Government Spends Nearly £750,000 On Olympics Tickets
The Government has spent nearly £750,000 on tickets for the London 2012 Games.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has been allocated 8,815 tickets, including 213 for the opening ceremony. These alone cost £194,525 and include 41 of the top-priced opening ceremony tickets costing £2,012.12.
They have also paid out £71,490 for 143 tickets for the closing ceremony, according to the figures revealed in a Freedom of Information request by Sky News.
Almost two thirds of the 1.9 million people who applied in the six-week first round of Olympic sales ended up empty-handed. A total of 1.2 million people ended up with nothing, with only 700,000 - 36% - being successful.
The DCMS put bids in for tickets for all the Government and, it is believed, its allocation will be shared out across government departments.
Many dignitaries, heads of state and business leaders across the world will fill some of the best seats at the opening and closing ceremonies which will be used as a showcase for Britain. Sought-after tickets for track cycling, with a total of 224 tickets to the Olympic Park velodrome sessions, are among the DCMS allocation.
The tickets include the sprint and keirin finals in which Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton are hoping to take part. They spent £29,530 on diving tickets, including Tom Daley's 10-metre synchro and 10-metre platform event. The department spent £33,085 on 257 athletics tickets and £26,600 on 411 beach volleyball tickets.
A DCMS spokesman said: "Hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games next summer is a once-in a-generation opportunity to showcase the UK to a massive international audience. We are determined to use this unique opportunity to maximise the economic benefits for the country.
"The Government has purchased 8,815 tickets for the Games - around 0.1% of the 8.8 million tickets available.
"These will be used to invite and accompany a number of international and domestic political and business leaders, as well as guests with a close connection to the Games and its legacy. As we have said before, there will be no free tickets for civil servants, and no tickets at all for the opening and closing ceremonies."