London 2012: Johnson wants Locog to release ticketing details
London mayor Boris Johnson has called for more transparency in the London 2012 Olympic ticketing distribution process
London mayor Boris Johnson has backed demands for the London 2012 organisers to release a detailed breakdown of Olympic ticketing.
Locog, who say 75 per cent of the tickets will be sold to the general public, has been able to withhold information about Games tickets amid the frenzied sales because of its status as a private company.
Organisers said they would only reveal the figures once the final three million Olympic and Paralympic tickets had been sold, but the London Assembly fears that would be too late and published a highly-critical report last week calling for more transparency.
However, Johnson said he will raise the matter with organisers and admitted that those unable to purchase tickets deserved an open breakdown of the process.
His position puts him at odds with sports minister Hugh Robertson, who continues to support Locog’s desire to conclude the complex sales process before making figures public.
“I share the desire for transparency. What I feel is that Londoners and the whole country want to see transparency in those tickets,” Johnson told Mayor’s Question Time at City Hall.
“We understand there is a massive demand relative to the supply but we want to make sure that as many people as possible can go to the Games.
“There were disappointments with the ticketing system, but people have to accept that.”
Recent reports claimed that only 29,000 tickets out of a total 80,000 for the showpiece 100m final have been made available for the general public – making odds of success, considering the hundreds of thousands that applied – nearly 100/1.
The other 32,000 have been allocated to sponsors and corporate buyers of hospitality packages. The remainder 19,000 seats will be made up mainly of media and officials from the International Olympic Committee, as well as national sporting organisations and dignitaries.
Organisers have also yet to explain if 28 percent of the 8.8 million Olympic tickets costing less than £20 will be available for all events, or just those where supply exceeds demand, such as football – where 1.5 million seats remain unsold.
Meanwhile, the Mayor was asked to clarify access to the Olympic Route Network (ORN) following allegations that corporate clients have been buying accreditation to use the controversial lanes.
The use of dedicated lanes on the ORN has caused resentment in the lead-up to London 2012 among regular road-users, with organisers criticised for refusing to grant access to non-emergency ambulances.
“As far as I understand it the NHS did not actually request for non-emergency NHS vehicles to be in the Games Lanes, but they are satisfied with the provision for emergency vehicles,” added Johnson.
“If there are still concerns in the NHS about access which are not reflected in the NHS London statement, then of course I will be happy to put them to Games organisers.
“But I am confident that all the people who need to use the Games lanes will be able to do so. We are continuing to work to minimise the usage of those lanes by fat cats and everybody else.
“Of course, the Mayor of London will be travelling by public transport to get to the Games.”