Justify your 2012 tickets, Assembly tells government

10 March 2011

Games organisers have struck a difficult balance between raising money and making tickets affordable, a London Assembly report says today. The report ‘Just the ticket’[1] from the Assembly’s Economic Development, Culture, Sport and Tourism (EDCST) Committee welcomes the ticketing strategy but warns that public confidence could be damaged if government bodies buy too many tickets or fail to publicly account for them. Around 14,000 tickets have been reserved for various government bodies[2]. ‘Just the ticket’ calls for the Mayor of London – himself entitled to 2,000 tickets - to take the lead and publish a register stating which tickets have been purchased, who will get access to them, why it is justified and how they will be paid for. The report also welcomes a change in approach to tickets for disabled people. Following pressure from the Committee, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has now agreed to make up to 6,450 free tickets available for carers accompanying disabled spectators who could not otherwise attend. LOCOG had originally only planned to offer free tickets to carers accompanying wheelchair users. Dee Doocey AM, Deputy Chair of the EDCST Committee said: “I am delighted that LOCOG has listened to our call for all disabled people who need it to have access to a free ticket for their carer through the public ballot – not just those in a wheelchair, but everyone who needs help attending an event. “It was always going to be difficult to strike a balance between keeping tickets affordable and raising revenue to pay for the Games, but LOCOG have made good decisions.“More seats are on sale directly to the public than at any recent Games and at prices often cheaper than comparable events. Combined with discounts for under 16s and those over 60, the ticket package comes out looking fairer that many previous Games. “However, reserving 14,000 tickets for government does seem excessive. Every seat taken up by a government official or politician is one less seat for the public so it’s vital that government bodies are completely open and transparent about who gets them, why and who ultimately foots the bill.” The Committee also welcomes the ‘pay your age scheme’ that provides discounted tickets for under 16s and £16 tickets for those aged 60 and over, noting that no previous Games have offered special prices for children and older people. The Committee has written to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, the Mayor and leaders of each of the London boroughs requesting details of who will benefit from their ticket allocation, how they are justified and who will bear the cost of each ticket.Ends Notes for editors:

  1. Read the report: ‘Just the ticket’.
  2. Out of a total of 8 million tickets for the Olympics, 6.6 million will be sold directly to the public. The remainder will be sold to sponsors and athletes, through VIP packages and through foreign Olympic associations. LOCOG has made available for sale 9,000 tickets for the Government, 2,000 for the Mayor of London, and 100 each for the London boroughs. Tickets for the Paralympics go on sale on 9 September 2011.
  3. Applicants will be able to buy tickets through the public ballot and apply for a refund through the new Ticketcare scheme.
  4. Dee Doocey AM, Deputy Chair of the EDCST Committee is available for interview – see contact details below.
  5. The report will be considered for formal agreement by the EDCST Committee on 24 March 2011.
  6. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For more details, please contact Alastair Cowan in the Assembly Media Office on 020 7983 4504/4283. For out of hours media enquiries please call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the Assembly duty press officer. Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit, Greater London Authority, on 020 7983 4100.