Never before at an Olympic event had tickets been available to the public free of charge. However, at the Innsbruck 2012 Youth Olympic Games this was exactly what the organisers did (with just a handling fee of EUR 3.50 per ticket being charged).
Of course, this approach also presented the organisers with the challenge of finding a way to make the tickets as attractive as possible and give them a ‘value’.
The solution chosen was to release tickets on a ‘first-come, first-served principle’ via the Innsbruck 2012 website on just five selected promotion days: 6 October (99 days to go), 8 November (66 days to go), 11 December (33 days to go), 22 December (22 days to go) and 2 January (11 days to go).
Two types of tickets were available: Ceremony Tickets gave access to either the Opening Ceremony in Bergisel Stadium or the Closing Ceremony at the Medals Plaza, while Venue Day Tickets gave access to all events at a specified competition venue on a specified day. Each person was entitled to a maximum of two tickets per day and per venue. All indoor events were ticket-only, while access to the outdoor events did not require a ticket.
Tickets also gave holders the right to use the buses, trams and night buses of the public transport network in Innsbruck free of charge from 1½ hours before the start of the event until 1½ hours after the end of the event.
The strategy for the distribution of tickets was successful, and the tickets made available on each of the promotion days were snapped up within a matter of hours. By the time the Ticket Information Booth at the Medals Plaza opened on 9 January to distribute any remaining tickets, 64,000 of the 80,000 tickets available for the Games had already gone .