Sunday, September 28, 2008

With glowing hearts, we see fees rise

If you've got bad news to deliver, deliver it on a Friday night or a Saturday morning when nobody's around to ask or answer questions.
That's what VANOC did when it finally revealed the fine details of phase one of ticketing for the Canadian market, which runs Oct. 3-Nov. 7.
Service charges are $4 to $18 per ticket, which supposedly covers the cost of local public transit rides corresponding with the date of the event. (VANOC's $124.1 million transportation budget includes $52.3 million for bus systems.)
Mandatory bus tickets go on sale next year for mountain venues. It will cost an extra $25 for a round-trip ride from Vancouver to Whistler and $12 to Cypress Mountain. There is no public parking at any Games venues and VANOC is encouraging people not to drive so that athletes, VIPs and media can use the dedicated Olympic lane system without fear of traffic chaos.
In their Feb. 28 letter of understanding, VANOC and TransLink agreed to exclude the West Vancouver venue from the Metro Vancouver public transit system.
Visa is the only credit card accepted for the online purchasing process, which is coordinated by Tickets will be delivered in November 2009 via another VANOC sponsor, Purolator Courier. Ticket buyers will be dinged another $10 to $20 per account for the mandatory delivery fee.
For example, a $50 pair of tickets to women's hockey or cross-country skiing is $58 plus $10 (the under $100 handling levy) for a grand total of $68. That's a 26% markup!
VANOC set a $231.8 million target for ticket sales.

VANOC cruising to sponsorship target?

VANOC has but a few slots remaining open for potential sponsors of the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.
Hotels and cruise lines are two of them. The cruise ship slot could be filled Monday morning in an official supplier announcement coordinated by Hill and Knowlton, which recently installed VANOC director Ken Dobell as its chair of British Columbia operations. Beijing 2008 gold medal rower Kyle Hamilton along with VANOC CEO John Furlong are to speak at the 11 a.m. event. The president and CEO of the new sponsor is also to appear with the official supplier's 200 employees.

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