London Assembly Feel ’12 Gov. Reserved Tickets is Excessive

March 10, 2011

The London Assembly believes the total of 14,000 London 2012 tickets that have been reserved for Government officials and politicians is “excessive”, insisting that all public bodies “show restraint” when bidding for preferential access to tickets as well as publishing a register of tickets received.

The Assembly’s Economic Development, Culture, Sport and Tourism (EDCST) published a report today, March 10 – entitled “Just the Ticket” warning that public confidence could be damaged if government bodies buy too many tickets or fail to publicly account for them.

Tickets for London 2012 are set to go on sale on March 15, and the latest report – put together after discussions with the Games’ organisers director of ticketing in December – presents a timely nudge to the members of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG).

Out of a total of 8 million tickets for the Olympics, 6.6 million will be sold directly to the public with the remainder sold to sponsors and athletes, through VIP packages and through foreign Olympic associations. 

London 2012 has made available for sale 9,000 tickets for the Government, 2,000 for the Mayor of London, and 100 each for the London Boroughs.

The report notes in its foreword: “Our outstanding concerns are about the tickets being made available for sale to various public bodies.

“We have been making the case since our first report on ticketing, in March 2010, that public confidence will be dented if large numbers of VIPs are seen to be getting preferential access to tickets ahead of the general public.

“In this report, we call on public bodies to show restraint when bidding for preferential access to tickets. In our view, the public should ultimately be the judges of the extent to which public bodies have shown such restraint.

“To make this judgement they will need to know exactly who has asked for tickets, why, and how they will be funded.

“That is why we call on public bodies to publish a register of all the tickets they have received.”

Dee Doocey, the deputy chair of the EDCST committee, commented: “Reserving 14,000 tickets for Government does seem excessive. 

“Every seat taken up by a Government official or politician is one less seat for the public so it’s vital that Government bodies are completely open and transparent about who gets them, why and who ultimately foots the bill.”