Olympics-Athletic tickets still up for grabs

LONDON Wed Aug 1, 2012 8:53am EDT

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LONDON Aug 1 (Reuters) - London Olympic organisers said on Wednesday an additional 75,000 tickets, including some for athletics, will go on sale shortly, with more on the way.

The tickets are mainly so-called contingency tickets - those that have become available after logistics such as camera positions have been worked out, LOCOG said.

"We are getting to the point now where the last one or two percent in every stadium, which is difficult with any seating activity, you hold them back to make sure the seats work and the views are not restricted," LOCOG chief executive Paul Deighton told reporters.

"So as we are seeing how every venue works, we are now just releasing the final tickets. They really come out of that pool."

It may come as a surprise to many sports fans who have been used to seeing "sold out" signs go up during the various tranches of ticket sales that began more than a year ago.

The tickets are across a variety of sports, and should go on sale in the next 48 hours, with a further undisclosed number to come.

An extra 200,000 soccer tickets will also be made available.

The athletics tickets have been worked out after last Friday's opening ceremony in the main stadium.

Tickets sales have been a contentious issue among Britons, who have become frustrated with a complex and obscure online lottery process that seemed to be skewed in favour of those prepared to spend hundreds of pounds, and that seemed unable to cope with the huge demand.

The anger was then compounded when swathes of empty seats could be seen among the so-called Olympic family accredited areas - those reserved for the national Olympic committees, sports federations, athletes and the media.

LOCOG began reclaiming some of these seats in an attempt to appease fans, and a further 3,000 will go on sale for sessions up to Monday.

This was down on the previous two days, as demand from the Olympic family picks up as more events move towards their climax and because the area has been trimmed.

On Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it would look into how it distributes its tickets to national Olympic committees.

LOCOG has also looked to recycle tickets, but some fans have given up, complaining that guides gave conflicting information about where to buy them and what was available.

LOCOG was unable to say how many tickets had been recycled.

Despite LOCOG's efforts to get soldiers and students to help fill the empty seats, the percentage of those attending was at its lowest on Tuesday.

About 500,000 spectators rolled up to venues, about 85 percent capacity - marginally lower than Saturday, but seven percentage points down on Sunday.

Soccer was being blamed for the drop, despite some of the best attendances having been seen for the sport at an Olympics. (Reporting by Avril Ormsby. Editing by Patrick Johnston; patrick.johnston@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging: patrick.johnston.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net; +442075427933; Reuters Messaging: For all the latest Olympic news go to here)

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