The count down is on and has been for a long time and with approximately 8 months to go I’m sure this isn’t our last post on the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, hosted by Vancouver and Whistler.

This week was another ticket launch phase. We were hoping to add to our Men’s preliminary round where we have the great pleasure of seeing Latvia play Slovakia (thank you Mr. lottery god), and our Ladies preliminary round where we do get to see the Canadian women play the Slovakia women (not too bad). Those are the tickets we were able to get in the lottery a number of months ago despite trying to secure a whole lot more.

Armed with our two laptops we logged in to the ticketing website at 10:00 am exactly and were immediately put into the “virtual waiting room”. Initially we thought this was fine as it automatically refreshed the page and the information indicated you would be drawn every 30 seconds to enter the ticketing site.

Jeff got in first, 1 hour and 55 minutes later (Tara got in at the 2 hour and 10 minute mark)! What a brutally frustrating experience and terrible way to engage the fans in the games. I wasn’t going to blog about this until I read the press release that came out the afternoon of the ticket sales day. In fairness to VANOC, 22,000 ticket orders for 130,000 tickets were processed in the first four hours which is a lot. However, I thought Caley Denton, Vice President of ticketing and consumer marketing made a terrible comment when she said, “Thanks to the incredible work by our partner, our system performed as planned on the technical side. After 10 am today, our website experienced traffic of more than 1,300 hits per second and by noon had set a record for page views at more than 5 million.” Added Denton, “The virtual waiting room system worked well and helped manage traffic demand on our site effectively while keeping the process fair for consumers.”

I am sure that the site helped manage the traffic, but worked well, I don’t think so. What really frustrated me was seeing the word available beside all the hockey games, after trying three different games in three different price levels each we had no success and gave up on seeing any more hockey at the Olympics. It would have been nice to know if there were single game tickets or for the system to have given us the options for the particular request, but I digress. In any event I believe the system didn’t work and had flaws, but what is done is done! As one frustrated Twitter follower wrote (there were a number of people I follow commenting during their waits), “It’s been one hour and 18 minutes. I have no patience left and am getting on with my life. Good luck to those of you who stick it out!”

Although disappointed about the hockey, there is some good news, we did manage to get the tickets to all 11 awards ceremonies we were after. The award ceremonies feature a different Canadian musical act in concert before the days medals are handed out. While we hope to see people/bands like Bryan Adams, Nickelback or the Bare Naked Ladies we fully intend on giving away tickets to Celine Dion or any other act we don’t like. However at this point it is not known who will be performing and on what night so it was just easier to buy them all. At $50 a night for the pair of tickets it is one of the more affordable things to do during the games.

Go Canada Go!