Seat occupancy at the Beijing Olympics is gradually going up, rising to 90 per cent for some events, compared to 80 per cent in the first full week of the Games, an official with the Olympic organizers said, dpa reported.
"In the early stages, several events have seen a fairly low seat occupancy because of their unfavorable timing - either too early or too late," Yao Hui, a deputy director of venue management with the Beijing Olympics organizers (BOCOG) was quoted by the Xinhua news agency saying.
Yao said other factors for the empty seats included no-shows among ticket-holding Olympic sponsors and officials, and fans not staying for the entire programme when events last a full day, according to Xinhua.
As many of the sports events enter their finales, seat occupancy is gradually on the rise, Yao said, adding that "quite a number of sport events are performed in almost full venues".
Preliminary track and field events held at the Bird's Nest (National Stadium) over the past few days have seen a 90 per cent seat occupancy rate in the morning, Yao was quoted saying, adding that there is a full audience at night in the 91,000-capacity stadium.
At least 24 out of 31 Olympic venues in Beijing are seeing an average seat occupancy rate of above 80 per cent, he said.
Audience around the world have wondered why there are so many empty seats at the competitions, despite claims that tickets are sold out. Officials later drafted in volunteers to fill empty seats and cheer the athletes during Olympic competitions.
More than 1.3 million people have visited the Olympic Green, the area where most of the Olympics venues are. Sponsors had previously complained that not enough people were being allowed into the area, citing inadequate visitor numbers at their exhibits.