

No. The organizers say you have as much chance of buying a ticket if you apply on the first day of the application process as on the last. London 2012 says that when events are over-subscribed, an automated random ballot will be triggered.

How do I get tickets for the opening and closing ceremonies?

Apply as you would for any session -- just expect them to be pricier.

As always with any big ticket event: beware of bogus websites and ticket scalpers

Do babies and small children get in for free?

No, there are special ticket prices for them as everyone has to have a ticket.

How can I ensure I get the best possible view?

The more you pay for your ticket the better your seat. The pricing schedule tells you how much each ticket costs: the view from a category E seat will not be as good as from a category A. Olympic organizers say everyone should have a fantastic experience wherever they sit.

What is the maximum number of sessions that I can apply for?

You can apply for up to 20 sessions but you can only apply for each session once within your application.

How and when will I know if my application for the tickets I want has been successful?

You should find out if you have been successful by June 24.

What if I receive my allocation but then don't want my tickets?

You will be able to resell your tickets at face value through the official London 2012 resale program in 2012. This will be the only authorized way to buy resale tickets. More details of this are due to be announced early next year.

What happens to any tickets not allocated during the March-April sales period?

There will be ticket box offices set up to sell any remaining tickets before and during the games. However, the London 2012 organizers strongly advises you use the application period to have more chance of getting tickets.

How can I increase my chances of getting tickets?

There are several ways. One is to opt for one of the less popular sports: you're likely to face less competition for the opening heats of the weightlifting than the 100 meters final. Certain sports are also more popular with spectators, including cycling, athletics, swimming and gymnastics.

For some sessions you will be able to choose both higher and/or lower price categories to increase your chances of obtaining tickets to the session, if your preferred price category isn't available.

What about tickets for the Paralympic Games?

Applications for Paralympic Games tickets will open on 9 September 2011 and will follow a similar process.

Help! I've failed in my applications for all Olympic events!

Fear not. Certain events taking place on public roads will be free, including the marathon and the cycling element of the triathlon. While small sections of each route will include grandstands for ticket holders, most of the event will be unticketed. Organizers are encouraging locals and visitors alike to line the route and cheer on competitors.

Failing that there's always Rio 2016.