Olympic tickets: More put on sale

  • 30 July 2012
  • From the section UK
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Media captionJackie Brock-Doyle, director of public affairs as Locog, says they are doing all they can to fill empty seats

More Olympic tickets will go on sale after the row over empty seats, organisers Locog have said.

It said an initial 3,000 tickets - including 600 gymnastics tickets - were "put back into the pot" and sold on the London 2012 website on Sunday night.

After a smooth morning rush hour, London Bridge station is expected to be particularly busy in the evening.

And in an historic success, Team GB's men's gymnasts won bronze - the first medal in 100 years.

They had initially won silver, but were demoted after fourth-place Japan successfully challenged the result, moving up to silver.

With evening events expected to impact London transport, six platforms at London Bridge are exit-only between 18:00 BST and 22:00 BST to handle an expected 50,000 equestrian spectators moving through it.

There was evidence of unusually quiet Tube platforms in the early evening at some stations, while at others there was the usual level of passengers for a Monday, BBC reporters said.

In other Olympic developments:

Image caption Tom Daley and Pete Waterfield competed in the men's synchronised 10m platform final
  • Team GB divers Tom Daley and Pete Waterfield came fourth in the men's synchronised 10m platform final
  • Organisers say food and water supplies are being increased at venues after long queues and supply shortages during the opening days
  • PM David Cameron, who chaired the daily Olympics security meeting on Monday morning, said he travelled on the Tube "to see what the traffic situation was like"
  • Mr Cameron also dismissed criticism from a fellow Tory MP that the opening ceremony was "leftie", describing it as "an idiotic thing to say"
  • Team GB's Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins clocked an Olympic record time of 6mins 44.33secs in the women's double sculls rowing as they powered into the final
  • Weightlifter Zoe Smith, 18 years old and at her first Olympics, set a new British clean and jerk record and new personal best total
  • Ten people have been charged with ticket touting offences since the start of the Games, and a further 19 have been arrested, Scotland Yard said

During the men's team gymnastic final, BBC reporter Ollie Williams reported that dozens of army personnel were filling seats in the North Greenwich Arena, but empty seats remained.

Image caption Officials had warned of a busy Tube service as Olympic fans and London commuters collided on the first working day of the Games

Regarding the general issue of empty spectator seats, Prime Minister David Cameron, said it was "disappointing" but not "a unique episode" with other previous Games facing similar problems.

At some venues, seats in the accredited "Olympic family" areas - reserved for groups including officials, sports federations, athletes, journalists and sponsors - have remained empty.

Locog communications director Jackie Brock-Doyle said organisers were doing everything they could to fix the problem.

"We're doing this session by session, talking to the accredited groups - including obviously broadcast media and everybody else - and asking whether we can release, for the different sessions, tickets back into the public pot," she said.

And she said accredited seating for London 2012 was down 15% on previous Games.

Image caption Eventing at Greenwich has attracted large crowds

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "Often these are very nice seats in very high-profile positions - and so what we're saying to the IOC and the International Sports Federations is if you're not going to use them, could we have as many as possible back, because, of course, we've got lots of members of the public who would dearly love to go."

He said contractually the seats belonged to the sporting bodies, so it was a process of negotiation to get them released.

He said organisers were looking at whether it was feasible to impose a 30-minute rule whereby empty seats were re-allocated if ticketholders had not sat down within 30 minutes of an event starting.

However, the ticket releases were causing some confusion at the Olympic Park as members of the public were arriving and expecting to be able to buy them, security staff told the BBC.

The latest release of tickets can be bought only online, before they are picked up at collection points in venues for pre-purchased tickets.

Medal hopes

Transport for London's Games transport director Mark Evers said the network had worked well on Monday morning.

There was an increase of about 4% in rush hour travellers, but because passengers travelled earlier or later than usual, the rush hour was "flattened", says BBC London transport correspondent Tom Edwards.

But Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association - representing London cabbies - complained of "chaos" on London's roads as a result of 30 miles of Games Lanes for the use of the Olympic family.

He told BBC News "tens of thousands of Londoners are stuck in gridlock traffic" while Games Lanes were "completely empty".

However, London Mayor Boris Johnson said some of the Games lanes had been "turned off", allowing the public to use them, because so many Olympic officials were opting for public transport.

He said IOC president Jacques Rogge had travelled by Docklands Light Rail instead of car.

Olympic organisers expect 1 million extra visitors to London to make some 3 million journeys on public transport - on top of the usual 12m daily public transport journeys.

Mexican wave

Meanwhile, Locog says it has checked all seating at temporary Olympics venues after BBC News website readers said flooring below seating at two sites had collapsed.

Michael Page, from Kent, was at the Riverbank Arena watching hockey on Sunday.

He said: "The crowd did a Mexican wave, one row jumped up and the empty seats behind moved forward which meant the flooring collapsed."

Officials drilled the flooring back together before the area was taped off, he added.

Locog's Ms Brock-Doyle said the welding had broken "on one seat at Eton Dorney and on a couple of other seats at the hockey so Games organisers have checked all the seats provided by the contractor to temporary venues".

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