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Update: The email I received does not indicate any restrictions on who will be able to use the official ticket site, but the site itself does still indicate it is for those who reside in the Russian Federation and will only accept Visa credit cards issued in Russia. I have no clue why they would not include a detail like that when sending the email (in English), but this may not help those outside of Russia. We should know more tomorrow.
I received an email today from the Sochi 2014 Olympics site that the second phase of ticket sales for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games will start on Thursday October 10th at 12pm Moscow time (Moscow is 8 hours ahead of the east coast). It seems that you will be able to buy individual tickets to the events directly from them as opposed to through a channel such as CoSport.com, though that isn’t entirely clear. If that is the case, you will likely be charged in RUB, so use a Visa with no foreign transaction fee. Either way, it sounds like more tickets should be available tomorrow.
The emails says:
In this second phase, you will be able to purchase their tickets with pre-allocated seats for the sports events and Ceremonies. For all orders including delivery and placed before 1st November, spectators will receive a uniquely designed souvenir tickets.
You can also continue to purchase tickets for the Paralympic Winter Games on the Sochi 2014 website.
To gain entry to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, all spectators must obtain and bring their Spectator Pass with them to the venues.
In recognition of the Visa company’s long-time support of the Olympic Games, Visa is the accepted form of card payment.
We hope to welcome you to the official ticket sales website soon: http://tickets.sochi2014.com.
I took a look at the event tickets that CoSport (the ticket source for the US, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and more) had available this morning and there were many options, including Opening Ceremony tickets (albeit at $1,800 each!). This is consistent with the recent report I received from the GM of a chain hotel in Sochi who said that they expect individual rooms to be released by the IOC in November for general sale and that they are hearing “through the grapevine that demand at the moment is not very high”. That would line up with what appears to be a decent variety of event tickets still available.
That isn’t much of a shock given the multitude of issues and barriers that come with getting to Russia to attend the Olympics, but does make me feel better about the potential for the hotel situation to improve in the next month or so….hopefully even on points! I know I’ll be a lot more excited about this once I have a hotel reservation and a visa to get into Russia!