London 2012: More than 2m fans visit London for Games

 

Over 2 million visitors have arrived in London to support the Games, making it the biggest crowd event in the city's history.

Describing the staggering crowds just three days in as a “never ending tide of humanity”, Boris Johnson said: “The sheer numbers turning out to show their support for the Games is incredible.”

Danny Boyle’s £27 million opening ceremony is thought to have added to the clamour to be in London.

About 1.5 million turned out over the weekend to free events across the capital while 500,000 paid to attend sports at Olympic venues. Well over one million fans lined the streets during the weekend’s cycling road races.

Hundreds of thousands also flocked to Olympic Live sites including those at Hyde Park, Victoria Park, Trafalgar Square and Potter’s Field at City Hall, where they could watch the sport on giant screens.

Tens of thousands more are in London for the Cultural Olympiad. The Emirates cable car carried a record 26,000 people on Saturday.

The Mayor said: “Hundreds of thousands braved sunstroke on Saturday and storms on Sunday to line the road race course. The live sites in the parks are packed. And it seemed at times yesterday that a never ending tide of humanity was sweeping towards the Olympic Park from Stratford.”

He added: “Most events are packed to the rafters, and where Games family seats are empty they are quickly being filled. The key thing is spectators seats are full. Their support has been amazing.” A senior travel source added: “We believe it’s well over two million already. The numbers have been huge. It has been fantastic.”

The Hyde Park live site is expected to be packed today, with as many as 80,000 people in the park. And Games officials said about 50,000 spectators are expected at the equestrian event.

Shadow Olympics minister Tessa Jowell said: “The huge attendances at the free un-ticketed events show more clearly than anything else that Londoners are determined to be part of the action and celebrate the Olympics.

“The whole intention of our London 2012 Games was to create a million ways for people to be part of this. It is about making this inclusive.”

But she called on the IOC to do more in future to prevent empty seats and locals being “shut out” of events.

She added: “The huge crowds seen at free events is why this tickets issue is so pungent. It runs counter to so much of the things we’ve been trying to do. The short term solution is for organisers to do more and more to open up the events to people who can get there at short notice.

“It is probably too late for this Olympics but in the long term the IOC has to be much more sensitive to the strong feelings in host cities when people are effectively shut out of events because they are told they are sold out.”

Peter Hendy, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: “We had a fantastic opening weekend to the Games with the crowds out in force to support the men and women in the Cycle Road Races with one million spectators for both races lining the streets of London and Surrey.”

Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson said: “The atmosphere on The Mall for Lizzie Armitstead’s silver medal yesterday was electric.”

News
Jennifer Lawrence was among the stars allegedly hacked
peopleActress and 100 others on 'master list' after massive hack
Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A man shoots at targets depicting a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a shooting range in the center of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv
voicesIt's cowardice to pretend this is anything other than an invasion
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor