Although the Commonwealth Games entered the second week on Sunday, ticketing trouble, chaos of data in the online information system and transportation problems continued to haunt the Organising Committee.
None other than the Commonwealth Games Federa-tion (CGF) chief Michael Fennell accepted these. However, OC Chairman Suresh Kalmadi insisted “things are in place”.
Fennell listed the glitches in the presence of Kalmadi at the daily press briefing in Pragati Maidan. "We are consistently receiving complaints about people being unable to buy tickets," said Fennell, but claimed that attendance at wrestling, boxing and tennis was quite good.
Kalmadi assured Fennell that the ticketing problems were being sorted out. "The crowds are flocking the stadiums. Boxing, wrestling and swimming have been full ... We have printed 10 per cent extra tickets and we are distributing them free to stakeholders. Generally things are in place," he said.
"In a bid to fill in the empty stands, the organisers have now agreed to allow athletes to enter whatever events they want to watch through their accreditation cards," Fennell said.
The head of ticketing for the event, Monica Jolly, who was also present at the briefing, blamed corporate house for the empty stands.
"India has a late market where people buy their tickets at the last minute. Obviously, we couldn’t have waited that long to start the sales. So, we began sales in June and there was lots of bulk buying by corporates for promotional activities but they have not turned up," she explained. "Some sports such as boxing and wrestling have stadiums with less capacity. So obviously if one lakh people want to watch Vijender Singh or Sushil Kumar, only 2,500 or 2,700 of them would get in at one go."
The explanations came even as reports emerged that an OC official indulged in black-marketing. Kalmadi said the case involved a mere volunteer, who has been reported to the police.