1. ITV Report

3,000 Olympic tickets on sale after being reclaimed

Empty seats during the Womens Football, First Round, Group F match at the City of Coventry Stadium, Coventry Photo: Press Association

LOCOG has said it has reclaimed 3,000 tickets from officials who are unlikely to use them, and have sold them to the public today.

In its daily press conference, the 2012 Games organisers said they were approaching national Olympic committees on a "daily, session-by-session basis" in an attempt to ensure that more seats are filled.

It follows widespread reports of empty seats at Olympic venues, including some events that would have easily sold out had all the tickets been made available to the public.

Empty seats for the hockey game at the Riverbank Arena in East London this morning Credit: ITV News/Sue Saville

The Prime Minister chaired a COBRA meeting with security and Olympic officials this morning, after which it was confirmed that empty seating was seen as one of the priority issues.

A statement said:

LOCOG updated the meeting on the challenge around empty seating in the accredited areas and set out the measures being taken to address the issue.

This will obviously be kept under constant review on a venue by venue basis over the coming days to ensure that as many seats as possible are filled.

Empty seats at the basketball arena this morning Credit: ITV News/Simon Harris

At every Olympic event there are blocks of seating allocated to officials and athletes from various competing nations.

These seats are not ticketed, but LOCOG claims they are making every effort to sell them instead of leaving them unclaimed and empty.

London's Mayor Boris Johnson blamed the empty seats on "bureaucrats who don't turn up to the seats they're allocated". He added that all Olympic Games have issues with empty seats in the early events.

LOCOG did not specify for which events tickets had been made available.

Earlier today, the only events that still had tickets available were basketball, artistic gymnastics and weightlifting.

There were anecdotal reports of empty seats at both the hockey and beach volleyball venues at the Olympic Park and Horse Guard's Parade respectively.

Sir Clive Woodward, the Chef de Mission of Team GB, said that the scale of empty seats was still incomparable with the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

I was in Beijing and, to put it in perspective, I was going to tennis matches and hockey matches in Beijing where there was nobody there.

You can see it doesn't look right, but I feel a bit for LOCOG as well because they're trying to keep everyone happy.

I can see how it looks and you feel for the people at home who'd love to be there. I know they're working on it.

As we speak now they're trying to work out ways of trying to fix it.


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