Restricting the sale of tickets for the 2012 London Oympics to holders of Visa credit cards would restrict the accessibility of the Games, Members of the London Assembly have warned.
Assembly Members investigating plans to sell tickets for the London Games heard evidence that only half of all tickets sold for the O2 arena are bought with Visa cards, yet it has been reported that London could follow the example of the Vancouver Games in only accepting Visa credit cards.
The London Assembly Economic Development, Culture, Sport and Tourism Committee has written to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) highlighting concerns on a number of issues including the methods open to Londoners and visitors to pay for tickets.
Organisers have also been asked to provide details of how many free tickets have been reserved for Olympic chiefs, VIPs, hospitality firms and sponsors. AMs also want LOCOG to publish its strategy for selling tickets “as soon as possible to allow for public debate and to build confidence in the ticketing plans.”
Citing scenes of near-empty venues during the Beijing Games, AMs also warn that a failure to fill seats could create worldwide “negative perceptions”.
Dee Doocey AM, Chair of the Committee said, “Londoners have told us they want to know more about 2012 tickets and I hope LOCOG will be able to work with us to ensure as many people as possible can enjoy the Games.
“The key issue is simple: how many people will be ahead of the average Londoner in the queue for Olympic tickets?”
“LOCOG needs to be open and transparent about how many tickets are going to be available for the public and how many are going to be reserved for the ‘Olympic family’. These tickets for IOC staff, officials, partners and sponsors will significantly reduce the number of seats available for the public.”