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London 2012: Olympic VIP tickets still to sell

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Media captionThe Games start with the opening ceremony on 27 July

The company behind London 2012's hospitality programme has admitted that around a quarter of the packages - some costing £4,500 - are still unsold.

London 2012 is the first Olympics at which an official hospitality partner has been appointed.

Approximately 80,000 tickets for the Olympics and Paralympics have been handed over to Prestige Ticketing.

The company is building the world's largest-ever temporary sports hospitality venue on the Olympic Park.

The three-storey construction, just 70 metres from the Olympic stadium, is designed to cater for 3,000 customers a day during the Games.

Prestige will also operate separate hospitality areas at the tennis, rowing, beach volleyball, equestrian and gymnastics venues.

While many sports fans have struggled to get hold of tickets to watch the Olympics, those who can afford it can still take their pick from the most popular events. Hospitality packages for the men's 100 metres final remain on sale, but they do not come cheap. The minimum price for that evening of athletics, with fine dining included, is £4,500.

With the start of London 2012 now little more than two months away, Prestige Ticketing has decided to change its sales strategy in order to try to offload the remaining supply.

Customers are now being allowed to purchase individual packages, rather than the standard block of ten.

This is a clear attempt to encourage wealthy individuals, as well as the corporate market, to dig deep for what is being marketed as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Prestige chief operating officer Alan Gilpin told the BBC: "Hospitality at this level is now a part of major events, in a number of ways.

"One is, it is a part of the experience that an ever-growing range of consumers expect, but also down to individuals and families who want to do the Games or a major event in a different way and have that as a day out rather than just a ticket."

Many of those who have failed to get any tickets for London 2012 are bound to be frustrated that some of the very best sessions are being marketed so exclusively.

Others, though, will benefit from London 2012's hospitality programme. A total from £25 from every hospitality package sold is being returned to the London 2012 Organising Committee.

That money is being used to fund free tickets for 150,000 people. mainly children and members of the armed forces.

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