Organisers of the London 2012 Olympics have abandoned plans to make up to 25,000 extra tickets available for cross-country day (Monday, 30 July).
The London Olympic Organising Committee (LOCOG) announced last week that it would limit capacity of Greenwich Park to the 50,000 tickets already issued.
Previously it had suggested that more tickets would go on sale closer to the Games.
Jeremy Edwards, LOCOG venue manager for Greenwich Park, said the decision was taken following detailed crowd modelling and transport assessments of Greenwich town centre.
He said: “We have had to take into account the need to put on an event in which people can move around to enjoy the cross-country course and safety of crowd numbers outside.
“We believe that 50,000 is the best number to ensure a fantastic experience.”
H&H reported last year that the full capacity of Greenwich Park – estimated at up to 75,000 – might not be utilised.
Transport bosses’ concerns were revealed when a report forming part of the planning application for the site was leaked to the Evening Standard.
The report warned that cross-country day had the “potential for 2hr-plus waits” at local tube and overground stations if the full capacity of the park were used.
It recommended the venue size be limited to 50,000.
LOCOG sold most of its tickets for equestrian events last year. Plans for any remaining tickets will be announced in the next few months.
Some cross-country tickets may become available via the resale platform, which is expected to reopen in April.
H&H readers who missed out in the ballot last year said they were disappointed there would be no second chance to secure the coveted tickets.
Annette Hughes told H&H it was “terrible news”, while Tamara Strapp said she was “furious” there would be no more tickets.
“I was always anti-Greenwich because we have no legacy for the south-east,” she said. “Now that so few people are allowed to have tickets it just adds insult to injury.”
LOCOG stressed that the 50,000 capacity of Greenwich Park compared favourably with the 19,500 ticketed spectators at Olympic cross-country day, in Hong Kong in 2008.
This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (23 February 2012)