Olympics: London 2012 meeting ticket targets

  • Other Sport
  • Thursday, 15 Dec 2011

LONDON(Reuters) - London Olympic organisers have raised 527 million pounds ($812.24 million) from ticket sales so far and are on course to meet their targets, LOCOG chief executive Paul Deighton said on Wednesday.

Deighton told parliament's Public Accounts Committee that around 130 million pounds had yet to be raised from the remaining sales.

"That's 130 of a total 200 I've yet to collect on our revenue side," he said.

"I know we were supposed to raise two billion pounds but nobody expected us to have to do it in the worst global recession any of us have seen."

The Games have a budget of 9.3 billion pounds ($14.6 billion) with 2.0 billion pounds to be raised by organisers from ticket sales, sponsorship deals and the private sector.

Organisers said in September that they had already hit their domestic sponsorship target of 700 million pounds.

The committee heard that the government has spent about 750,000 pounds on tickets to entertain visiting dignitaries and business leaders, prompting critical comments from chair and opposition parliamentarian Margaret Hodge although the amount is less than the official entitlement.

"It's pretty tough to take," she said. "A lot of my constituents can't afford to go.

"You, for dignitaries, have spent three-quarters of a million, 72,000 nearly on 142 tickets for the closing ceremony. It sticks in the gullet."

Tickets for the Olympic soccer tournaments and Paralympic Games remain on sale until Feb. 6. Those left after that date will be made available again in the Spring.

There will also be a first chance, from Jan. 6 to Feb. 3, for British-based fans to resell legally any unwanted tickets online through their ticketing account on www.tickets.london2012.com.

It is a criminal offence in Britain to resell London 2012 Olympic or Paralympic tickets on the open market without LOCOG's permission.

"We asked people to buy tickets more than a year out from the Games and...we promised that we would create this system for people whose circumstances may have changed," said Deighton in a separate statement.

"I'm convinced that most people will want to hold on to their tickets, but we are pleased to offer this resale programme which will give those who wish to use it, an opportunity to securely sell their tickets to others who wish to go to the Games or purchase more tickets and help us to achieve our aim of having full venues."

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