Friday Flashback: Commonwealth Games 2010

Empty seats in the stadium was a challenge for organisers & broadcasters back in Delhi 2010.

No crowds in Tokyo for the Olympics? Been there, done that…

Back in 2010 Network 10 & Foxtel jointly had the rights to the Commonwealth Games, which were low on spectators, to put it mildly.

Prior to the games opening it was a race to complete venues, with speculation about corruption, the quality of venues and accommodation, plus concern over security. But while the locals were more interested in cricket than other events, organisers had neglected to finish printing tickets. Some had been purchased purely for the free bus travel that came with the ticket.

Even Prince Charles & Prince Edward were forced to watch the swimming from near-vacant stadiums. Oops.

Critics quickly branded the games a “flop.”

Organisers had to draft in thousands of schoolchildren and hand out free tickets to fill empty stadiums.

10’s then-general manager of sport David White said prior to the event he was confident of a great games.

“The Indian way, as they say, is not to put the marquee up until the bride comes round the corner and we’ve experienced that,” he said.

10 even screened a three-hour morning show called Good Morning Delhi from 6am.

With the time difference it was still the dead of night in Delhi…

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