The Torino Olympic organizers (TOROC) have lined up thousands of school children to fill up the empty places in the stadiums during the Games.
TOROC president Valentino Castellani admitted Monday that tickets sales for some of the events, such as the luge, skeleton and bob, were very poor but special low price tickets were to be supplied to Turin schools to ensure spectators.
"We have a contingency plan to bring in boys and girls. It will be an education for them," said Castellani.
He added that so far no event was sold out but that 700,000 tickets, about 85 per cent of those available, had been sold.
His comments came after the organizers presented their final briefing to the IOC's executive board.
"We are very satisfied. We are ready. We are very committed," said Castellani.
TOROC director general Cesare Vaciago confirmed that there were several transport problems but he insisted they will be sorted out by the time the Games open on Friday.
Part of the problem is that 2000 drivers have been shipped in from all over Italy and have yet to learn all the routes.
Another problem is getting local drivers to respect the special Olympic lanes which have been installed to allow Olympic traffic to move freely.
"We are confident the problems will be overcome in the next few days. It is a learning curve," said Vaciago.
(China Daily February 8, 2006)