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Vancouver 2010? Not So Easy If You’re American.

For those of us on the south side of the border, the 2010 Winter Olympics have been a pipe dream because, with most of the hotels reserved for press and officials, etc., accommodations are nearly impossible to find.  For Christmas, Jim surprised me with a week in Vancouver in the midst of the Winter Olympics.  Yes, we are lucky enough to have a (reasonably priced – miracle) condo for an entire week during Winter Olympics 2010.  Hooray!  Amazing!  Best husband ever!

Thinking that at this point tickets could only be found on the secondary market and assured by friends who went to Beijing that you could pick up Olympics tickets at a song day of from hawkers desperate to sell their wares, we have not been overly concerned about tickets.  As the event draws closer, however, I started to do a little research.  What I found left me fuming.

Tickets are still available to some events through the box office.  Of course, there is a catch.  You cannot purchase tickets through the box office unless you are CANADIAN.  If you are not CANADIAN, you can buy tickets through the “Fan-toFan” website.  What this means is instead of paying $50 at the box office, you can buy a similarly situated ticket through the Fan-screws-Fan website for $150 or more.  The premium you pay for not being a legal resident of Canada.

Now, don’t misunderstand me.  I think it’s only fair that Canadians should get first dibs on tickets.  But the time for first dibs is long past.  Tickets have been on sale, FOREVER.  Surely, Canadians have had more than enough time to exercise their priority rights.  Surely, it’s time to open up the arena to those friendly neighbors in the South.  After all, if you allow us to buy your tickets we will also have to spend money in your hotels, dine in you restaurants and find lots of other fun ways to rack up your VAT earnings.  

But wait, you think, weren’t there supposed to be some tickets available to Americans?  Oh yes, those tickets were all given to Cosport, who places a fat premium on the tickets (for example you can currently buy Men’s preliminary hockey USA v. Switzerland tickets through the box office for $140 if you’re Canadian, but Cosport sells that same ticket for $235).

So what to do if you’re American and not loaded?  (1) Kiss the Winter Olympics 2010 goodbye; (2) butter up a Canadian (fortunately, we have a few friends we will be turning to for help); (3) spend most of your life on Craig’s list looking for a deal; or (4) cross your fingers for day of event luck.

End of rant.


10 Responses

  1. Coming from a country in which most people have never seen snow, I am totally impressed with the way the games have been run. The cold and snow don’t seem to dim the excitement of the athletes and the spectators, at all.

    And I am even more impressed with your husband for finding the condo 🙂

    I saw most of the events, but the one that stood out was Lydia Lassila won the gold medal in the women’s aerials. She was beyond brilliant.

  2. We’re headed there as well and have the very same concerns (though at least you have a place to stay!).

    We leave from Atlanta on Wednesday the 10th, spend a day in Seattle, then take the train to Vancouver through the 16th.

    CoSport is an absolute rip-off, imho, charging a third again the face value of the ticket. Have been to the Atlanta games and the Salt Lake games and, like others, have found tickets fairly easy to come by. Fingers crossed that the same is true in Vancouver and Whistler.

  3. Cool, The Olympics must really be fun to see live, I know watching them on TV is exciting, but being there is better I;m sure.

  4. We are heading up to the Olympics to see the women’s curling!! I am so pumped! We got them for cheap too! I don’t really care to see curling but it was cheap and we just wanted to go for the sake of going! Totally awesome about the condo for the week! That sounds like a blast!!!

  5. as a canadian, i feel sorry about what you’ve experienced. and i’d be super pissed too. to be very honest, i dont even bother to get any tickets at all as they dont seems to be very affordable. cant u believe that it costs you $500 sthg to just watch the screen outside the hockey rink?

    • It’s pretty unbelievable. And your response is exactly why I love Canadians and Canada (we try to get up to Vancouver at least once a year) – just not the Olympic committee 😉

  6. Oh wow….AWESOME that you have a condo …in vancouver no less…that is AMAZING””…jealous 😦
    I live on east coast of canada…cannot believe olympics are in my country and i wont see them ! seems bizarre…
    anyway…hope something works out for ya….
    i think the skaing would be fun to see.

  7. Hello from OC! I would be flaming mad too. It seems ridiculously unfair and a total rip off!

  8. We got our tickets easily and well priced through a Whistler locals program, where you didn’t have to be a citizen, just a property holder, which was nice. But beside the point for what I’m about to tell you.

    Having been at the SLC games, your friend that was in Beijing is right–tickets were everywhere, very reasonably priced. The second thing I can tell you about going is that the fun of the Olympics is not concentrated inside the event arenas. It’s the atmosphere, the camaraderie, the fun of being there. We are going to far fewer events in Whistler than we did in SLC, because we realized that the actual events, while cool, are not the point. Seriously.

    • Thanks so much for the reassurance, it’s nice to know that we will probably get into something! I agree the atmosphere will be the big deal, I went to the summer games in Los Angeles when I was a kid and I remember the atmosphere way more than the actual events.

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