London chiefs slammed for ticket `secrecy`

London: Organisers of the London 2012 Olympics have been accused in a report published on Thursday of damaging public confidence in the Games by being unduly secretive about the issue of ticket sales.

There has been a huge demand for tickets but the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games` status as a private company meant it has been able to withhold information about sales.

According to the London Assembly local authority, this makes LOCOG exempt from requests under freedom of information laws.

Concerns have been raised about the share of tickets going to sponsors instead of to fans.

A report by the assembly`s Economy, Culture and Sport Committee (ECS) said that after two years of asking, it had still to receive answers to several questions about the 8.8 million Olympic and two million Paralympics tickets.

"LOCOG`s legal status should not excuse them from the transparency and openness we expect in other areas of public life," committee chairman Dee Doocey stated.

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

In late 2010, London 2012 suggested that out of the 8.8 million tickets for the Olympics, 2.5 million, or 28 percent, would cost 20 pounds (24 euros, USD 31) or less.

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, the report said.

London 2012 wants to raise between 20 million pounds and 50 million pounds from Paralympic tickets as part of its overall 500 million pounds revenue target from all Olympic and Paralympic ticket sales.

A London 2012 spokesman said it would provide complete information on ticket sales -- but only after it had sold the final batch of tickets.

"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," the spokesman said.


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