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article imageSpain in trouble over unused Olympic ticket allocation

By Anne Sewell     Apr 24, 2012 in Sports
It seems that Spain cannot sell its generous allocation of Olympic tickets, and Brits are upset as they "should be first in line".
Spain has recently admitted that it is unable to sell the country's generous allocation of tickets for the Olympics in London later this year.
The Mail Online reports that the Spanish Olympic Committee initially offered the tickets through the Finac music and books store chain. However with the country in crisis and money short on supply, after several months only a handful have been sold.
Now thousands of tickets are for sale online. Tickets will be available to all EU residents on the Spanish Olympics Committee website.
U.K. residents are up in arms because they had hoped the unwanted tickets would be returned to the Olympic organizing committee, Locoq, for onward sale to British spectators.
This has infuriated Britons who feel that they should be first in the queue and also believe that the allocation process was unfair right from the start.
When the ticket ballot was decided last year, thousands were disappointed. And now with the revelation that tickets for several of the popular events have been sitting unsold in Spain, it only adds to the tension.
The events that the unsold tickets cover include the men's 100 meters final, gymnastics, beach volleyball and also the opening and closing ceremonies.
This is not the only controversy relating to the Olympics. Over the weekend Thomas Cook - a travel agent and official partner of the Olympic 2012 games - was accused of selling tickets for the men's 100 meters final at a huge mark-up.
The Sunday Times reported that the operator, despite a global ban on selling tickets above face value, was offering a pair of tickets including a travel pass and night in a hotel for a price of just under £3,000. Thomas Cook apparently paid more than £20 million in order to become the official provider of ticket and accommodation packages.
However, once the cost of the room and the pass is subtracted, each ticket costs £1,306 – more than triple the face value of £420.
The announcement today of the Spanish ticket debacle will add to the debate over the fairness and transparency of the U.K. ticketing operation for the Olympics, which many have branded "farcical".
Further criticism arose from failed attempts to use the official ticket website which apparently suffered severe technical problems.
The father of Sir Chris Hoy, cycling gold medalist, has slammed the ticket allocation process and has said that not enough is being done for athlete's families. Locog insists that every British athlete has been allocated two tickets for each session in which they compete. But with many events, especially cycling, being oversubscribed, Hoy believes that organizers should hold more tickets back for families.
Locog and the Olympics organizers have said that up to a million more seats will be made available once they have finalized the capacities of the different venues.
More about London, Olympics, Spain, Ticket, allocation
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