Who is to blame – what is to blame for the empty seats at venues at the Winter Olympics? Not ticket sales. Ninety-two percent for all the events have been sold, say the Sochi organisers.
Security is tight. Fans go through stringent checks with Islamist militants from the North Caucasus region having threatened Russia’s first winter Games. That is not the cause but an old habit that dies hard.
“Yes we’ve had some problems with basically a Russian mentality in a lot of ways that Russians like to come to the event not prior, but as close as possible and that is why indeed we had an issue of a lot of spectators being late for the Games,” explained Alexsandra Kosterina Sochi 2014 Vice President of Communications.
So the message has gone out – turn up early and get through the security checks on time especially for the events in the mountains say organisers.
It’s reckoned up to 4,000 spectators didn’t take their seats on the first two days of events.
But it was a technical fault and not a cultural habit which delayed the start of the mens downhill event. A problem with the gondolas put the start back by fifteen minutes.