Despite the British public's clamour to attend events, 700,000 tickets for London 2012 are still unsold, Olympics chiefs admitted yesterday.

And there are so many spare tickets for football that organisers plan to reduce capacity at some games by removing blocks of seating.

Of the tickets yet to be sold, 400,000 have been returned by Olympic committees around the world. Some might be for top events such as swimming and athletics, but organisers admitted that some of these will be sold to corporate sponsors meaning that, once again, the public could struggle to get the best tickets.

The unsold seats will be offered at the last minute via the organiser Locog's ticketing website but it is still not clear exactly how many will be put through the systeme.


Selling tickets for football events has been a major struggle for Olympics chiefs.

Originally, they were left with more than a million spare tickets a number they have reduced by half by cutting capacity.

The action was taken after fears that the first event of London 2012 could be played in front of an almost empty stadium. Just 11,000 tickets were originally sold for the British women's football match against New Zealand at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on July 25, two days before the opening ceremony.

A spokesman for Locog said: 'We are planning to reduce capacity across the venues by up to 500,000 tickets across the tournament.

'This will involve possibly not using a tier, or an area of a ground, in some of the venues. This can apply to men's and women's football, if necessary.'

Ticketing policies for the Olympics have proved hugely controversial, with many fans unable to get the tickets they wanted.

After the first ballot it emerged that fewer than half the seats for some showpiece events had ever been earmarked for the public with the majority given away as 'freebies' to a parade of corporate sponsors, Olympic bigwigs and their VIP guests.

Locog revealed that 250,000 football tickets are currently on sale while 50,000 tickets are available to buy for other sports at the moment. However many of the seats on sale are at top price, costing several hundreds of pounds, which have been shunned by the British public.


At his first daily press briefing at the Olympic Park, Locog chief Lord Coe said: 'We're not in bad shape on tickets. It was always going to be that football tickets were the challenge but I think we'll do pretty well.'

- Daily Mail