Empty seats still problem, British Olympic Association says

Etienne Stott and Tim Baillie GB took gold and silver in the two-man canoe slalom

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The problem of empty seats at the London Games still "has to be sorted", the British Olympic Association says.

BOA chief Lord Moynihan said it was "unfair on Team GB not to have maximum support" and a "major take-away issue" for the organisers of future Olympics.

London 2012 said venues were seeing a "very different situation" from the start of the Games.

There were two more gold medals for GB after wins in the two-man canoe slalom and shooting.

Etienne Stott and Tim Baillie won the canoeing event, with Team GB's David Florence and Richard Hounslow taking the silver medal. Peter Wilson won the other gold in the men's double trap at the Royal Artillery Barracks.

There was also a silver medal for Team GB's Gemma Gibbons in the 78kg judo final.

And there was a third silver of the day for Britain, after the men's lightweight coxless fours - Richard and Peter Chambers, Rob Williams and Chris Bartley - were edged out by South Africa at Eton Dorney.

The mother of Richard and Peter Chambers said she was "completely delighted" by the result after a "ridiculously tough race."

Fans in the Olympic Park walk near the velodrome during day six of the Games Action in the velodrome is due to get under way for the first time during the Games

"It was amazing, I am so proud," Gillian Chambers, from Coleraine, added. "I hope they are not disappointed. At that level that achievement is just too fantastic to consider it a disappointment."

Team GB will be looking to cycling again to add further to its tally of medals.

Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton are two of Team GB's main medal hopes on day six of the Games, as action switches to the velodrome following the success of Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome in the time trials on Wednesday.

In other developments:

Lord Moynihan spoke of a "tunnel of sound" made by the noise of the cheering supporters during the rowing.

He said: "Our rowers have really benefited from that atmosphere down there and, of course, you can replicate that over 26 sports."

He added: "Every empty seat disappoints me because we need every seat filled to radiate the support from the British public, who are passionately interested in sport and absolutely 100% behind Team GB."

BOA chief Lord Moynihan: "This has to be sorted. It is unfair on Team GB not to have maximum support"

Lord Moynihan also praised the performance of rowers Glover and Stanning and their coach Robin Williams and said more funding should be made available to boost home-grown talent.

"One thing I have been very conscious of over the last five, six years is to strengthen the level of coaching support to Team GB as a whole," he said.

Pictures of rows of empty seats have angered members of the public and prompted Games organisers to appeal to sports federations to return tickets that accredited spectators were failing to use.

In response to Lord Moynihan's comments, London 2012 spokesman Jackie Brock-Doyle said it was "quite successfully" dealing with the problem. Seats had been reallocated and volunteers and the military on security duties were being allowed to watch the sport to help fill venues.

More tickets, including a total of 11,000 for the athletics, have now been released for sale online, she added.

She said organisers were also having "quite detailed conversations" with the International Association of Athletics Federation on their accredited seating in the stadium, which starts on Friday.

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Addressing criticism that the ticket website was struggling with demand, she urged people to "hang in there, be patient, persevere", and emphasised that "thousands of people" were buying tickets every day.

But Ms Brock-Doyle said organisers would not "recycle" tickets for the athletics as "people will tend to stay for the whole thing".

Wimbledon, Horse Guards Parade and the Olympic Park area were all expected to be very busy again on Thursday, BBC London said.

Friday is expected to be extremely busy at the park and on London's transport system as the stadium opens for the first time during the Games.

An additional 80,000 spectators are expected for Friday's athletics competition, with Saturday also expected to be very busy, London 2012 organisers said.

Access to the shopping centre next to the park - Westfield Stratford - will be restricted between 10:30 BST and 17:00 BST on Saturday, with only ticketholders, accredited staff and people invited to hospitality allowed to pass through it to enter the park.

After British podium successes on Wednesday, postage stamps of Team GB's first 2012 gold medallists - Glover and Stanning - as well as Wiggins, have gone on sale.

Tour de France winner Wiggins became the most decorated Olympian in British history with his gold medal, which brought his tally to seven medals overall.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 163.

    The tickets are a fiddle just like the way we actually got the games! Remember the France Spain mix up? The games shouldnt be in London.

  • rate this

    Comment number 162.

    Have to say it, TOLD YOU SO! It's not all about sport, it's all about money. Enormous expense to glorify a few athletes who think too much of themselves, hype up everyone, fete all the VIPs, make money for MacD etc. Nothing sporting about any of this, just a vehicle for a few to make lots of money. Immense frustration for those who can't buy seats, but that's the system.

  • rate this

    Comment number 161.

    The thought of sitting on an internet terminal, waiting for a chance of tickets, is nonsense. There's plenty going on around London to fill any interest.
    Admiral Lord Nelson supports the Olympics, he couldn't get any tickets.
    The Brigade of Guards is on duty, no tickets there, then.

  • rate this

    Comment number 160.

