Thousands of fans attempt to get tickets to some Olympic event, they are told they can't get any tickets. They watch on TV instead, and on TV they see a lot of open seats. This has to be the most frustrating feeling for a fan. Unfortunately many fans have felt this disappointment and anger in this years 2012 Olympics in London.
There are a few reasons for the outrage over empty seats. One reason is the surprising position of Great Britain in the medal count. The strong play from Great Britain has raised demand for tickets. In fact, 2.5 million people a day are actively trying to get tickets for events. Fans have been frustrated with the online ticket system which has not been able to keep up with the unsuspected spike in demand. Another reason for the outrage over empty seats, is the fact that the seats are empty! Most of the empty seats, which have been obvious to viewers, are blamed on the lack of use from those who have allocated seats to them. These people include Olympic officials, sport federations, national Olympic committees, athletes and the media.
To fix the problem of empty seats, London Olympic organizers have taken action. They have asked those who received allocated tickets to give them back if they are not using them. The London Olympic organizers can then make those tickets available to the public. The Olympic organizers have been successful in this approach. They have reclaimed thousands of tickets that were allocated out, including 2,400 tickets from athletes.
The next summer Olympics in 2016 will take place in Rio de Janeiro. The Brazilian organizers are promising full venues. Organizing committee CEO Leonardo Gryner said that Rio "can do better than London" in making sure that seats are not left vacant. They plan to use a more flexible ticketing approach to fill the stadiums.
Filling seats is important to enhance the atmosphere at an event. Filling seats is also important for fans watching on TV. Empty seats take away from a TV viewers experience because fans can see empty seats as a sign the the event is not meaningful. Hopefully in the future Olympics, the empty seat problem will be taken care of.