2012 London Olympics: Empty Seats Force LOCOG to Provide 30,000 Extra Tickets

By Alan Dymock

Yesterday some 300,000 Olympic tickets were ‘put back into the pot’ so that fans had yet another chance to purchase a place at the Games. The move –which sees only Ticketmaster attain an important facilitating role –has been taken after the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) were forced to shame facedly field questions about empty seats.

The issue had been that seats clearly visible to the camera crews remained unused, even at high profile events like gymnastics, tennis and swimming.

LOCOG blamed this on officials, sponsors and journalists not taking up their allocated seating, despite being given prime locations.

According to LOCOG’s director of communications, Jackie Brock-Doyle, “We talked to the international federations yesterday; we were able to put back into the pot for sale around 3,000 tickets last night; they have all been sold.

“That includes about 600 for the gymnastics event today and we’re going to do that on a day-to-day basis.”

The issue, of course, is that the seats left abandoned tend to be the priciest ones. A quick glance at the 2012 London Olympic page on Ticketmaster tells me that to visit the North Greenwich Arena, where the gymnastics are held, during the men’s horizontal bars final on Tuesday the 7th of August would cost me £185. That is for category ‘B’ seating.

Of course, with Olympic fever at its highest pitch and tickets being offered exclusively to fans on the day, they should be snapped up. What will rankle, though, is that high profile sponsors have been rewarded before fans, and still they have to pay handsomely for such privilege.

Today’s best deals have popped up as boxing, weightlifting and women’s soccer.

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