Troops, students and teachers fill gaps left by stadiums' empty seats

 

Sponsors faced growing criticism over unused tickets at Olympic venues after a number of events took place with empty seats.

Games boss Lord Coe said troops, students and teachers were filling gaps left in stadiums, while others ticketholders could be upgraded.

Events including tennis, swimming, basketball and rowing have been affected.

Tickets for double sessions, such as those for hockey, basketball, water polo and handball, are also being recycled and re-sold as people leave.

There were reports of fans who were in the Park on a £10 day pass securing £90 men’s basketball tickets for the US vs Croatia for £5.

Twitter users posted pictures of venues that appeared not even half full.

Jane Carruthers tweeted a photo at Wimbledon, writing: “Our view on No.1 - ridiculous amount of empty seats.”

Claire Howe, 25, from Cheshunt, applied for about ten events in the first round, including cycling and athletics, but missed out and will travel to Cardiff to watch the final Great Britain men’s football group match.

Ms Howe, a marketing executive, said: “It’s unfair that you apply, you don’t get tickets and then see you all these empty seats.

“The Games is all about inspiring the next generation so these places should be given away to children from local community.

“They should be finding out why his is happening and maybe fining people who didn’t turn up, even if they are corporate - it’s not fair to the people who applied.”

Lord Coe, London 2012 chairman, said: “It’s not easy to ask people (in the accredited Olympic family) at the beginning of the Games to ask people exactly how, where and when they’re going to be in those seats.

“This morning was a very good example, we looked at gymnastics, we could see at this moment there are empty seats in the accredited area - the rest of the venue is looking pretty good this morning, there’s a good atmosphere. So we were able to move those troops from - I’m not quite sure whether they were on a rest period or whether it was a transition from work through to a rest period - but they’re sitting there enjoying the gymnastics. We can and we have moved them in there.

“Yesterday, we got pre-accredited students and teachers from the local boroughs. We were able to put 115, 120 into a venue.”

He 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.”

Shadow Olympics minister Dame Tessa Jowell said: “Anyone who is lucky enough to have tickets to the Games should either use them or give them up.

“I am pleased to see that unused tickets are now being distributed to members of our armed forces, local teachers and students. It is important that this process is stepped up to ensure that every single available ticket is offered to somebody who will use it.”

News
peopleJonathan Ross has got a left-field suggestion to replace Clarkson
News
Johnny Depp is perhaps best known for his role as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean
peopleBut how did he break it?
News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
Arts and Entertainment
The teaser trailer has provoked more questions than answers
filmBut what is Bond's 'secret' that Moneypenny is talking about?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballDoes Hodgson's England team have an identity yet?
Sport
Lewis Hamilton secured his second straight pole of the season
f1Vettel beats Rosberg into third after thunderstorm delays qualifying
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
News
Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
people
Voices
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
News
The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss