Why Are There So Many Empty Seats at the Olympics?
The Olympic Organizing Committee is investigating the reason behind the large number empty seats at the London games. Patti Ann Browne provides possible explanations for the poor turnouts at the events despite high demand for the tickets.
As Browne explains, certain tickets are reserved for athletes, their families and Olympic officials, many of whom won’t attend the earlier events. Eight percent are also reserved for corporate sponsors like Coca-Cola, who insist their tickets are being used by employees, customers and contest winners.
The Daily Telegraph has reported that the problem may stem from the questionable practices of certain ticket agencies, specifically those who get leftover tickets from the Olympic committees of foreign countries. These agencies often drive ticket prices up by selling them at the last minute — a practice which is illegal under IOC rules. They have found ways to circumvent this law by selling package deals, which include hotel rooms and tickets, and charging up to ten times the face value of the tickets.
Altogether, there are 8.8 million tickets available for the events, but as Browne said, “Unless the Olympic Committee changes the system, it’s likely at least a million of those will go unused.”