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Olympic sponsors' ticket allocation okay, but transparency needed

17/02/2012

The organisers of London 2012 are not making too many tickets available to Olympic sponsors at the expense of the public, a report by the London Assembly has concluded.

The report ‘Sold Out?’ defended the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), which is led by Sebastian Coe and Paul Deighton, but did call for transparency on the number of tickets being provided to companies like Samsung, Coca-Cola, McDonald's, BT and Lloyds TSB.

“The Committee does not consider the number of tickets reserved for sponsors is excessive, considering their financial contribution to the games,” it says. “However, it is important Londoners are able to see what tickets sponsors have access to.

“LOCOG should publish the total number of tickets purchased by sponsors for each event; in providing this information there is no need to breach confidentiality by specifying which sponsor(s) bought the tickets.

“To help Londoners understand how sponsors' tickets are being used, we also urge LOCOG to encourage all sponsors to specify how many of their tickets are being made available to the public through promotional activity.”

The report, which
is the result of a two-year-long campaign by the Assembly’s Economy, Culture and Sport (ECS) Committee to get answers from LOCOG about the ticketing process for the games, criticises the organisation for ‘unnecessary secrecy’.

It said that although LOCOG had previously indicated that around 28 per cent of the 8.8 million tickets would cost £20 or less, it had refused to provide information to prove whether cheaper tickets were spread equally across all events, or concentrated in events like football, where supply exceeds demand.

LOCOG has been able to withhold information about ticket sales because its status as a private company makes it exempt from Freedom of Information requests.

Dee Doocey AM, chair of the ECS Committee said: “It is completely unacceptable that an organisation that only exists because of a huge investment of public money can hide behind its status as a private company to avoid questions it does not like.”

The Committee has now written to the Olympic Board to request the release of the information.

Pictured: Dee Doocey AM, chair of the ECS Committee


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