Backlash over empty seats at Olympics


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One tweet said: “I feel so empty.”

Tragic. Maybe the athletes also feel some sort of emptiness. Real shame.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

This is a real shame for LOCOG: it's depressing to see top athletes competing to an audience of empty seats.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If those empty seats were indeed belonging to sponsors, how on earth did they manage to get such large allocation blocks? I could envisage small groups of 5~10 seats being empty, but the pictures showed 50~100 seats empty.

Time to cut down on the "Olympic family" members giveaways, and sell tickets to actual sports fans.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I think that The Guardian defined this problem best: it is a family problem. The Olympic family. A very disfunctional one. LOLOL.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

So, then Romney wasn't off the mark....

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Romney was off in the marshes.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Sounds like the 'Olympic Family' sees this as an chance for their own entertainment, rather than having a sincere wish to make a community event 'for the people'. As for Romney, he was actually attacked for regurgitating the criticisms and fears of the very media that latter pilloried him. The impression I'm getting is that an establishment elite is arrogantly unaware of the people they are supposed to be serving and are even keeping a lion's share of the seats for themselves.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

“I heard my company had loads of tickets but they were only for very important people,” she said.

This really says it all. Aren't we all important people when it comes to sports?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Maybe they were all caught in traffic...oh wait, the people that had these VIP seats also probably had the VIP trafiic lanes at their disposal. It is really sad and the seats should have been given away after 30 minutes.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If 75% of the seats went to the public those stands should be more full. Not sure how you can put most of the blame on the 8% corporate sponsor ticket holders.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

it's because they can watch it live at home. ^^

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

First world problems...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It's made worse on TV as the Olympic 'family' seem to be allocated the very best seats. The BBC did a simple comparison at the swimming showing the public stands packed to the gunnels and the poolside sponsored areas almost empty. Seemingly because the elitist 'family' have bagged their seats in readyness for the finals.

The tickets have been sold, it's not a organisation issue. What's letting them down is that the 'family' have no interest in the sport, rather they only want to be seen as important.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Way to go, guys.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If the ticket for the empty seat was paid for at or close to (say 80%+) market price, then so what the committee has been compensated and is not loosing money. In this case it is the loss of the person who is supposed to be in that seat, they are missing out, but not fair to the athletes as this makes them feel that people really don't care.

If on the other hand those were free or deeply discounted tickets, then shame on the committee and the people who are supposed to be in those seats, you took something away from real fans who would have gladly paid fair and full price and actually been there to cheer on the athletes.

No matter how the ticket was issued they do like the transportation industry, if you are not there by a certain time you forfeit your seat and then they should sell a discounted ticket to any one in a stand-by Que who wants in.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

missing spectators were mostly officials from international sports federations, other Olympic officials, their families and friends.

This is disgusting. But it's what you get when you let the elite and those connected to the elite get hold of scarce resources. Blatant misuse.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This is why airlines, hotels, sports events etc generally oversell their capacity. You can always count on X% never showing up. No idea why the LOGOC didn't do this as well...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Spectators are pretty important - it looks like they helped overturn a decision for a medal. See the end of the "North Korea, Georgia, win Olympic judo golds" article here at JT.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I'm confused. What happened to simple "buy a ticket, get a seat reservation?" There can be 10 different prices for a venue, but auctions make me feel ripped off unless there isn't a minimum forced price. Supply and demand.

If sponsors want tickets, they need to buy them too. Organizers don't need hundreds of seats reserved for themselves. If they are important to the sport, there will be specific seats, if not, they can stand or rotate into the 10 available seats for organizers.

I like the "if you are late, lose your seat" method too, but 30 minutes is too late. They should have left earlier to be on time. If the seat is empty 5 minutes after the start time then seats need to be sold at half price to the public outside as general admission - find any empty seat.

Sorry if this seams harsh, I remember the Atlanta games where the same issues happened. My family paid $3000 for a hotel room 2.5 hours away (in a different state!) due to the way hotels registered to be included in the Olympics and had outrageous pricing. We attended almost all our events - most were for uninteresting countries in sports that we didn't care about at all. We couldn't get the tickets we wanted.

Going to the Olympics once is enough. Watching on TV is much easier. This year in the USA, all the live TV coverage is locked down to cable TV networks. I've seen 20 minutes of my favorite sport so far after 3 days of preliminaries, semifinals and finals - each of which were about 3 hours a day. I'm temped to get cable for more sports coverage, but it won't work with my current DVR and I'd cancel in 2 weeks. The cable companies broke VCR and DVR compatibility with their digital upgrades a few yrs ago. That's why I dropped cable TV service 2 yrs ago. Features, supply and demand.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's the same with concerts, especially in Japan, where often the best seats are occupied by corporate sponsors. These seats are often occupied by people who don't want to be there. I was at an Elvis Costello concert a few years ago, and two middle aged business men in the 2nd row were sleeping.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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