Olympic Ticket App That Helped 600 Get Seats Is 'Shut Down'

Olympic Ticket App That Helped More Than 600 Fill Empty Seats Is 'Shut Down'

An unofficial Olympic ticket app, which tweeted alerts when new tickets became available on the London 2012 website, has apparently been blocked by Olympic organisers, despite helping more than 600 people get tickets to the Games.

Adam Naisbitt built the app for his own personal use, trying to get tickets for the gymnastics for his fiancee, but decided to put the technology on Twitter to help members of the public fill the controversial empty seats.

The app's creator had hoped to buy tickets to the gymnastics, where USA's Gabrielle Douglas won gold on Thursday

"I could have sat on the website for hours pressing 'refresh', but instead I sat down for around five hours, headphones on, and built something that could do that for me," he told the Huffington Post UK.

"We checked the Locog terms and conditions, about using robots to buy tickets, and there's nothing there.

"Otherwise I wouldn't have gone public with it. But it worked so well, we thought we'd help other people, do our bit for the Olympic spirit."

Olympics tickets have been notoriously hard to come by

The Locog website has drawn criticism for how difficult it is to use.

"We had no idea how it would take off, we have 9,000 followers and we've calculated our reach has been around 180,000 people," said Naisbitt.

"More than 600 people have tweeted us saying thanks to the app they have been able to get tickets, and not everyone will have bothered to tweet us."

But the twitter feed, which was tweeting every few minutes new ticket availability for sports including athletics and swimming throughout the day as they became available, went dark on Thursday night after three days.

Naisbitt said he believed Locog or Ticketmaster had blocked all "non-website" access to the official site.

"I have no idea why they did it - we have not gained anything from it financially.

"I guess it's because of how corporate the games are, we aren't an official sponsor or anything. And I suppose it reflects badly on them, on the website they've built, which isn't great.

"So they've got rid of any innovation that tries to solve that."

He added: "The irony is we still haven't got tickets ourselves, because this app took off so massively. We were trying to do good and we shot ourselves in the foot!

"It's funny because people kept asking us questions on Twitter about the Olympics, how they could get to the park, whether they needed tickets etc. And I tried to reply, but I'm just some guy who built the app."

Hundreds had tweeted their support for the app.

A LOCOG spokesman said Ticketmaster was responsible for access to the site, and denied the app's access had been deliberately removed. "The app may have been stopped by anti-touting software," he explained.

But Naisbitt said: "Yes it would have been stopped by that kind of software, but they could have only put that software on there Thursday afternoon when we got blocked, otherwise we'd have been stopped during testing on Sunday.

"And if they wanted to support us, as we're clearly not a tout, they could simply let our IP address past the filter."

Ticketmaster has not yet responded to requests for comment.

Twitter users had asked Naisbitt how they could contribute financially to the app, but Naisbitt said he was not seeking any credit, and has set up a Just Giving site, for grateful ticket holders to donate to the British Olympic Foundation.


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