Government departments and VIPs entitled to purchase London Olympic tickets from a special reserved allocation should publish full details of how they are being paid for and who they’ve been allocated to, according to a new report from the London Assembly.
Around 14,000 tickets have reserved for Government bodies and figures, reducing the number of tickets available for purchase by the general public.
Assembly Members warn the size of the allocation risks undermining public confidence in the fairness of the ticketing system and are calling on beneficiaries of the scheme to publish full details of how many tickets they buy, how they were paid for and who will use them.
AMs have also called on Mayor of London Boris Johnson to “take the lead” and publish details of how he uses the 2,000 tickets reserved for his use.
Dee Doocey, Deputy Chair of the Assembly’s Economic Development, Culture, Sport and Tourism Committee, said AMs welcomed efforts made by Olympic organisers to ensure that “the ticket package comes out looking fairer that many previous Games.”
However Doocey said the number of tickets reserved for Government use “does seem excessive”, adding: “Every seat taken up by a government official or politician is one less seat for the public so it’s vital that government bodies are completely open and transparent about who gets them, why and who ultimately foots the bill.”
AMs have also used their report to welcome a change of policy by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games which, following pressure from AMs, has agreed to provide “up to” 6,450 free tickets for carers accompanying disabled spectators who would otherwise be unable to attend.
Organisers had originally planned to only offer free tickets to carers accompanying wheelchair users.
Doocey said she was “delighted that LOCOG has listened to our call for all disabled people who need it to have access to a free ticket for their carer through the public ballot – not just those in a wheelchair, but everyone who needs help attending an event.”
Responding to the Committee’s call, a spokesman for the Mayor said: “We welcome the Assembly’s report which recognises LOCOG’s excellent work and reflects our own aims to see transparency and fairness in the allocation of 2012 tickets.
“The Mayor is determined that London’s Games are accessible and inclusive, which is why he has worked with LOCOG to ensure that one in eight London schoolchildren are given the opportunity to attend the Games at no cost to themselves or the tax payer.”