The organisers of the Olympic Games are putting thousands more tickets on sale after an uproar about the number of empty seats at almost all the events.
Tickets were originally allocated to various Olympic committee delegates from the 200-plus countries taking part, although it appears many of them have yet to arrive in London.
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) is now trying to claw back the tickets that aren’t being used by the various international sports federations and selling them to the public.
Three-thousand tickets were made available on the Games’ website July 29.
TV footage showing rows of empty seats sparked some fierce criticism from the British media and the general public, mainly from people unable to get tickets.
LOCOG may have trouble getting hold of all the unused tickets, as Sky News said two of its reporters bought a ticket marked “Azerbaijan Olympic Committee” and suggested that some countries’ Olympic officials are making money from reselling their tickets.
The ticket was for the men’s flyweight boxing event at London’s Excel Centre Aug. 3 and the Sky reporters said they paid £20 for it, with several similar tickets readily available.
Since the Olympics started, the Metropolitan Police has arrested 29 people for reselling Olympic tickets, although many have claimed they were unaware of Britain’s scalping laws.
Wolfgang Menzel, a 57-year-old German visiting London for the Games, was arrested after police found him at the Olympic park selling tickets to the opening ceremony for £1,100. He had 31 tickets in his pocket and a further 20 in his hotel room.
He claimed he was simply a sports fan who got carried away and purchased too many tickets. He said he wasn’t aware he couldn’t sell them in the UK because in Germany tickets are widely advertised on the Internet and eBay.