Most Expensive Events To Attend At The Olympics


Most Expensive Olympic Events To Attend

It's the first rule of the marketplace - scarcity equals value. So, when an organization is tasked with holding an event of worldwide importance, one that occurs only every four years, tickets to said event are going to range from costly to stratospherically so. These are the sports that'll cost you the most to see at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The opening ceremony isn't technically a sport, but watching it live requires a big financial outlay just the same. The opening ceremony represents the one instance where your country is guaranteed its share of attention - at least for as long as it takes your nation's athletes to enter Stratford's Olympic Stadium and assemble. Seats in the highest price range for the opening ceremonies retailed for more than the per capita income of some of the Games' less developed countries - roughly $3,100.


With all due respect to Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps, the largest concentration of famous and marketable athletes at these Olympics is the USA men's basketball team. To many observers, the gold medal for LeBron James, Kobe Bryant et al. is something of a foregone conclusion. To others, an up-and-coming Spanish team with its own roster of NBA stars could give the favored Americans a formidable challenge. Just about every single matchup of the tournament sold out well in advance. When the Olympics began, the only game for which tickets remained available was what promised to be the most anticlimactic game of the tournament: the bronze medal matchup. Tickets for that maxed out at $510, while tickets for the gold medal game officially sold for as much as $667. But again, that game sold out forever ago. Go to an Internet scalper, and you can expect to pay over $2,000 to see the gold medal game.


Perhaps the purest and most intense sport of the Olympics is boxing. At this level, the amateur game features three-round bouts with little of the corruption that plagues its professional counterpart. Theoretically, it's a chance to see an incipient Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard or Oscar De La Hoya before he gets famous and rich. On the penultimate day of the boxing competition, fans can watch the gold medal matches for half the weight classes - light fly, bantam, light welter, middle and heavy. Or they can attend the following day and watch the other half - fly, light, welter, light heavy and super heavy. The priciest tickets for either of the final two days of competition cost around $620.


Along with track and field, swimming represents your best chance to see history made in an instant. In terms of sheer volume, swimming overwhelms most of the other sports. With four different styles, over as many as five distances, plus two individual medleys, three relays and a marathon - for both male and female - that adds up to no fewer than 34 different events. Most swimming events require a two-day session. Discounting the heats, that leaves eight different days of competition on which swimmers will earn medals. For any of those sessions, the best seats will cost you a cool $706.

Beach Volleyball

Maybe the biggest surprise on the list of expensive Olympic events is beach volleyball. It's one of the most recent additions to the Olympic lineup, and with the demise of baseball and softball, one of the few Olympic sports of American origin. London not being much of a seaside destination, the beach volleyball competition is held at, of all places, Horse Guards Parade. It's the same ground in central London where King Henry VIII watched jousting tournaments and Queen Elizabeth (the original 16th century one, not her modern successor) used to celebrate her birthday. Tickets for both the men's and women's finals cost about $706, and the scantily clad competitors will doubtless be glad to know that average early August temperatures in London at that time of night hover in the mid-60s. If you're going, dress accordingly.

Track And Field

Just as it was back in 1896 and the original eighth century B.C. Olympics, the most plentiful and popular events are in track and field. The signature competition on the track and field schedule is the men's 100-meter dash. This year the preliminary rounds sold out before the following day's semifinal/final session did. Granted, tickets for the preliminaries are of course less expensive than for the finals. For the best available seats at Stratford's Olympic Stadium, spectators paid a staggering $1,100 to see Usain Bolt win gold.


For some, the Olympics represent the ultimate in "I was there" one-upmanship. For others, it's simply a chance to see some of the world's greatest athletes compete. Either way, attending the events in person is for those both devoted and with disposable income.
Related Articles
  1. Investing News

    Learn from These Big CEO Blunders

    A ceo can seem to have it all: power, influence and gravitas. But it can all erode — along with a company’s share price — in the wake of a scandal.
  2. Personal Finance

    Who Is Next in the Athleisure Trend?

    Which companies are jumping on the growing athleisure wear trend and how can investors start getting in on this?
  3. Personal Finance

    Top 10 Most Valuable Sports Teams in 2015

    Cleats, pads and profits: we take a look at the top 10 most valuable sports teams in the world.
  4. Fundamental Analysis

    The Economics of FanDuel

    Part of fantasy sports’ success lies in one-day and week-long contests serving as an alternative to season-long games. FanDuel, a leader in this space, has recently surpassed a $1 billion valuation.
  5. Personal Finance

    The Future Outlook of the Golf Industry

    The popularity of golf peaked in 2003. To regain popularity and survive, the industry is adapting to appeal to a younger generation of players.
  6. Stock Analysis

    How Nike (NKE) Continues to 'Do It'

    Other than style, do sneakers from any maker really differ that much? That's debatable. But this is certain: Nike sets the standard for selling an image.
  7. Entrepreneurship

    Nike and the NBA, a Perfect Duo?

    What does Nike's recent eight-year contract partnership with the NBA entail for its largest competitor Under Armor?
  8. Personal Finance

    How The NBA Makes Money

    The National Basketball Association has moved past Major League Baseball to represent the second most popular sport in the United States. How does the NBA make money?
  9. Economics

    The NBA’s Business Model

    Drawing interest domestically and abroad, the NBA has seen its popularity and revenue streams rapidly increase over the past few years.
  10. Personal Finance

    Is ESPN a Sport Monopoly?

    With such a dominant presence in sports as demonstrated through substantial ratings and a firm online presence, some may consider ESPN a sports monopoly.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  2. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
  3. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio is an indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity. The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet ...
  4. Black Tuesday

    October 29, 1929, when the DJIA fell 12% - one of the largest one-day drops in stock market history. More than 16 million ...
  5. Black Monday

    October 19, 1987, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) lost almost 22% in a single day. That event marked the beginning ...
  6. Monetary Policy

    Monetary policy is the actions of a central bank, currency board or other regulatory committee that determine the size and ...
Trading Center