Vancouver 2010: Not too late
A last-minute round of ticket sales just began, and while scouting things out we found availability to a bunch of events, including hockey, skiing, speed skating, and more.
You can search for last-minute tickets through CoSport (the official vendor selling tickets) at https://vancouver.jetsetsports.net/tickets. While poking around to get a sense of what, if anything, was available, we were pleasantly surprised to see that there were still tickets being sold to alpine skiing, snowboarding, luge, speed skating, bobsleigh, and other events.
How many tickets, and how long with they be around? It's hard to say. But if you're serious about going to the Games, it's not a good idea to hesitate further.
As you'd guess, it looks like you're far more likely to find tickets for preliminary action rather than in the medal rounds. Also, some events seem totally sold out (though the website just says something like "temporarily not available"). When we last checked, nothing was available for any part of the snowboarding halfpipe competition (men's or women's), though tickets could be gotten to some other snowboarding events.
Also, even when tickets are there for the buying, they don't come cheap. Tickets to see the U.S.A. men's hockey team in a preliminary match-up versus Switzerland on February 16 were available for $235, and yes, we're talking U.S. dollars. Only seats close to the action were being sold (Category A), and if it's any consolation, tickets in the same category were going for $279 at Stub Hub. Then again, if all you wanted was any old seat, Stub Hub had tickets a bit further from the ice starting at $160.
Before trying to snag some tickets, examine the official vendor's long list of FAQs. One key point: At this stage in the sales process, all tickets must be picked up at will call at an office in Vancouver. They can't be shipped, and you can't pick them up at the venue itself. Also, the person buying tickets must be the one picking them up, and yes, I.D. will be checked.
Finally, a few tips before planning your road to witness winter glory: To save money and expand your lodging options beyond a standard (likely pricey) hotel, consider renting an apartment (or just a room) via sources such as rent2010.net and airbnb.com. If you were considering staying in Seattle or anywhere in Washington state and making daily trips north for the games, think again. Delays at the border are extremely likely.