OLYMPIC DIARY: Plan needed to fill Arenas

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THERE’S has been a lot of talk about the Olympic venues looking half full for competition.

I can’t speak for the ones that I’ve not been at but the facilities where I have seen action there is a definite formula.

Take the Basketball Arena last night for the Great Britain men’s match against Russia. Having followed the sport for a number of years I’d like to think I know a little bit about the appetite of fans of the sport to be at this game.

The Great Britain receives a lot of sport but it is by no means a guarantee to sell out a venue.

Against Portugal in Sheffield before the Games the Arena was perhaps half full at best.

However the game in Manchester with America was sold out.

I’d have expected the Russia fixture to have been similar.

For the most part it was.

Except for the prime sponsors’ tickets positions, which were probably only 50 per cent occupied.

It was the same at the swimming heats on Saturday morning. For the finals later that night it looked like it had filled up a bit.

No doubt the organisers will have a plan to make use of these empty seats. As I’m writing this some members of the Army have just taken up a row.

The one thing that has been the same every place that I have been is the noise and atmosphere.

Spectators have been thoroughly involved in proceedings with the noise in the Aquatic Centre probably being the loudest.