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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Athletes’ parents unable to score tickets to ‘sold out’ Olympic events

The London Olympics are only a few days old and there is already a major problem with event tickets. While watching the games on television or through an online stream, you may have noticed that there are a lot of empty seats at various events. A frenzy that is highlighted by the hashtag #emptyseats has been taking place on Twitter with people complaining that the stands are not full during many events. The problem is that most of these events are technically sold out.

An investigation is underway to try to fix the problem. London officials say the empty seats at “sold out” events are the result of corporate sponsors and media members not showing up. The major problem now is that athletes’ parents are being shut out from events in which their sons and daughters are competing.

According to the Telegraph, parents from a host of countries have had to miss competitions while a slew of seats remain unfilled during the events.

“It is so confusing for everyone,” senior International Olympic Committee member Gunilla Lindberg explained. “Parents keep calling the athletes, no one knows where the tickets are and it is not very good preparation for the athletes to be so stressed about it.”

Each athlete is supposed to be entitled to two tickets for each session in which they compete, but the Ticketmaster system through which the tickets are purchased has not been able to update in time, thus not recognizing which athletes have qualified for the finals in their event. The system has since been changed and foreign teams have been told they can pick up their tickets at the appropriate venue, but officials at the venue have not been informed of the change in some instances and have denied the parents admission.

Without parents in the stands to cheer on their sons and daughters, we miss out on potential moments like these and wouldn’t get to enjoy enthusiastic mothers like Aly Raisman’s. As one team official described it, the ticket situation in London has become “a complete nightmare.”



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