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Why Are There Empty Seats?


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During many of the events today I noticed quite a few empty seats - particularly for the Archery Final. We were told that the Games were the first ones to be completely sold out.

What are the reasons for so many empty seats then - yesterday's dreadful weather? Corporate seating? Unsuccessful attempts to tout tickets?

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Yeah - I also saw rows of empty seats for the Volleyball matches as well.

Not that I care obviously, it's just that the media has the constant habit of informing us that everything is sold out weeks before the games take place.

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During many of the events today I noticed quite a few empty seats - particularly for the Archery Final. We were told that the Games were the first ones to be completely sold out.

What are the reasons for so many empty seats then - yesterday's dreadful weather? Corporate seating? Unsuccessful attempts to tout tickets?

I think the weather would have had a lot to do with that!

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<_< Does anyone know the story of all the spectators in yellow with the yellow soft-sticks (those things you wave around and cheer with)? Obviously the are Chinese, are the organized cheerleaders/seat warmers? They look very "staged" and robotic.

Big%20Yellow%20Taxi.JPG

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I think there was a lot of empty seats because most events are only in the early stages, as the competition goes on, expect more seats to be filled.

Maybe, but so much for this being a 'completely sold out' Games.

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<_< Does anyone know the story of all the spectators in yellow with the yellow soft-sticks (those things you wave around and cheer with)? Obviously the are Chinese, are the organized cheerleaders/seat warmers? They look very "staged" and robotic.

Big%20Yellow%20Taxi.JPG

Actually, I think they are the Koreans. I saw them at the Gold medal match between China and Korea in the Women's Team archery!

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It can still be said that these Games are sold out as claimed (at least in Beijing - that can't possibly be the case for the Football matches).

A lot of those empty seats could have been allocated/reserved for the sponsors, NOCs, IFs, and the media, not sold to the public. So it may just be an issue of finding people to fill those allocated seats. I think evidence of this is that most of those empty seats are in blocks and not spread around the particular venue (at least from what I've seen).

... And the weather can't be helping either (but at least it appears that the rain has washed away some of the dust, sand, smog, humidity from Beijing's air).

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I been checking some Chinese fourms and some of the ''audiences'' just buying tickets for the investment, like collecting coins...They think watching Tv has a better view

True. If you go to eBay, you can find tickets for almost any big event that occurred in the past. They haven't been used; they were just purchased, and now collectors want them, and are willing to pay big bucks for them. Actually, I know someone who does this. Probably to finance his daughter's university education down the road!!!

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I been checking some Chinese fourms and some of the ''audiences'' just buying tickets for the investment, like collecting coins...They think watching Tv has a better view

You mean a "souvenir", MJ. SInce are millions of ticket stubs left, and many thousands unused, they will make great mementos but they will NEVER really be a RARE collectible since there are so many around.

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You mean a "souvenir", MJ. SInce are millions of ticket stubs left, and many thousands unused, they will make great mementos but they will NEVER really be a RARE collectible since there are so many around.

nope~not just kind of souvenir, if you do notice the news earlier about Olympic version of 10 yuan of 6 millions pieces distributed by China Centural Bank, it's become athe ''most expensive money'' all over China queering for ages. Maybe it's a bit like the collecting the stamps made during cultural revolution~it's kind of antique addicts tradition..You just cannot underestimate this kind of marketing psycology, especially in China.

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I just saw a few minutes to the USA VS Cuba women's Beach volleyball and the satdium was almost half empty. :rolleyes:

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This same thing comes up at every Olympics I've been to. It's often the sponsors' allotment that goes unused for non-major events. In Beijing I think some of it is probably also the tickets that disappeared before the official sale to various government/party functionaries.

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BOCOG's explanation:

Washington Post

You said the statistics regarding the tickets and the number of spectators and the venues and percentages. Before the events, the tickets have been sold out. Why do you think that the venues are not completely full? We certainly noticed a lot of empty seats. Do you have any explanation for this or are you also concerned for this?

