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Teachers, school children and off-duty members of the armed forces are being sent to the Olympics to fill empty seats. The decision comes after widespread public anger after pictures showing hundreds of the best seats were left unoccupied.
Lord Moyniham has called for feasibility of a "30- minute rule" whereby any seat not occupied within half an hour of a session starting would be made available to the public. He said "we need every seat filled, we owe it to the team, we owe it to British sports fans".
On Sunday there were noticeably empty seats at the women's road race as Lizzie Armitstead won the first British medal. There were also vacant spaces in the morning's swimming events featuring Rebecca Adlington.
Most of the empty seats are in accredited areas which are reserved for governing body officials, members of National Olympic Committees, athletes and journalists. Therefore it is difficult for organisers to give these seats to fans as they cannot be reclaimed if officials arrive. Locoq claimed it would "name and shame" sponsors who did not use their allocations, however due to strict confidentiality agreements, it would seem they are unable to do so.
Lord Coe said he was "taking the problem seriously". "I don't want to see swathes of those seats empty and that's why we will make sure, where we possibly can, people are in those seats when they are not used," he added. Yesterday, we got pre-accredited students and teachers from the local boroughs. We were able to put 115, 120 into a venue."
Read the article here: London 2012 Olympic Games empty seats fiasco: Locog calls in the Army (again)
on 02 August 2012