| LONDON, Sept 27
LONDON, Sept 27 Demand for tickets for next
year's Paralympic Games has been unprecedented and many of the
sessions will have to go to a ballot, London 2012 chief
executive Paul Deighton said on Tuesday.
Ticket sales in Britain opened on Sept. 9 and closed on
Speaking to Reuters at the opening of a Team GB and
ParalympicsGB outlet at the new Westfield shopping centre at the
Olympic Park in east London, Deighton said the public response
had been exceptional.
"We are still sorting through the final numbers but we are
delighted with the outcome. We have sold hundreds and hundreds
of thousands, a very impressive return. In Paralympic terms,
it's unprecedented," he said.
"There's a substantial number of sessions where we will have
to go to ballot because they've been over-subscribed, which
again I think is probably a first for the Paralympic Games."
He said the over-subscribed sessions were more widely spread
across the sports than might have been expected, and not just
the popular ceremonies, cycling and wheelchair basketball.
Deighton said the ticket sales would not change the overall
financial picture for organisers LOCOG, even though revenues
from the Olympics and Paralympics are combined before working
out any profits.
"Our projections for Paralympic ticket sales were always
pretty strong, so basically what we are going to do is hit our
target," he said.
Deighton attributed the demand, for an event that starts
once the Olympics are over, to Britons being great consumers of
sport as well as a side-effect of all the Olympic events at the
showcase venues being sold out.
"The roots of the Paralympic movement are here and there's
much more interest here than is typically the case," he said.
"And I think people also see it as a way of continuing the
celebrations of the summer of 2012, of being part of the whole
thing and getting into seeing some of our great venues."
The remaining tickets for the Paralympics will be put on
sale online in December along with some 1.5 million Olympic
There will also be a further sale of around a million
Olympic tickets held back while sight lines and broadcasting
positions inside venues were finalised.
"The remaining Olympic Games tickets will come back on sale
probably in April next year when we have finalised precisely all
the venues...so we know exactly how many tickets we have got
left for each sport," added Deighton.
(Editing by Clare Fallon; For Reuters sports blog Left Field go