Organizers have witnessed massive demand for Olympic tickets from potential seat holders, yet despite that demand some venues are still witnessing slow seat fills which has forced the countries officials to bring in military members to act as seat fillers, much like the Academy Awards and other live TV events.
Thousands of empty seats would have made the event seem less than stellar and therefore the decision was made to manufacture success.
London’s Olympic committee recently came under fire because of a lottery process that left out many potential ticket buyers and produced a confusing allocation of tickets.
In just the first few days of competition empty rows have been spotted in swimming, dressage, tennis, volleyball and gymnastics which led U.K. Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt to tell ITV News:
“It is very disappointing. I was at the Beijing Games, in 2008, and one of the lessons that we took away from that, is that full stadia create the best atmosphere, it’s best for the athletes, it’s more fun for the spectators, it’s been an absolute priority.”
London 2012 organizers LOCOG said the seats in question are “accredited seating areas,” which are meant for members of the “Olympic family.”
Essentially the group claims the seats are sold or reserved but people are choosing not to show up.
Military members are not the only people receiving the chance at free tickets, LOCOG has also reached out to local teachers and students while some tickets are being sold last-minute to the public.
75 percent of tickets to London Olympic events were sold to the public.