UK Minister for Sport and the Olympics Hugh Robertson declared yesterday at SportAccord Convention that he was satisfied with how the London 2012 ticket-selling and distribution process had unfolded after earlier problems.
Robertson argued that with so many people wanting 6.6 million tickets, the process has gone relatively smoothly. “When you talk about ticketing, you never hear from the pleased people who’ve got them,” said Robertson.
London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) chairman Lord Sebastian Coe pointed out that the organisers were really in a no-win situation, as many commentators argued in the early stages of the process that tickets sales would move at a crawl due to the recession. “Some of the erudite scribblers telling us six months earlier that we’d never sell any tickets, because we were in economic freefall, are the ones sitting there saying we really should have been able to foresee the level of demand,” said Coe. “I don’t think we could have done it differently, given the extraordinary level of demand.”
At a session later in the day to mark the countdown of 64 days until London 2012, LOCOG’s Director of Sport, Debbie Jevans, explained why there are more tickets available for this Olympics than in Beijing four years ago, despite the omission of two sports from the programme. “We looked back at previous Games and looked at the hockey semi-finals, and half wanted to watch one game and half wanted to watch the other,” she said. “So you had half the stadium that was sometimes disengaged or empty and not watching those two semi-finals. So we’ve split them in two.”
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Robertson happy with London 2012 ticketing process