London 2012 ticket sales record set to leave politicians unimpressed

Tuesday, 13 November 2012
By Duncan Mackay

London 2012 tickets in bundleNovember 13 - London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe and chief executive Paul Deighton are set to face criticism tomorrow when they appear before city politicians for the first time since the end of the Olympics and Paralympics despite revealing that they had set a new record for ticket sales.

A written submission by Deighton to the London Assembly has revealed that London 2012 raised £659 million ($1.04 billion/€822 million) from ticket sales towards its overall budget of £2.4 billion ($3.8 billion/€2.9 billion) and sold 10.99 million tickets out of a total of 11.3 million that were available for the Olympics and Paralympics.

The previous highest figure raised from ticket sales was $551 million (£347 million/€433 million) generated by Sydney in 2000.

But the London Assembly is expected to instead concentrate on its demand for a full disclosure of ticket sales, including a session-by-session breakdown in each price bracket, which they claim they had been promised by Coe and Deighton once the Games were over.

The London 2012 figures reveal that a total of 319,000 tickets remained unsold - 263,000 for the Olympics and 55,000 for the Paralympics - the majority of which were for the early rounds of the football tournament. 

London 2012 empty seatsLondon 2012 faced criticism in the first few days of the Olympics because of empty seats at some venues

Deighton said that 76.3 per cent of Olympic tickets and 91 per cent of Paralympic tickets were sold to the UK public, meeting a commitment that three-quarters of all of those sold would go to domestic buyers.

But for some of the most popular events only half of those tickets sold went to the British public, including for the men's 100 metres final won by Jamaica's Usain Bolt, where 51.5 per cent of those in the Olympic Stadium were home fans. 

One of the events which contained the least amount of home fans was at the Velodrome when Britain's Jason Kenny won the sprint in front of a crowd that contained only 39.5 per cent ticketholders from the UK. 

Jason Kenny celebrates winning London 2012 sprint August 6Britain's Jason Kenny celebrates winning the sprint at London 2012 but less than 40 per cent of the crowd were home fans

Coe and Deighton will want to focus on the financial success of the Games. 

"Throughout this period we have made clear our aim for LOCOG [London 2012] to break even, and we remain confident that our revenues will meet our costs,"said Deighton.

Contact the writer of this story at duncan.mackay@insidethegames.biz


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