    I feel really sorry for all who can't get tickets when there are so obviously many empty seats. There has been such a mess up, and because they can't seem to sort it, instead of leaving the seats empty, just fill them with school kids. It may give them a bit of inspiration and it's something that they'll never forget

  • rate this

    Comment number 159.

    Ref Tickets , A not unexpected shambles from the amateurs running the Olympics.

  • rate this

    Comment number 158.

    I've been trying and trying and trying. If there were a gold medal for trying to get Olympic athletics tickets, then it'd be mine. I've a limit of 150 and I only want 2: for me and my daughter who is missing out on the rowing that my sons are going to on Saturday. The website tells me to wait for 15+ minutes and then I am told no tickets match, or prize annoyance that my session has timed out.

  • rate this

    Comment number 157.

    I was at the Olympic park on Tuesday. Hundreds of people looking for tickets to get into events and queuing at box offices to be told there are no stand by tickets. Queues outside the handball matches in copper box where in my section alone dozens of seats empty. Not filled at half time or end of first match or half time in second match. We leave at this point but still queues of people outside!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 156.

    This farce had gone global and is being widely reported by the overseas media too. Just do a Google search on the web, and also search YouTube. Not only Team GB is affected, but EVERY ATHLETE; no spectators = no 'buzz.' The incompetency of the Government, LOCOG & Lord Coe et al in not getting this sorted puts this country in a VERY BAD LIGHT INDEED.

  • rate this

    Comment number 155.

    Up late again tonight in the hope that I might get some tickets. After waiting longer than the approximate 15 minutes requesting tickets I was very pleased when it came back with 2 seat at Saturdays athletics, only to notice as I clicked to make payment that it was not the £50 seats that I had asked requested but 2 £450 seats if I could afford them I would requested them myself, rubbish system.

  • rate this

    Comment number 154.

    It's disappointing that the people's Olympic's has resulted in corporate greed (or s it appears) preventing the 'people' from being able to get tickets.
    I guess I am not the only member of the public who tried and failed to get tickets, an opportunity lost.

  • rate this

    Comment number 153.

    Everyone now knows how incompetent the ticketing system is. It is based on old web technologies bought on the cheap. It is really 2 systems - the front end selling system, and the back end database system. The newly released tickets are entered into the first system which then offers them for sale. However they are not entered into the actual database and so are not actually for sale at all.

  • rate this

    Comment number 152.

    Lord Moynihan: Unfair on Team GB not to have maximum support....

    What about unfair on all those British members of the public who have tried hard to get tickets and failed? Unfair on them perhaps?

    I bet his Lordship had no problem picking and choosing which events he watches.

  • rate this

    Comment number 151.

    The new system for reselling tickets is a good thing, but it is painfully slow! We queued for 3 hrs for the Handball to get to see half of one game. Despite seeing several hundred people leave after the first game, it took an hour for LOCOG to then resell about 150 seats to those of us queuing. Even more frustrating was that when we got inside, there were still a lot of empty seats!

  • rate this

    Comment number 150.

    Despite what LOCOG say, corporates are still a major problem. We were sat at one end of the Basketball arena today, down the bottom and there were loads of empty seats around us during the first match. In fact, we had a whole row to ourselves! The seats then filled up for the second match and they were all people who were from VISA!!! Come on LOGOG, sort these sponsors out!

  • rate this

    Comment number 149.

    Empty Seats seems to be a real issue and is seen at all the events so far. I think a bigger issue is the amount of UK Fans who do not know which way is 'UP' when displaying the UK Flag at events
    When the seats are empty, upside down flags are missed to an extent – We as a Nation should be more embarrassed that some of our general public do not know which way is ‘UP’ on our National Flag!

  • rate this

    Comment number 148.

    It's the IOC that demand that tickets are given to member states, so it's not LOCOGS fault if they're not used, nor is it their fault if the sponsors (that have paid the majority of the costs) chose not to sit in the seats that they have paid for.

    Of course if Blair & the other Scots-socialists had hired the right people in the first place instead of their cronies (G4S etc) it might of helped...

  • rate this

    Comment number 147.

    The whole way the tickets have been sold in the first place has been a farce.

  • rate this

    Comment number 146.

    I like the way Prince William and Prince Harry get to see any event they want, and seem to be hogging the seats, laughing at the misfortune of those who didn't get tickets as they rest their feet on the empty seat in front of them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 145.

    At tennis yesterday loads of spare seats had "press stickers" on them. Even for Andy Murray game no-one in press seats. 2rows at front, and all usual press seats, and some near royal box. Later, at 8.15pm the wonderful (and I meant that they were lovely) volunteers were still stopping people sitting in the 15 press seats, where needless to say there were no press or likely to be at that time.

  • rate this

    Comment number 144.

    If the ticket website were run by any other company, the appalling way it works or rather not work - without any way to complain or have any redress - the chairman would be sacked. Coe should go now. We get lots of stuff on his twitter with pictures showing full seats but they only ever show half the venue - He needs to go now - enough is enough


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