SBD/August 31, 2011/Olympics

Sponsors, Broadcasters Take Up Fewer Tickets Than Expected For '12 Games

Sponsors and broadcasters have taken up 5% of seats to the '12 London Games
Olympics sponsors and broadcasters "have only taken up five per cent of seats to the London 2012 Olympic Games, far fewer than previously anticipated," according to a review of LOCOG's ticket policy cited by Jacquelin Magnay of the London TELEGRAPH. LOCOG previously said that around 8% of tickets "would go to sponsors, with a further percentage to broadcasters." The high demand for '12 Games tickets "from the public means that organisers may severely restrict the opportunity to purchase the more than one million Olympic tickets across all sports which will be released in the next round of sales from December." Sales could be "restricted to just two tickets for each successful applicant," and LOCOG officials also are "looking to reserve a yet to be determined percentage of tickets for general access to the Olympic Park for residents of local boroughs." Those efforts are "in response to criticism that only rich middle class people have been able to obtain the bulk of the tickets to the top events." LOCOG has consistently "withheld details of how many tickets were available to specific events, raising fears" that there may have been "only a few thousand tickets available to some events." The Commission for a Sustainable London, which led the ticket review, said that the "allocation process has been fair, but recognised that many applicants will be disappointed." The report also stated that "tickets for access to the Olympic Park only, so that people without event tickets can wander around near the venues, will be launched once the total capacity of the Park is finalised" (London TELEGRAPH, 8/31).

CROWD CONTROL: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Cassell Bryan-Low reports U.K. authorities are "reviewing security plans for next summer's Olympic Games, including staffing levels and intelligence gathering, in the wake of recent riots." Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Chris Allison will be the "principal coordinator police officer for national security" during the '12 Olympics. He said that "authorities are studying the recent riots that rocked London and other U.K. cities to see whether they should deploy additional police resources." Allison: "We need to see if there are any lessons we need to learn for the Games." He added that "no changes have been made so far." Bryan-Low notes police "survived a key post-riots test this weekend as London's Notting Hill carnival passed with relatively little disruption, despite fears that it could be a target for trouble makers" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/31).
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