Source: www.insidethegames.biz

By Tom Degun in London

London 2012 have today announced that over 150,000 tickets will go on sale for the test event programme, which is being branded as the "London Prepares" series, with prices set to vary from event to event but range between £5 to £35.

Tickets will be available on Ticketmaster from May 26 by using a Visa card.

Overall, around 10,000 volunteers and 8,000 athletes from more than 50 countries will be part of a 12 month rehearsal for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in a programme of test events that run from May 2011 to May 2012.

London 2012 chief executive Paul Deighton said: "The London Prepares series is essentially about putting our plans into practice.

"Although our venues won't be dressed in their Games finery, a number of events will give the public a chance to see some world class sporting action ahead of next year.

"These events are our opportunity to try out our new venues, test new technology and equipment and walk our extended teams through their roles and responsibilities.

"We have learned a lot from previous Games which we will put to good use as we challenge ourselves over the next 12 months."

There are three different groupings of events.

Events which London 2012 is organising and ticketing, events run by London 2012 that are not ticketed and events which are not organised by London 2012, such as Wimbledon.

There will be four London 2012 events this summer that will be ticketed.

They will be the mountain bike event at Hadleigh Farm in Essex on July 31, beach volleyball at Horse Guards Parade on August 9-14, basketball at the Basketball Arena on August 16-21 and BMX Track at the Olympic Park on August 19-20.

Hadleigh_Farm_with_cyclist
This means that basketball and BMX will be the first competitive sports ever to take place on the Olympic Park.

Other events that London 2012 are ticketing are gymnastics at the North Greenwich Arena next January, track cycling at the Velodrome and diving at the Aquatics Centre in February and synchronised swimming at the Aquatics Centre in April.

In addition, there will be another five London 2012 ticketed events that take place in May 2012 which will be hockey at the Hockey Centre, wheelchair tennis at Eton Manor, water polo at the Aquatics Centre and athletics and Paralympic athletics at the Olympic Stadium.

There are also a number free-to-view events such as the cycling road race event on August 14 which goes through London and Surrey.

The programme will primarily focus on testing the sporting field of play, including results, timing and scoring systems; how teams work together and how people move around venues.

The types of things that will be tested during the programme include a new platform for the equestrian events at Greenwich Park and the delivery of 3,000 tonnes of sand for beach volleyball at Horse Guards Parade.

The beach volleyball event will also see ticket and media accreditation scanning in action and the same security checks that will be conducted during the Games.

The first official test event will be a 10 kilometres road race that will take place on the loop planned for the Olympic marathon on May 30 and which will be folowed by the UK Athletics 20km Race Walking Championships.

Deighton said: "This will not be like a mini-Olympics as these events will not take place over 19 days and they are more about planning.

"They are a key part of readiness mission and if the ticket sales for the Olympics were anything to go by, we expect them to be very popular.

"The venues will not look and feel like they will at Games-time as we still have a few surprises in store for then but there will be world class athletes in action so it will be a very special experience for fans."

Of the 42 events taking place across in 26 different venues, 17 are international federation events that are already on international calendars and 25 will be invitation.

London 2012 will not organise six of these while another six will be standalone Paralympic events.


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