Ressell Beattie says of the Atlanta Olympics, "They lied to us horribly." He describes the early hype about the need to get tickets early. I don't know about Sydney but I know that the same kinds of deception were in evidence in Los Angeles in 1984.
I wonder if the seats won't be empty in the form of poor television ratings for the NBC record setting poor performance. Part of the problem, at least, seems to be NBC would rather cover those things that are easy to cover. This focus on what's easy treats us to hours of rowing coverage every day. Expanding coverage to more channels hasn't made the coverage any better. Instead the viewer is given more hours a day of the same thing that would be on a single channel. When it comes to events that are more difficult to cover, like equestrian eventing, viewers are limited to a few seconds of nationalistic coverage. Almost as much time was devoted to riders saying "hi mom" as it was to the total time spent actually showing the dressage portion of eventing. Read more about The Empty Seats