Seb Coe: Empty Olympic Seats to be Filled

July 29, 2012

Sebastian Coe, London 2012 chairman has vowed to fill seats with troops and students following reports of empty seats at a few Olympic venues.

Gaps were visible at a number of venues today and yesterday, including the Aquatics Centre, gymnastics and beach volleyball – other venues such as rowing, boxing, shooting and handball were full.

Coe said students, teachers and troops had been given some of the empty seats, most of which had been “accredited seats” reserved for teams, federations and Olympic officials.

Coe said: “I don’t want to see swathes of seats empty and will make sure we can do everything we can to fill them.

“For example we looked at gymnastics today and could see empty seats in the accredited area so were able to move some troops so they were sitting there this morning enjoying the gymnastics.

“But let’s put this into perspective – those venues are stuffed to the gunwales.”

Coe added: “We can clearly sell more tickets, which we did yesterday. We sold something like 1,000 tickets over three sessions.

“The other thing is we can tactically upgrade and move people.”

“On handball yesterday, we recycled just under 300 tickets, about 283 tickets, and they went out to adults at £5 and children at £1.

“Those numbers will increase over the course of the Games.

“It’s sensible. People who classically have gone to see one specific team, but the ticket covers them for the next session, and they leave to go to do something else.”

IOC communications director Mark Adams insisted that sponsors were not to blame for the problems.

He said: “It’s completely wrong to say this is a sponsors issue. It’s a whole range of people – federations, athletes, some media, a handful of people, largely speaking the sponsors are in other areas.

“A majority of sponsors have turned up.”

Discuss the empty seats and ticketing system here