Confusion in park over recycled tickets
By Toby Davis and Paul Casciato
LONDON (Reuters) - Visitors to the London Olympics stood in queues for hours, begged for information and tramped from one box office to another on Tuesday as organizers put unused tickets on sale to avoid the embarrassment of empty seats.
Big gaps at many venues in seating areas reserved for Games officials, their friends and family have infuriated thousands of fans who tried desperately but failed to get tickets under a complex ballot system.
But confusion surrounded the system for recycling tickets, with guides at the Olympic Park giving conflicting information about where to buy them and what was available.
Tips were circulating by word of mouth. Canny fans discovered that box offices at the basketball arena were selling tickets for basketball and hockey, and recycled seats for handball and water polo could be found at the Copper Box, which is hosting handball and modern pentathlon.
"At least they are doing something and they might be pretty good seats if they are for notables," said Sue Kerr from Cambridge, who had a day pass to the park with her husband, daughter and grandson.
All four were rewarded for their patience and ingenuity in finding the right queue and sticking it out. They purchased the hottest tickets in the park to see the British women's hockey team play South Korea, paying just 5 pounds ($7.83) for adults and 1 pound for her eight-year-old grandson.
"The seats are great," Kerr said. "It was a long wait, but well worth it in the end."
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) said it was freeing up tickets from spectators who had left events, and "whittling down" the number of seats held open for Olympic officials by finding out which tickets would not be used and then offering them for sale on its website. Continued...