Newham Council statement: Working to get people into empty Olympic seats

31 July 2012 in 2012 Games and legacy

We are aware that residents, including members of our growing number of sports clubs, are frustrated at seeing empty seats at Olympic events here in Newham. Every empty seat is a lost opportunity for a once in a lifetime experience.

Newham Council has made a strong case over several years for our residents to be given priority access to Games tickets in the Olympic Park and the ExCeL centre. We have been in daily contact with LOCOG, the Games organisers, since the first day of the Games to help secure additional tickets for Newham people to help fill empty seats.

LOCOG has allocated us a small number of additional Games tickets for young people. We are distributing these to sports clubs, community groups and Newham Youth Council members who all have a demonstrable commitment to specific sports. Today (Wednesday 31 July) we secured access for more than 70 Newham residents to basketball, handball and hockey matches.

LOCOG is committed to another 150 such opportunities this week, and we will again be providing these to local sports clubs, community groups and our Youth Council.

This another example of how the council has worked hard to secure access to 2012 Games experiences for local people.

While we naturally want more access to Olympic tickets for residents we have secured more than 50,000 Games opportunities including:

  • Priority opportunities for Olympic Park Test Events 
  • 2,700 Olympic Park Day Passes sold to residents through the Council 
  • 1 in 8 children have been given Olympic and Paralympic Tickets 
  • 300 "High Demand" Olympic Tickets given to residents 
  • 1,000 residents participated in the Games Opening Ceremony

We will continue to press LOCOG for more access to the empty seats for residents, as well as a widening of the criteria for those being given the opportunity to visit the Games where empty seats exist.

With the current small numbers of tickets available we are unable to provide these to local residents generally. We will review this situation depending on the number of tickets made available. If a general allocation is available for residents we will announce this via our website on our 2012 Games page and via our Twitter and Facebook accounts. Sign up to follow us on Twitter and Facebook or keep checking our website for further information.