One floor is down. Another will follow soon. The organizing committee of the Paris 2024 Games has delivered, Thursday, March 9 in front of the media, to one of its favorite exercises, a “point of stage” on the preparation of the next Olympic and Paralympic appointment. It concerned the most burning file of the moment, the ticketing.
Opened on February 15, at the end of a draw of a new kind, the first phase of the sale of the tickets crystallized the discontents, many judging the prices too high and the formula of sale by packs of three tickets complex and constraining. But Tony Estanguet, the president of the OCOG, assured it on Thursday March 9, repeating his words several times: it was “a success“.
Let’s be clear: the figures prove him right. On all the line. Of course, many Internet users left the official platform without completing their purchase, especially after the first week of sales. But the result says a lot about the excitement of the Paris 2024 Games with the public, French and foreign: 3.25 million tickets have been sold in less than three weeks.
Tony Estanguet and his team had set the bar a notch lower, with a target of 3 million tickets sold. The three-time Olympic canoe champion can keep smiling. “It is already the largest ever sale for a sport event in France, he explained. The objective has been reached. We have sold tickets in all sports, and this until the last sales slot.”
Proud of its first lap, the OCOG spread out its figures without holding back. A whirlwind. It will be remembered that two-thirds of the buyers are French, but that the purchases of tickets were made in 158 countries. Behind France, the podium is made up of Great Britain and the United States, with Germany following one place behind. Almost half of the buyers (44%) admit to being under 35 years old. An almost identical proportion (45%) are women.
Other figures: 13% of the tickets sold during this first phase cost 24 euros, the lowest price of the Paris 2024 ticketing system, or 400,000 seats. Most of the sales – 70% – were for tickets priced at less than 100 euros. At the top of the pyramid, 4.5% of the tickets purchased were offered at more than 200 euros.
According to the OCOG, two disciplines sold out of tickets on the first day of the sale: climbing and BMX freestyle. Fencing, judo, breaking and track cycling did almost as well, with their box offices sold out in just a few days.
The top-selling sports in this first phase, by number of tickets: soccer, athletics, rugby 7s, basketball, volleyball, field field hockey, beach volleyball, handball, golf and tennis.
What’s next? It looks appetizing, with the opening on May 11 of the second phase of the ticketing service, dedicated to the sale of single tickets. It will be preceded, like the first, by a draw (March 15 to April 20). “All the sports sessions will be offered, plus the opening and closing ceremonies,” said Tony Estanguet. In total, 767 sessions, including the most coveted of the program. Objective announced by the OCOG: to sell 1.5 million tickets.
Appetizing, therefore. But not for all pockets. Certainly, this second stage of the rocket will still offer a contingent of tickets at 24 euros, in all sports. In total, about 150,000, that is to say half of the most accessible tickets still in store. But to experience the “exceptional“, you will often have to break your piggy bank.
For athletics at the Stade de France, it will cost between 125 and 980 euros for the most muscular evenings of the program, including the session of Sunday, August 4 (finals of 100 m and hammer men, height women). The same price scale applies to the three most eagerly awaited sessions of the swimming finals.
In judo, the team event is offered between 100 and 380 euros. In fencing, you will have to pay between 90 and 290 euros to attend the finals. In Lille, the handball finals will be sold between 90 and 320 euros. In Bercy, the basketball finals will cost between 95 and 980 euros.
The prices are high for the beach volleyball medal matches (100 to 420 euros), but more affordable for BMX freestyle and skateboard (50 to 160 euros), or archery (50 to 190 euros).
The ceremonies? For the opening, organized on the Seine, the high quays will be free. We already knew that. On the low quays, on the other hand, the entrance fee is fixed at 90 euros. Correct. But the ultimate, the best seats, looks like it will be difficult to live with the family, with a ceiling price of 2 700 euros.
Note: the OCOG has set the maximum number of seats allowed per buyer at 30 – but deducting tickets already purchased during the first phase – with no more than six tickets per session (only four for the 60 or so most coveted sessions).
Finally, the Paris organizers explained on Thursday, March 9, in response to a question from FrancsJeux, that 750,000 tickets were offered through a “parallel” ticketing system, managed by the American company On Location, the IOC’s exclusive provider of hospitality programs. It concerns ticket, accommodation and transfer packages (plus travel in some offers). Among this contingent, 250,000 seats will be accompanied by a more upscale service, essentially access to the boxes.