London 2012 investigates empty Olympic seats | News | DW | 29.07.2012
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London 2012 investigates empty Olympic seats

Responding to TV images that showed hundreds of empty seats during competitions at sold-out Olympic venues, London 2012 organizers have vowed to investigate who is not using their tickets.

Many British citizens had been frustrated by how difficult it was to get tickets to Olympic events and shots of empty seats on TV broadcasts only poured salt in their wounds.

British Olympic Association Chairman Colin Moynihan said on Sunday that an investigation was underway to determine who should have been sitting in the seats.

Empty seats are seen in the stands during the women's Group G football match between North Korea and Colombia

Women's soccer matches were played in half-empty stadiums

"Where you have large blocks of seats you can pretty quickly know," Moynihan said.

There is speculation that the empty seats could have been from ticket blocks allocated to sponsors, athletes or individual national federations.

"We think it was accredited seats that belong to sponsors," said Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who is responsible for the Games. "But if they are not going to turn up, we want those tickets to be available for members of the public, because that creates the best atmosphere. So we are looking at this very urgently at the moment."

The aquatics center, which hosts the swimming events, and London's landmark Wimbledon tennis venues were among those that did not have full stands for events on Saturday. The problem continued on Sunday at the wrestling and beach volleyball competitions, among other events.

London 2012 organizers said they were looking into solutions that might allow the public to get unused tickets.

mz/ncy (dpa, Reuters, AFP)