London ticket sales on target

Updated: 2011-12-16 07:38

(China Daily)

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London Olympic organizers have raised 527 million pounds ($812.24 million) from ticket sales so far and are on course to meet their targets, LOCOG chief executive Paul Deighton said on Wednesday.

Deighton told parliament's Public Accounts Committee that around 130 million pounds had yet to be raised from the remaining sales.

"That's 130 of a total 200 I've yet to collect on our revenue side," he said.

"I know we were supposed to raise two billion pounds, but nobody expected us to have to do it in the worst global recession any of us have seen."

The Games have a budget of 9.3 billion pounds ($14.6 billion), with 2 billion pounds to be raised by organizers from ticket sales, sponsorship deals and the private sector.

Organizers said in September that they had already hit their domestic sponsorship target of 700 million pounds.

The committee heard that the government has spent about 750,000 pounds on tickets to entertain visiting dignitaries and business leaders, prompting critical comments from chair and opposition parliamentarian Margaret Hodge, although the amount is less than the official entitlement.

"It's pretty tough to take," she said. "A lot of my constituents can't afford to go.

"You, for dignitaries, have spent three-quarters of a million, 72,000 nearly on 142 tickets for the closing ceremony. It sticks in the gullet."