Over three weeks since I found out about the free tickets for the Red Bull Air Race and about a month since Greenwich announced the race was coming in their Greenwich Time newspaper they've finally made an official comment about them.
In the latest issue of Greenwich Time they say that the Council have negotiated 10% of the tickets and they're being distributed through "borough community groups" to locals. Red Bull say that 10% of the "general" tickets are being split between Greenwich, Newham and Tower Hamlets. "General" might mean standing rather than seating, it's kind of hard to be sure. Either way that 10% has to be split three ways, unless things have changed Greenwich Council will not be getting the full 10%.
They don't boast about it on the front page of their web site but if you do a search for Red Bull you can find a page tucked away that mentioned the tickets too. I don't know how long it's been there but you can see it here.
So that was the first bus, what's the second.
Well someone's provided me with the results of an Freedom of Information Request from the Council. The Council expected to be given about 3000 tickets for the two days. The Council have written to community groups that are "registered" with them and represent "geographic groups" as opposed to "special interest groups" offering each one an allocation of 50 tickets.
They say that any unclaimed tickets will be distributed to those people who have registered with them. Greenwich Time doesn't make any mention of that, the web page linked to above does. "A limited number of free tickets are available - call Michele Ingram on 020 8921 6405 for details."
I know about that phone line already, it's given away on Red Bull's web site. How are people who don't go online meant to know about it? You'd have thought that they'd publish the phone number in Greenwich Time. Do they? No. The phone line's been there since before the previous edition was published so there's no excuse for not giving it out.
At the moment the only people who know about the phone number are internet users who have either seen the Red Bull web site, searched on the Council's web site and employees of the Council. That hardly seems a fair way to distribute the tickets.
The Council also mentioned that you can register on their web site for tickets. I can't see any way of doing that at all.
So there are still a few questions.
- Why aren't the Council giving out the number to call other than on their web site?
- Which groups are getting the tickets?
- How many tickets will Greenwich get?
- How many will go to community groups?
- How many will go to people who registered?
- How many were left over and what happened to them?