THE call centre and website for Commonwealth Games tickets remained closed today as experts battled to resolve issues that left sports fans frustrated and angry.
On Monday, 100,000 extra tickets for the Games went on sale and were expected to be snapped up quickly by people who had failed to get tickets in the first round ballot.
The second round of sales was on a first-come, first-served basis, but a decision was made to close the website yesterday amid claims some people had waited online for more than 24 hours, only for the system to crash when they got through.
Now three days on, from the ticket release, the site remains down. So far only 55,000 of the extra tickets have been sold.
Glasgow 2014 chief executive David Grevemberg said the website and call centre would remain closed until technical issues are satisfactorily resolved.
He added: “Ticketmaster is working as quickly as possible to act on this instruction.”
However, a Games spokesman said the organisation was not expecting to make any further statement on ticket sales today.
Ticketmaster was appointed last May despite criticism over a “shambolic” sales process for the London 2012 Olympics, which saw the booking website struggle to cope with demand – either crashing or almost grinding to a halt.
There were more problems in the second round of sales when thousands of people thought they had bought tickets, only to be told the following day they would not be charged as they had not got any tickets.
The company also faced criticism because of an oversight that led to 10,000 too many tickets being sold for the synchronised swimming.
However, Ticketmaster says the system being used for the Commonwealth Games is very different to the one used for London 2012.
Mr Grevemberg said he wanted to apologise unreservedly for what he described as a “disappointing situation”.
He added: “We want the purchase of Commonwealth Games tickets through the Ticketmaster system to be a positive experience for all customers and we realise this has not been the case for many.”
Customers complained they were repeatedly being shunted back into the queue just as they reached the payment stage, while others found events sold out after a 24 hour wait online.
Some took to Twitter in despair after accidentally hitting the refresh button and losing their place in the queue.
The Games boss insisted more than 55,000 of the 100,000 extra tickets made available have been sold since the website opened on Monday morning.
Before the website closed, organisers said a number of events, including swimming, diving, track cycling, mountain biking and the triathlon had sold out leaving some customers disappointed.
Mr Grevemberg said: “We will not allow the frustrations experienced by our customers throughout the last day and a half to continue further.
“We will only re-open the site once Ticketmaster is confident the issues with the website have been
resolved. “Our continued focus is on being able to offer our customers a robust website on which they can purchase tickets for the Commonwealth Games.”
A message on the ticket website reads: “The Glasgow2014 ticket website is temporarily closed while Ticketmaster investigates the technical issues some customers have experienced.
“We will provide an update on reopening through our social/digital platforms and on our website www.glasgow2014.com”.