Olympics Leader Rogge Defends London Games on Ticket Sales

The president of the International Olympic Committee has backed London 2012 organizers against accusations by regional authorities of covering up how many tickets have been sold to the general public.

The organizing committee is “a transparent company,” Jacques Rogge said at a press conference with U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron and committee chairman Sebastian Coe. Organizers, running a series of test events, are working out exactly how much space in arenas is available for seating before they release ticket distribution details, Rogge said.

They are also waiting for the draw for the Olympics soccer tournament, which will have a “major effect” on how many members of the public buy tickets, Rogge said.

Earlier this month, Dee Doocey, chairwoman of the London Assembly’s Economy, Culture and Sport Committee, accused the organizing committee of “obsessive secrecy” after declining to give a breakdown of the number of tickets sold at what price until the Games are over.

So far, local organizers have sold 7 million tickets for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, with another 4 million tickets left to sell before the July 27 opening ceremony.

Rogge is visiting London for the final time to inspect the sites before the opening ceremony on July 27.

“We are confident that we will have a great Games,” Rogge said outside No. 10 Downing Street, the Prime Minister’s official residence in London.

Cameron said London would host “greatest show on earth” and that the Games have re-generated east London -- where the Olympic Park is based -- and are boosting sports participation across the country.

To contact the reporter on this story: Danielle Rossingh in London at drossingh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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