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SBD Global/November 14, 2012/Olympics

LOCOG Reports Thousands Of Olympic Tickets To High-Demand Events Went Unsold

Thousands of tickets for some of the London Games’ “most in-demand Olympic events during the summer went unsold,” according to LOCOG figures cited by Jacquelin Magnay of the London TELEGRAPH. Track & field had “more than 2,000 tickets unsold, there were hundreds of tickets left for the opening and closing ceremonies, and even artistic gymnastics, which was declared a sell-out, had 1,230 remaining.” A LOCOG spokesperson said that a “number of the seats were empty to test sight lines or were from early sessions, particularly in the temporary venues.” The organization “hailed the ticketing process as a huge success.” LOCOG said that overall it “failed to sell just 3% representing 263,824 Olympic tickets and 2% representing 55,455 Paralympic tickets.” Ticket sales raised $1.05B of its $3.8B budget. The LOCOG report reveals that “fewer than half of tickets to many prime London 2012 Olympic sports events were sold to UK residents, but LOCOG achieved its stated aim of having 75% of tickets available to the British public because of high local turnout for preliminary events in large stadiums.” But the U.K. percentage of attendance “at some events such as gymnastics, track cycling and swimming, was less than 40% at the final sessions” (TELEGRAPH, 11/13).

COE PRESSED: In London, Owen Gibson reported that former LOCOG Chair Sebastian Coe "is set to be warned by London Assembly members that unless he provides a full breakdown of Olympic ticket sales, the public could be left with the impression that those available were skewed toward less popular sports and sessions." The London Assembly will press Coe "for more transparency on its ticketing policy." However, despite LOCOG providing a sport-by-sport breakdown of the percentage of tickets sold to the U.K. public for each Olympic and Paralympic sport, "there is concern among assembly members that the committee has failed to give a full session-by-session breakdown of ticket sales at each price point" (GUARDIAN, 11/13).
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Olympics, United Kingdom

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