THE organisers of Glasgow 2014 have been criticised for failing to alert the public to the existence of an official ticket resale programme for the Commonwealth Games, with just days to go until the service closes.
The resale website - the only authorised way for sports fans to sell Commonwealth Games tickets they are no longer able to use - was opened on June 13. Any tickets for resale must be returned by this Thursday, June 26.
But the only announcement made about the existence of the resale site appears to be a posting on the Glasgow 2014 Facebook page made on June 13.
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Glasgow 2014 failed to respond with any examples of publicity when the Sunday Herald asked how the public was being made aware of the resale service.
Organisers said the service provided the "only opportunity" available for reselling tickets and a "small number" of tickets had so far been returned.
Information on the site warns that tickets "must not be sold or advertised for sale on the internet or anywhere else other than via the official Glasgow 2014 ticket resale programme".
Yesterday politicians expressed concerns over the lack of publicity and the "unreasonably tight time-scale" for those trying to sell their tickets through legitimate means.
Liz Smith, sport spokeswoman for the Scottish Conservatives, said: "I think the public will find it very strange that such an important resource should be launched without the usual high-profile publicity which accompanies an international event of this scale.
"It means that those still looking to buy or sell tickets for key events have been given no alert and are facing an unreasonably tight time-frame."
The fresh criticism comes following ticketing chaos last month, when the Glasgow 2014 sales website had to be shut down for a week after failing to cope with huge demand.
Sales were suspended with only half of the 100,000 tickets on offer sold as thousands of people faced hours of waiting to be able to buy a ticket.
Smith added: "Given the ticketing problems the Games had in the earlier stages, this would have been a good opportunity to redeem the situation."
Patricia Ferguson, Labour MSP for Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn, said organisers should be doing everything possible to encourage the public to get tickets through legitimate means.
She added: "This year's Commonwealth Games is supposed to be Scotland's Games and that means ensuring as many people as possible have the opportunity to attend. To do this we must properly publicise and promote them.
"If we want to encourage a legacy from Glasgow 2014 then we need to ensure the Games are open and accessible. So far the ticketing system has failed to live up to a gold medal standard."
According to the information on the ticket resale programme website, the process requires participants to fill in a request form, and the unwanted tickets must be returned to Glasgow 2014.
The site states that returned tickets must be received by Thursday, June 26 and that recorded delivery is advised as "any tickets not received by us cannot be made available for resale".
It also says that a £2 per ticket administration fee will be charged to resell the tickets, with the fee deducted from any money due to the seller.
For fans wanting to try to snap up any returned tickets, it states they will be sold on a "first come, first served basis" from 9am on Saturday, June 28.
A similar resale site for unwanted London Olympics tickets was set up six months before the Games began, but was forced to close due to technical problems. It reopened again months later.
A spokeswoman for Glasgow 2014 said: "A small number of tickets have been returned and everyone who submits tickets for resale with a completed ticket resale request form will be reimbursed should their tickets be resold via the official Glasgow 2014 ticketing website.
"This is the only opportunity which will be available for re-selling tickets."
It is a criminal offence for an unauthorised person to sell or advertise a Games ticket for more than the face value or with a view to making a profit.
Glasgow 2014 organisers have previously pledged to try to stop touts from cashing in on the Games, including working with online auction sites to track and cancel any tickets resold at inflated prices.