Empty Seats

I was on the Olympic Green all day today and was amazed at what I saw, or rather at what I didn’t see, namely crowds of people. There were none. The Green was a relative ghost town (compared to past Games). It took no time at all to get there, and only seconds to get through security. Nearly all the faces were Chinese; Westerners were in very short supply, for whatever reasons.

The low numbers is due in large part to a new and especially neurotic BOCOG policy forbidding anyone but ticket holders and staff from entering the Green. (Usually visitors can get a day pass and stroll around at their leisure.) So the place is kind of depressing. Watching some of the Games isn’t too uplifting either, seeing all those empty seats. Well, they did bring it on themselves, but I also feel sorry to see it.

Sorry, but that’s all I’ve got time for blogging today.

The Discussion: 10 Comments

I don’t know about other countries but Australian atheletes are furious at having to compete in half empty venues, especially because their family and friends have been denied tickets because these venues were supposedly ‘sold out’. Who has the tickets? Why aren’t they there? Another IOC stuff up.

August 12, 2008 @ 10:04 pm | Comment

After waiting in line all night for football tickets, I tried to get archery tickets, too. I was 20th in line when they ‘sold out’ of everything. So, I watched the team medal rounds on TV and thought how much more exciting it would be if I was filling one of those empty seats. I’m sure the earlier rounds are even better attended.

This question was asked at a press conference, specifically about beach volleyball. The reason given was that the ticket holders probably aren’t arriving for a whole session and showing up later. That was the entire answer. Definitely an aspect, but come on.

August 12, 2008 @ 10:31 pm | Comment

That’s a Chinese tactic. First, they denied visa to foreign tourists. Now they pretend all tickets have been sold out. They do this to ensure a friendly competing environment for Chinese athletes. Rememeber Beijing government’s motto all along – Beijing Olympics is Chinese Olympics, the Olympics Games for Chinese all over the world. We Chinese have been waiting for this dream for one hundred years.

So you shouldn’t be surprised, my friend. Blame the IOC for giving it to China.

August 12, 2008 @ 11:07 pm | Comment

Think of the money?

August 13, 2008 @ 12:22 am | Comment

I can explain this:

The tickets were actually all sold out.

Here is the problem:

The Chinese bought the tickets as souvenirs without having the attention to attend the stations (cos most of them have to work.)!! Now since those tickets r gone, the organizers cant sell the same tickets twice.

So, ppl who wants to get in cant cos the tickets r gone, and those who hold the tickets dont attend sporting events.
Result: empty seat.

I know several ppl, including a close relative of me, who did exactly the same thing. My relative is a white-collar worker in Guangzhou, he won a ticket. He bought it without ever having the intention to go to Peking cos he has to work.
I guess since Chinese think the olympics is something like an once-in-a-life-time event for China, ppl somehow wants to have a part of it.
Its really selfish but well, understandable.

August 13, 2008 @ 6:44 am | Comment

your explanation for the empty seats is very reasoned and convincing and obviously reality and not propaganda. mihkail gorbachev also made a similar reasoned and as equally convincing case for why lightly armed georgians attempting to maintain control over their ossetia territory are a “blitzkrieg” where as hundreds of russian tanks rapidly entering georgian territory with close air support are actually stability loving “peacekeepers”

August 13, 2008 @ 7:44 am | Comment

Could it be that there are so many empty seats because people bought the tickets with the full intention to make a quick buck? They are being resold at such ridiculous prices that those who didn’t get a chance to buy tickets before simply cannot afford to go. The majority of resellers are so stubborn (or stupid?) that if they don’t make at least 10 times profit on their tickets, they’d rather not sell them at all.

August 13, 2008 @ 5:57 pm | Comment

Word is that it’s easy to get tickets off scalpers at face value. Show up just as your match is about to start when the scalpers just want to break even.

Lindel: Huh?

August 13, 2008 @ 6:26 pm | Comment

mikhail has come out of the woodwork with a letter to the editor published in the us and russia, with similar connotations as reality is propaganda and others.


seems the russians were paying attention to chinese cyber blog war with the west over the tibet issue and are engaged in a similar campaign regarding the current activity inside the republic of georgia.

getting back to the seat issue this article covered the issue from several perspectives:


August 14, 2008 @ 12:18 am | Comment

I think it is pathetic that people are holding on to their tickets. Again selfishness has come into play.

For all the BS that has been pumped out for years about “one world one dream” and the Olympic spirit, this is what it has come down to:

Scalpers hording tickets in the name of greed.

Middle class Chinese hording tickets so they can show the pride of the Chinese people to their grandchildren while friends and families of athletes are denied or sold fake tickets.

IOC Officials hiding their heads in the sand and saying, “Huh?”

And the local Olympic Officials saying, “All is well, what are you talking about. it is sold out. Those yellow shirts, oh they are just keen fans.”

What a joke

August 21, 2008 @ 10:27 am | Comment

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