London 2012: Merchandise for Summer Games is too pricey for some fans
Nicole Winfield The Associated Press
LONDON —Day 1 in Olympic Park and already visitors were feeling it in their wallets.
"Twenty-five pounds for a T-shirt?" exclaimed Catherine Goley of Birmingham, who was browsing through a London 2012 souvenir shop near Olympic Stadium Saturday — and made a hasty exit after finding nothing in her price range.
The one-eyed Olympic mascots Wenlock and Mandeville were going for 15 pounds ($23 CDN) a pop, while the hometown "Team GB" backpacks ran 37 pounds ($58).
"The stuff they were selling in the supermarkets was much cheaper," she said.
Goley had tickets for Saturday night's swim finals but others without tickets came to the park just to check it out on the first day of competition after the opening ceremony, paying 10 pounds ($15) to get in and another 15 pounds ($23) to go up the Orbit observation deck.
Colleen Whalen, of Cincinnati, Ohio, said she would have paid to go up since that's the only way to see inside the main stadium and the Olympic flame, but tickets were sold out.
Whalen, who won a ticket to the swim finals, said she briefly considered buying a ticket for the opening ceremony, but balked at the price for a last-minute seat.
"The only tickets left were 1,800 or 2,300 pounds and, yes, that's definitely out of my price range." (In dollars, that's $2,800 to $3,570).
Food wasn't any bargain, either — expensive even for a city long considered one of the world's costliest.
A healthy portion of the British mainstay fish and chips set John Porter back 8 pounds, 50 pence — and that was just for his 8-year-old niece Freya. Normally it costs about half as much. Porter, who lives in a London suburb, had a roast beef sandwich, and wasn't terribly impressed.
"At 8 pounds, I'll be honest. I won't have it again."