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Olympic ticket 'secrecy' criticised

London 2012 has been criticised for potentially damaging public trust, support and confidence by being unnecessarily secretive about ticket sales.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (Locog) has been able to withhold information about tickets for the Games amid the frenzied sales because of its status as a private company. This makes it exempt from Freedom of Information requests, the London Assembly's Economy, Culture and Sport (ECS) Committee says.

After a two-year campaign, the committee is still demanding answers to a range of questions about the 8.8 million Olympic and two million Paralympics tickets for the public.

"Locog's legal status should not excuse them from the transparency and openness we expect in other areas of public life," committee chair Dee Doocey said.

London 2012 has not provided a detailed breakdown of how many tickets have been sold at what price for each event, according to the ECS Sold Out? report.

In late 2010, London 2012 suggested that out of 8.8 million Olympic tickets, 2.5 million would cost £20 or less (28%). It has refused to provide information to prove whether cheaper tickets were spread equally across all events, or concentrated in events such as football, where supply exceeds demand, it was noted.

The committee is now hoping that a letter to the Olympic Board, which oversees London 2012, may unlock this information. Ms Doocey said: "It is completely unacceptable that an organisation that only exists because of a huge investment of public money can hide behind its status as a private company to avoid questions it does not like.

"For most people, the Games will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so it's vital they have confidence in the ticketing process, particularly those who have missed out on tickets. Locog is putting public confidence at risk by refusing to provide a complete breakdown of how many tickets were available for each event."

A London 2012 spokesman said: "We are committed to providing a full breakdown of ticket sales and believe the best time to do this is once we have completed the final sales process.

"We still have over three million Olympic and Paralympic tickets to sell and our priority is to get those into the hands of sports fans. We are firmly committed to providing 75% of the total number of Olympic tickets to the British public and if we can deliver more than this, we will."


From Belfast Telegraph