Lord Sebastian Coe has defended the hundreds of empty seats at Olympic venues on the first day of London 2012 and insists it won’t be a problem throughout the Games.
The vacant seats were in accredited areas, reserved for the Olympic family, but were unused as the finals of the swimming took place and Team GB men’s gymnastics team secured their place in the final.
Lord Coe previously said he would name and shame those that would not use their seats but has since backtracked on those comments saying ‘naming and shaming is not what we are into’.
The chairman of Locog is a member of the accredited family himself and described his day yesterday proves why the seats were not filled.
‘This is not an unfamiliar situation in the preliminary rounds,’ said Coe.
‘There are thousands of people in the accredited areas trying to figure out how to divide their time.
‘My day yesterday is a good example – I went to about four venues and only stayed for about an hour in each one.’
While the defence is a logical one it may not wash with fans who missed out on tickets, only to see the events they wanted to be at filled with empty seats.
But Lord Coe made it clear there was a plan in place to reuse the tickets by letting school children and off duty military personnel take advantage.
‘I do take these empty seat matters very seriously,’ added Coe.
‘At the gymnastics there are military sitting in those seats right now.
‘We can sell more tickets, which we have done.
‘Yesterday we were able to get teachers and students who were based in the Olympic Park into venues.’
It is reported the majority of the accredited seats were for corporate sponsors who have eight per cent of the 8.8million tickets on offer with 75 per cent of those available for the public.