Ticketing Glossary of Terms

Specific measures will be implemented in order to provide access and participation for persons with a disability. All venues have been reviewed for accessibility including consideration for persons with vision impairment, blindness, hearing loss, deafness as well as mobility and/or agility impairments, including wheelchair accessible seating. Best efforts will be made to accommodate requests; however, in cases where the demand for tickets exceeds the available supply of tickets in Phase 1, the ticketing system software will use a random selection process to ensure the fairest possible ticket distribution.

Access Control
Access control is the use of technology that allows VANOC to:

  • Scan a bar code on tickets for entry into a venue rather than tear the ticket
  • Disable a ticket that has been sold or purchased through an unauthorized sales source
  • Provide online ticket exchange, re-sale and donation options for ticket purchasers

Allocate (allocated or allocation)
Allocation refers to the distribution of confirmed tickets to applicants. In cases where the demand for tickets exceeds the available supply of tickets in Phase 1, the ticketing system software uses a random selection process (lottery) to ensure the fairest possible ticket distribution.

To increase your chances of securing tickets during Phase 1, you could request an alternate session for every first choice selection you selected. Each session could only be selected once, either as a first choice or as an alternate. Your alternate must have been the same ticket type as your first choice — for example, if you selected a single session as your first choice then you must have selected a different single session as your alternate choice (the same applies for Olympic Experience Packages).

(Un) Authorized Source/Authorized Sales Agent
Only entities authorized by VANOC are considered legitimate sales sources. Any individual or group claiming to have access to Games tickets, or selling tickets without approval from VANOC, is considered to be an unauthorized source. Buyers should be aware that tickets bought from an unauthorized source may not be valid and may not be accepted for entry to 2010 Winter Games venues. Read more about Real 2010 Consumer Awareness.

Cascading increased your chances of securing tickets for the sessions you requested during Phase 1.  You could select the highest price category that you were comfortable purchasing then check that the cascade box is selected. Selecting the cascade box for each session allowed the ticketing system to continue to search for and allocate available tickets in lower price categories should your requested price category not be available.

Category (Ticket)
Ticket prices have been divided into categories in order to offer the widest range of price options possible. The number of price categories offered per sport depends on the venue configuration and capacity. Category A represents the premier seats in a venue and have the highest price, Category B, the second highest price, and so on. All price categories, including any general admission standing room tickets, are indicated on seating maps. Specific seat locations will be determined once the venue configurations are confirmed in 2009.

City Venues
Collective term for the group of venues located in the City of Vancouver (including Cypress Mountain, located in West Vancouver and Richmond Olympic Oval, located in Richmond).

Each sport and discipline has at least one event. An event is defined by the IOC as “a competition in an Olympic sport or in one of its disciplines and resulting in a ranking, (which) gives rise to the award of medals and diplomas.” For example, the luge doubles is an event within the Olympic sport of luge.

Field of Play
Field of play refers to the sport competition area plus the immediate and surrounding support areas at which a boundary separates the spectators. The boundaries and activities permitted to take place in it are distinct for each sport. In sporting language, the field of play is often referred to as court, field, diamond, pool deck, track, ring, course, arena, for example.

High-Demand Sessions (HDS)

When public interest is anticipated to be greater than available ticketing inventory for any one session or package, that session or package is referred to as high-demand. (See oversubscribed)

International Olympic Committee (IOC)
The International Olympic Committee is an international, non-governmental, non-profit organization and the creator of the Olympic Movement. The IOC exists to serve as an umbrella organization of the Olympic Movement. Its primary responsibility is to supervise the organization of the summer and winter Olympic Games.
Visit the official website of the International Olympic Committee.

International Paralympic Committee (IPC)
The IPC is the authority of the Paralympic Movement. The IPC is an international, non-governmental, non-profit organization whose mission is to lead the Paralympic Movement and the promotion of sport for athletes with a disability in accordance with the IPC Handbook.

International Spectators
Anyone residing in a country other than Canada, regardless of citizenship.

In cases where ticket demand exceeded the available supply during Phase 1, our official supplier of ticketing services,, used an automated random selection process (lottery) to ensure the fairest possible ticket distribution on a session by session basis (for example each session you had requested, if oversubscribed, was subject to a separate lottery).

National Olympic Committee (NOC)
National Olympic Committees, excluding the Canadian Olympic Committee, may sell Olympic tickets through their approved Official Ticket Agents within their geographical territory. There are 85 winter NOCs around the world. As per IOC rules, all international spectators must purchase tickets through their respective NOC.

Notification Period
All applicants were notified by e-mail before December 10, 2008 regarding the sessions and/or packages they had been allocated during Phase 1. Seat locations will be confirmed upon receipt of your tickets in late 2009.

Olympic Family
The Olympic Family includes athletes and their families; National Olympic Committees and International Sport Federations who will sell tickets to international spectators within their own countries; the sponsors whose financial investment contributes to the staging of the Games; and the media and broadcasters who tell the story of the Games to a global audience.

When requests exceeded the available tickets for single sessions or for packages during Phase 1, the session or package was considered oversubscribed. In order to ensure that sessions are allocated fairly, all oversubscribed sessions were subject to a lottery.

Phase 1
Phase 1 of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games ticket sales program ran from October to December 2008. It consisted of the Request Period, Lottery, Notification Period and Priority Access Period.

Phase 2
Phase 2 of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games ticket sales program ran from June 6–July 31, 2009. During this time, remaining tickets from Phase 1 were available for public sale. Canadian residents who missed the initial request period were purchase at this time.

Phase 3
Phase 3 of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games ticket sales program begins in fall 2009 once the seat assignment period is complete. At this time, any remaining tickets will be available for purchase and will be sold directly into available seat locations. Available tickets can be purchased through or by calling the Vancouver 2010 Ticketing Call Centre at 1-800-TICKETS (1-800-842-5387).

Phase 4
Phase 4 of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games ticket sales program runs during Games time – February 12–28, 2010. All 2010 Olympic Winter Games venue box offices will open on the first day of competition at each venue. Please check the official competition schedule by sport for complete details. Main boxes offices in Whistler and downtown Vancouver will open in January 2010. Available tickets can also be purchased through or by calling the Vancouver 2010 Ticketing Call Centre at 1-800-TICKETS (1-800-842-5387).

Priority Access Period
The Priority Access Period (December 12–22, 2008) was part of Phase 1 of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games ticket program. Any tickets not purchased during the initial Request Period were re-released for sale exclusively to Canadian residents who submitted a request during the Request Period. and was an opportunity to purchase additional tickets before they were made available to the wider Canadian public. Tickets were available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

A quota is a breakdown of tickets in various price categories that ensures tickets are being allocated fairly among all groups. Groups include the public and those within the Olympic Family.

Request Period
The Request Period (October 3–November 7, 2008) was part of Phase 1 of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games ticket program. Requests must have been completed and submitted within the request period to be eligible. All requests received during this time were weighted equally.

A resident is not the same as a citizen. A resident is someone who lives in a country at ticketing time, regardless of their citizenship. Canadian residents can purchase tickets through or through other authorized sales channels. Non-resident Canadians must purchase tickets through the Official Ticket Agent for the National Olympic Committee in their country of residence.

Seat Assignment Period
The seat assignment period will take place in summer of 2009. Seat locations are determined once venue configurations have been finalized and are assigned, in part, by the date or time a request or purchase was made. Later in the fall of 2009, ticket holders can log in to their online ticket accounts to view the specific seat locations that they have been assigned.

A session describes a single or number of events happening within a set time period. A single ticketed session may include one or more competition events. For example, a ticket to a short track speed skating session includes up to three events.

Ticket Request
A ticket request is the list of selected sessions and ticket packages that a Canadian resident would like to purchase and which have been submitted online or by regular mail during Phase 1.

A secure site officially used to deliver the Olympic and/or Paralympic Games.

Whistler Venues
Whistler venues refers to the three venues at Whistler (Whistler Olympic Park, Whistler Creekside, and The Whistler Sliding Centre).