A Vast Universe of Olympics Ticketing Blunders

Spotty sales, an illegal black market, and corporate favoritism have marred the ticket buying process for this summer's games.

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REUTERS

Another day, another ticket sale controversy for this summer's Olympics in London.

The Telegraph reports that tickets originally intended for the British public are instead being offered to corporate sponsors through an internal ticketing system. 

Foreign Olympic Committees have not been able to sell all their tickets and have now taken to giving sponsors exclusive access, according to the report. Some of the events include the opening ceremonies, the gymnastics finals, and swimming finals. A London Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) spokesman confirmed the existence of the internal ticketing system to the Telegraph but claimed that tens of thousands' of returned tickets would be put on public sale.

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Last month, the IOC launched their own investigation into a black market of ticket sales after a Sunday Times investigation showed Olympic personnel selling their own tickets for as much as ten times their market value. The scandal has lead the IOC to suspend ticket distribution for the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia. 

Lord Coe, head of LOCOG, said soon after the scandal broke that he was "depressed" to hear of the ticket allegations after issuing multiple warnings to Foreign Olympic Committees of a zero tolerance policy.

Despite the recent news of corporate favoritism, the Daily Mail suggests there are over 400,000 tickets still available to the public through the official website.

Soccer tickets remain a particularly tough sell, with those events accounting for as much as half of the unsold tickets for the Games. Matches will be played not only in London but also Cardiff, Glasgow, and Manchester. Glasgow has struggled the most in selling out its soccer matches. LOCOG is now considering giving away its remaining tickets to local schoolchildren, hoping to at least avoid the embarrassment of an unfilled stadium.

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