Sunday, July 29, 2012

All Those Empty Seats -- No, Not Under the Big Top, But at the London Olympics

It is so so sad, I felt acute pain for the people of England, even though I am hardly a booster of the modern day games: All those incredibly inexplicable rows and rows of uniformly empty seats at the venues.

When we patronize an amusement, be it theatre, sports, or the circus, invariably, we scan the seats and estimate the size of the crowd. Not just do we share with friends and family our reaction to what we saw, but usually, the subject arises: how big was the crowd?

Here, the answer must be a painful one for the locals. This is LONDON, one of the great cities of the world.

According to NBC News, "Twitter was abuzz with pictures of empty seats and criticism of the large areas without spectators at the affected events."

Stated U.K. Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, "I was at the Beijing Games, in 2008, and one of the lessons that we took away from that, is that full stadia create the best atmosphere, it's best for the athletes, it's more fun for the spectators, it's been an absolute priority."

How could it be? Perhaps as the games continue, the crowds will fill up, and these images of neglected events will disappear.

They are calling it "a public relations disaster," and it is being reported here that members of the military are being "drafted" to remedy a totally unplanned embarrassment. Their next tour of duty: Free seats at the games.

No comments: