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Matt Teale's program blog: Sunday

Matt Teale will be presenting London Tonight 6:30pm Photo:

So, we're underway! Day 2 of the London Olympics and it's nice, after all the build-up, to actually start talking about some sport. At least it would be if other issues still weren't dominating proceedings. Our lead story on London Tonight is why there are so many empty seats at some of the venues.

The Games organisers, Locog, have launched an urgent investigation after pictures of large areas of unfilled seating at the swimming, gymnastics, tennis, volleyball and eventing have left many of us bemused or seething (delete accordingly). It feels like Wembley all over again.

I was firmly in the 'stop-complaining' camp in the run up to the Games in the wake of seemingly endless doom-mongering, but I can't fathom how organisers have let this happen? I caught the train in to work this morning along with a number of people obviously heading to the Olympic Park.

The children of one couple - two girls both under seven, at a guess - were proudly sporting their Team GB hats and facepaint and couldn't sit still at the prospect of the historic day ahead of them. There are thousands of people who would love the opportunity to witness first hand this once-in-a-lifetime event but couldn't get tickets. To see any empty seats let along dozens, even at this early stage of competition, is completetly galling for most of us.

Lord Coe has told us to keep it 'in perspective' as they look to fill the gaps with members of the Armed Forces or pre-accredited teachers and students from local London Boroughs. They've also instigated a re-sale system for people who leave certain events before the end which is what they do at Wimbldeon. It is, however, still a situation they have to resolve fast. It look awful to the watching millions around the world and is a snub to all of us who would love to be there. The argument goes that it's impossible to know which of the accredited VIP's from the 'Olympic family' are going to show up for which events on which days.

Lord Coe stopped short of naming and shaming the stay-aways, but there needs to be a one-strike-and-your-out system whereby anyone who doesn't turn up one day has their tickets for future days automatically re-sold, either to someone who missed out in the initial ballot or to the first person they can find with a flag and facepaints.

Head of the British Olympic Association Colin Moynihan told a press conference earlier that 'we owe it to the team' to fill the venues. We do, but we also owe it to the public and judging by the crowds lining the streets of London and Surrey for the women's cycling road race this afternoon, despite the pouring rain, there would be no shortage of volunteers.

Ironically perhaps, we'll also be reporting on 19 arrests made by the Metroplitan Police as part of Operation Podium into Olympic ticket touting. And we will, I promise, be talking about some actual sport with London's Ellen Gandy in action in the pool tonight in the 100m butterfly final. Manali will join me in the studio with all the weather details after heavy rain brought a temporary halt to the Eventing in Greewich Park.

Matt

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