July 20 - Neale Coleman, the director of the London 2012 Coordination at the Greater London Authority (GLA), has revealed that tickets to attend Live Sites during the Olympics and Paralympics will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis in order to avoid the controversy that occurred in applications for tickets to the events.
The random ballot system - employed by London 2012 Organisers to decide where tickets for the Olympics would go - came under heavy criticism earlier this year after a total of 1.2 million people ended up with nothing in the first round of applications with only 700,000, 36 per cent of applicants, being successful.
There was further frustration at the fact that money was taken from accounts before people realised which tickets they had received but Coleman, one of London Mayor Boris Johnson's closest advisors, predicted that tickets to the Live Sites at the Games will not incur the same problems.
"Access to the Live Sites in London during the Games will be ticketed and these tickets are likely to be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis so we will not see the same problems that there were with the 2012 Olympic ticket random ballot," Coleman told the London Assembly here.
"Therefore people will know straight away whether they have secured tickets to the Live Sites and not be left in the dark.
"We obviously don't have as many tickets for the Live Sites as there were for the Olympic venues but we don't expect to see anywhere near the demand there was for Olympic tickets.
"Tickets to enter the Live Sites in London will be free of charge except on three days.
"These will be the final day of the Torch Relay on July 26 [the day before the Opening Ceremony], the Opening Ceremony on July 27 and the Closing Ceremony on August 12."
The Live Sites in London during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which are being masterminded by the Mayor's Office, The Royal Parks and Tower Hamlets Council, will see festival sites in Hyde Park, Victoria Park, Trafalgar Square and Potters Fields Park, which is adjacent to City Hall.
Big Screens will be in place showing live action of Olympic and Paralympic competition while event promoters Live Nation, whose portfolio of work includes organising the famous Concert for Diana at Wembley Stadium in 2007, organised by Princes William and Harry, will be charged with running the Live Sites.
Live Nation has been granted commercial rights at the Live Sites that will allow them to stage concerts and offer hospitality packages, food and drink concessions and merchandising opportunities but Coleman promised that they are aiming to cause minimum disruption to local residents.
"The Live Sites will have to go through all the relevant licensing agreements and will not be able to override any of the normal processes regarding staging concerts and events in London," Coleman said.
"Obviously on the days when the Opening and Closing Ceremonies take place, they will be open until midnight and there will be traffic restrictions around them but other than that; they will be closed at around 10pm so residents in the area will not be adversely affected.
"I think that the majority of the local residents understand that the London 2012 Games are a one-off event and will welcome the Live Sites but if major concerns are expressed by residents, we obviously have a responsibility to listen to them.
"But I think the Live Sites will be a key part of the London 2012 experience and be a fantastic addition to the Games."
London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe claimed last year that the success of live sites at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics was the major lesson he had learned from those Games and the Mayor of London believes they are a vital part of his strategy to promote the city internationally.
"These fantastic live sites will mean everyone can soak up the atmosphere and revel in the excitement of this sporting spectacular," said Johnson.
"Whether it is watching the Games as they unfold, or seeing a fabulous international act performing against these wonderful backdrops, we're in for a summer to remember."
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