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Sunday, July 29, 2012

ESL Olympics: Empty Seats Scandal

Swimming at the Aquatic centre - London 2012 Olympics: BOA chairman Lord Moynihan says 'we owe it to the British team' to fill empty seats
adapted from The Telegram, the Guardian, the Daily Mail, BBC News 

Thousands of supposedly being "sold out," seats to popular Olympic events are remaining  empty at many popular Olympic Games events because sponsors, Olympic officials and VIPs who were given free tickets  haven't shown up.  

As the London Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) investigates the reasons why free ticket holders didn't attend the events, thousands of soldiers and school children are being given tickets in order to fill the empty seats. 

Even before the games began, LOCOG was strongly criticized for giving such a large number of  free event tickets to corporate sponsors, Olympic officials and VIPs because the "give away" left so many potential spectators unable to buy tickets. 

Seats at many of the Olympic venues have not been cheap, many starting at $300 a ticket.  

Although thousands of fans have been unable to get tickets for Olympic events because they have been "sold out," thousands of seats continue to remain empty at even at many of the most popular events, including the swimming and gymnastics.

As well, many tickets are being resold for as little as $10 as spectators leave the venues for other competitions.

Angry public wants  no shows to be fined 

Angry members of the public who were unable to purchase tickets have expressed their outrage on social media websites like Twitter and Facebook Many have called for the "no shows " to be fined. 

Colin Moynihand, president of the British Olympic Association has demanded that tickets for the empty seats be resold 30 minutes after the event begins so that fans get an opportunity to cheer for their country. 

Watch  a video of BOA head Colin Moynihand commenting on the empty seats
 Olympic athletes have also called for the organizing committee do do something to make sure that as many spectators as possible can wat5ch the Olympics in person.

Won't name the no shows    

Lord Sebastian Coe, head of LOCOG, who downplayed the seriousness of the empty seats, stating the Olympic venues were "full' did eventually admit that many seats that had been "reserved for the Olympic family" were indeed empty. .  

Coe, who before the Games said he would "name and shame" sponsors and officials who did not use their free tickets has since backed down, saying that it would not be fair to humiliate these people.

Although Coe has continued to insist that the empty seats are only a temporary problem,  organizers have begun filling the seats with with soldiers. Teachers and school children have been offered tickets for less than $10 each, the general public will again be allowed to purchase tickets and fans  be allowed to upgrade their tickets for better seats

Meanwhile  LOCOQ is still investigating the reason for the large number of empty seats, but has not announced any results yet. 

Watch a video of Lord Coe's response to the empty seats controversy 


1.  How do you feel about the fact that there are so many empty seats at the Olympics? 

2.  Do you think no-shows should have to pay for the tickets they did not use? 

3.  Do you think anyone should get free tickets to any Olympic Games?  Who should get
     them?  Why should they get them and how many should they get?
4.  Should the military be given tickets for the empty seats or should they go to someone
       else? who?

5.  So far, how well do you think things are going at the Olympics?

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  1. I appreciated with this post very much. Will you please share some photos of this Olympics?

  2. I am little bit confused with this information. Can you share some more information about ESL courses?


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