Wang Wei

I think we are also concerned about this not full stadium. I think due to the weather conditions as well, the hot and humid weather and the rains, as for the previous Olympic Games, the first couple of days, there were not many spectators that show up. As from today we will get more spectators into stadium. The tickets are sold out, that is right. Other reasons I explained the day before yesterday that we do have some reserved seats for the Olympic families. For the preliminaries, some people might not show up and that is understandable. For competitions like beach volleyball and basketball, we have one ticket for the whole afternoon, morning, evening. They may choose to go to one of them but not all them. Many factors are contributing to this but we are trying to manage that. Thank you.

http://en.beijing2008.cn/live/pressconfere...214531457.shtml

Their point about Beach Volleyball and Basketball can also be applied to sports like Archery and Tennis where you get "grounds passes" - meaning you have access to multiple courts at a time, automatically leaving seats empty at some of those venues.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I was at the games and went to the rowing and archery both were general admission tickets so sit where you like. I would say that both these events were about ¼ full even though it was a sell out and this was the case in almost every event and session. So a solution for this would be to have more general admission at events (especially in the early rounds of the team sports) and then over sell general admission tickets. Airlines do it on every flight to account for late changes and no shows so why not for Olympic games tickets. I think the stats will show that there is a very high rate of no shows on early rounds of events. If for whatever reason to many people do show up surely they could use the massive amount of sponsor seats that are never used for events but I would think this situation would never happen

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I was at the games and went to the rowing and archery both were general admission tickets so sit where you like. I would say that both these events were about ¼ full even though it was a sell out and this was the case in almost every event and session. So a solution for this would be to have more general admission at events (especially in the early rounds of the team sports) and then over sell general admission tickets. Airlines do it on every flight to account for late changes and no shows so why not for Olympic games tickets. I think the stats will show that there is a very high rate of no shows on early rounds of events. If for whatever reason to many people do show up surely they could use the massive amount of sponsor seats that are never used for events but I would think this situation would never happen

/\ /\ Excellent idea. There should also be the printed caveat that if you don't arrive by a certain time, you may lose your right to a seat at the stadium -- meaning, the box office there would unload 'excess' seats -- and at CHEAPER prices, too.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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They should just do what the Chinese did - give out general admin tickets to the locals who want them. Then when the ticket holder turns up they simply get up and move to the next empty seat. Keeps the venues looking full and allows more people to attend.

The issue with the current ticket sales is that the Organising Committee does not have control over how many tickets are available at any given moment as the sponsor needs and returns are very fluid. Get rid of the contracted allotments. Tell the sponsors you want the neames and visa details for each attendent and divvy up the tickets like that - make sure this is done 24-18 months out and guarantee a small additional allotment or pool of tickets for any unexpected needs the all sponsors can access. So if Coke says we need 10,000 seats to the cermony say to them fine - you are entitled to them but we need names of who is coming. If the numbers do not add up split the difference.

Get rid of the ballots. 18 months out put one sport on sale each week - using the internet, ticket booths and online. First come first served. It works for thousands of concerts, musicals and sporting events every year. For example - next week - Athletics goes on sale on Monday at 9am EST at all Ticketmaster outlets until 5pm Friday. Any remaining tickets go on sale after the individual sports sales are completed. Next Monday Basketball goes on sale and so on. Obviously these tickets are only available in the host country and are from whatever allocation is guaranteed to the locals. It could work and I would imagine that while people will still bitch they missed out everyone has an equal chance of getting tickets. You could still do a ballot for the ceremonies etc if needs be. Given enough notice (advertise on sale dates 3-6 months out) you could fit all Ticketmaster (or Ticketek - or whatever) outlets with live links to the alloted database and install Olympic ticketing machines. Phone and net bookings get registered delivered to your door for $5 an order or whatever.

The Olympics just really need to simplify. They can be needlessly complicated.

Edited by thatsnotmypuppy
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