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Anger grows over empty Olympic seats

Monday, July 30, 2012 - 02:25

July 30 - The London Organizing Committee announces it has put thousands more tickets back on sale after media and spectators complain about seeing empty seats at popular events in the first two days of the Olympics.

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Day 3 of the Olympic Games and organisers have just released an extra 3000 tickets. They're battling to control a ticketing backlash as scores of seats remain empty at venues like Wimbledon. They say the seats were allocated to international sports federations and Olympic officials. They've asked the IOC to explain. Craig Reedie is it's Vice President. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IOC VICE PRESIDENT, CRAIG REEDIE, SAYING: "I understand that people want to buy seats, and LOCOG are over this. They are trying to rectify this venue by venue every day." But most tickets left on the website appear to be selling for over 700 pounds each - pricing out most sports fans trying to get access to events. Organisers have started drafting in local children and army volunteers to fill the spots. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MAN ON WAY TO OLYMPIC PARK, SAYING: Question: "How do you feel that they're going to give some tickets away to the military and local people?" Answer: "Hard done by. For the normal people that have tried to do that last year. I don't understand it at all." (SOUNDBITE) (English) MAN ON WAY TO OLYMPIC PARK, SAYING: "I think they are going to give it to people who deserve to have it to be honest with you. " (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRAZILIAN TOURIST, PAOLO ALVIS, SAYING: "I can't stand it, it's simply unbelievable. We try to buy tickets and we couldn't find them anywhere." (SOUNDBITE) (English) WOMAN ON WAY TO OLYMPIC PARK, SAYING: "The military have done a great job with security and the local people have to put up with all the extra people, so a bit of fair compensation I think." Many feel the initial ballot system for the 8.8 million tickets was unfair, and there was outrage when footage of empty seats at various venues, appeared over the weekend. Corporate sponsors were quick to defend themselves over the poor attendance. P&G, Visa, McDonald's and Coca-Cola all issued statements reassuring officials and fans that their tickets were being used. City Index Analyst, Fiona Cicotta says the sponsors play an important role in the games. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CITY INDEX MARKET ANALYST, FIONA CINCOTTA, SAYING: "If you think about the amount of money the corporates put towards the Olympics, it's huge with sponsorship. And as far as the events are concerned, it's great that it is a way of getting people involved and getting companies together with their clients." (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS CORRESPONDENT, CIARA SUTTON, SAYING: "It's unlikely to be the only hiccup organisers encounter during the Games. There's already been embarrassment at Wembley Stadium as the locks had to be changed after a set of keys was lost, and payment machines inside the grounds broke down. And it's busy here at Stratford, but London has so far escaped the feared transport chaos. This is Ciara Sutton outside the Olympic Park, for Reuters.

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Anger grows over empty Olympic seats

Monday, July 30, 2012 - 02:25