Olympic Tickets

Screen shot 2009-11-15 at 1.14.58 PM

Yesterday was “phase 3” of Vancouver 2010 Olympic ticket sales1.  I hadn’t tried to buy tickets in phases 1 or 22, but decided to give it a shot this time.

Because so many people want to buy Olympic tickets, the procedure for buying them involves going to the website at the appointed time and sitting in a “virtual waiting room,” which refreshes every 30 seconds.  From this “virtual waiting room,” people are (allegedly) randomly selected to move to the “buying room”3 where they have 12 minutes to pick the tickets they want and purchase them.  With Visa.  Visa is an Olympic sponsor, and so is the only credit card you can use to buy tickets.  They must be making a fortune on this!

I waited in the virtual waiting room for SIX HOURS. Seriously.  I mean, I was doing other things during that time, and just had the waiting room up in Firefox.  After about six hours, my friend Karen Google chatted me and said she’d gotten into the “buying room” after just 1/2 hr!  Now, the Olympic website said in no uncertain terms that if you had the waiting room opened in multiple browsers and/or multiple tabs in a browser, it would screw up the system and cause you to time out.  Yet Karen told me that she’d had it opened in 10 tabs!!  So I opened up the virtual waiting room in Safari and got into the buying room in just 10 minutes!  Silly me, reading the fine print and following the rules!

By this time, all tickets for the men’s hockey that didn’t cost one zillion dollars were gone, but I did manage to snag tickets to two events:

  • women’s hockey playoffs
  • sledge hockey playoffs

So my wallet is $500 lighter4, but I figure having the Olympics in your city is a once in a lifetime thing.

I hope I get to meet Quatchi.

  1. Phase 3 was supposed to happen the previous Saturday, but there computer system was b0rked, so they made it yesterday instead. []
  2. although my friend Rachel got a bunch of tickets in phase 2, so I’m going to a women’s prelim hockey game – CAN vs. SVK – with her []
  3. they don’t actually call it that, but that’s what I was calling it, for lack of a better title []
  4. although I did buy 4 tickets to both of those events, so I’ll recoup some of that when I figure out who I’m going to invite to come with me and Tod []

Comments |1|

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  • Air was in the Waiting Zone for hours, and then gave up. Hours later, she tried again and got through in less than 10 minutes. I think it is actually a good approximation of random. Not sure if your multiple tabs did anything.


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