London Assembly calls for openness and accountability in the Olympic ticketing process

Some 14,000 Olympic tickets have already been reserved for the Government, the Mayor, and London boroughs, and confidence in the ticketing process will be undermined if government bodies buy too many tickets and do not account for them, warns a report from the London Assembly.

The ‘Just the ticket’ report from the Assembly’s economic development, culture, sport and tourism (EDCST) committee, finds that Games organisers have struck a reasonable balance between raising money and making 2012 tickets affordable. But calls on the Mayor of London 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 committee has now written to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Mayor and London boroughs requesting this information.

The key recommendations of the report are: 

  • The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) should publish the number of tickets at each price point for each event when the public sale starts on March 15, 2011
  • LOCOG should set out in its response to the commitee’s report, the final bids for tickets it received from sponsors, central government, the Mayor and local authorities, and how many it provided to each
  • The Mayor should publish a register that accounts for any tickets he receives. It should state to whom each ticket was allocated and the reason for the allocation.

The report also welcomes a change in approach to tickets for disabled people. Following pressure from the Committee, 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.

The committee also commended 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 has offered special prices for children and older people.