UK & World News
Olympics Seats Row: 3,000 Tickets Released
Some 3,000 Olympics tickets set aside for international sports federations have been "put back in the pot" and sold to the public after a row over empty seats.
The move follows a backlash after swathes of empty seats were spotted at venues including the Aquatics Centre and gymnastics arena over the opening weekend of the Games.
Many are believed to be those allocated to international sporting federations whose dignitaries have not turned up or public seats allocated for sale in foreign countries.
Olympic organisers Locog have now started reclaiming tickets that are not being used and re-selling them to the public. Some 3,000 were released on Sunday night and the practice will continue.
Jackie Brock-Doyle, Locog's director of communications, said: "We talked to the International Federations yesterday, we were able to put back into the pot for sale around 3,000 tickets last night, they have all been sold," she said.
"That includes about 600 for the gymnastics event today and we're going to do that on a day-to-day basis."
The tickets are being sold on the official London 2012 website. All 3,000 of those released on Sunday have already been bought.
Reserved areas at the different venues are also being made smaller to free up more seats for spectators.
Thousands of desperate sports fans have repeatedly been trying to buy tickets on the official website without any luck.
Lizzie Gentry from Harrogate told Sky News: "We've been trying almost hourly for the past week for any tickets (from £40 - £725) in the Olympic park. It's quite strange because it changes all the time.
"It would be far less frustrating and time consuming if on the first page it just said no tickets."
She added: "I just cannot understand why this seems to be so unorganised."
Many of the empty seats have been reserved for officials from the International Olympic Committee, sponsors or media.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "In the first couple of days you have these bureaucrats who don't turn up to the seats they are allocated, they don't fill the zones where they could conceivably be.
"They aren't tickets so to speak, it is just space that is allocated to accredited sports officials. The thing is going to be to reduce the space and put more tickets on the market, which they have already been doing."
Locog have said they will ask teachers and students to fill some of the gaps, along with service personnel during their spare time.
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has called for the invitation to be extended to police officers.
"Given that many officers have not had family summer holidays for two years in a row, it would be great to recognise their hard work by offering them and their families some of the extra tickets too," she said.
Previous Olympics have been marred by similar problems in the early stages of competition
This time, though, a spoof Twitter account called @olympicseat is offering a commentary on the situation.
So far it has nearly 10,000 followers enjoying updates such as: "Seven years I have been waiting for this moment. Seven long years, and for what?"