Vast swathes of empty seats

A spectator sits alone on the first day of Olympic swimming at the Aquatics Centre

A spectator sits alone first day of Olympic swimming at the Aquatics Centre

London 2012 the biggest sponsor of the games is the public

London 2012 the biggest sponsor of the games is the public

We are looking at this (the issue of empty seats) very urgently. — Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt

Friday night saw the truly mazing spectacular of the opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympics. The next day the Games started.

In the Surrey Hills people lined the streets and country lanes to watch the cycle race pass through. It was as with the torch relay, a sense of involvement and participation, and of course it was free.

Unfortunately Team GB did not win a gold. Gold went to a drugs cheat. Drugs cheats should recive a lifetime ban.

Switch now to the other venues. Vast swathes of empty seats. Not empty because of lack of interest, the empty seats, the best seats, were allocated to corporate sponsors who could not be bothered to take up their seats because unlike the fans they have no interest in sport. Sebastian Coe, who seems incapable of opening his mouth without shooting himself in the foot, has tried to claim there is not a problem. Check out the pictures posted by the Mail for the vast swathes of empty seats at numerous Olympic venues to see that Lord Coe is spouting garbage when he claims ‘venues are stuffed to the gunnels’.

Come rain or shine, fans support a sport all year round. Come the big event and corporate sponsors are allocated the best seats. That is the obscenity of corporate sponsorship.

Coca-Cola are fuelling an epidemic of childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes. Independent caterers at the venues are being forced to promote Coca-Cola, McDonald’s dictates what is on the menu.

Adidas sources its Olympic consumer tat from sweatshops.

Dow Chemicals, owners of Union Carbide, have yet to fully compensate the victims of Bhopal.

The corporate sponsors who have failed to take up their ticket allocation should be named and shamed. They should be stripped of their tickets and the tickets handed to the public. At the every least the public should be allowed into any venue 30 minutes before the start to take up empty seats.

The Army have been called upon to occupy the empty seats (a pleasant change from Iraq or Afghanistan). Were these the seats allocated to G4S?

For many fans, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see live an Olympic event. They should not be denied that opportunity by global corporations whose only interest in the Olympics is insatiable greed.

The British public are the major sponsors not global corporations.

Corporate sponsorship has tainted the London 2012 Games.

Rio needs to look very carefully at the damage corporate sponsorship has done to the London 2012 Games and think again about any corporate sponsorship.

Corporate sponsorship should have no place in the Olympics.

Top Story in The Waverley Daily (Monday 30 July 2012).


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3 Responses to “Vast swathes of empty seats”

  1. keith Says:

    NBC’s Internet #Fail – Choking the Olympic Spirit for Profit (

    “I still haven’t seen the opening ceremony from Beijing (same reasons, same perp), and I missed the one last night too. Well, I didn’t miss it exactly. When my tweet stream started lighting up late yesterday afternoon with visions of giant babies and Voldemort and flying bicycles and all the other British trippiness I ran to my TV. Work can wait, I want to see this! But I was blocked at every turn. Like an Iranian dissident I finally managed via a secret proxy to get a glimpse. But it lasted only a moment before some well-compensated gatekeeper sussed it out and blocked my subversive stream. I couldn’t deal with the asymmetry of the commentary without the thing, so I just shut down Twitter. Did you know that the in order to use the official iPhone and iPad apps from NBC to live stream events you have to subscribe to a particular set of cable companies, and furthermore you have to be subscribed to a short list of pay channels? The web is no more an open network. It has been reduced (and diminished) to mere media pipe that connects (only) to your monopoly owned app – It’s like the AT&T of old.”

  2. Tom Says:

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  3. keithpp Says:

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