— Published 24 May 2023

On ticketing, Paris 2024 answers with figures

The COJO Paris 2024 can rub the hands. The polemic on the cost of the tickets of the Olympic Games, always very lively on the social networks, cannot hide the essential, at least in its eyes: the places sell. Better: they are snatching up.

Tony Estanguet, the president of the committee of organization, convened the press, Tuesday, May 23 in Saint-Denis, to reveal the figures of the second phase of the ticketing, dedicated to the places to the unit. Opened on May 11, it ended at the end of last week. It confirms, and even reinforces, the craze observed during the first phase, where tickets were offered in packs.

More than 14 months before the event, the OCOG Paris 2024 has already sold nearly 70% of the 10 million tickets for the Olympic Games. In total, 6.8 million tickets have been sold, including 5.2 million by the general public. “These results exceed our forecasts and our objectives, assured Tony Estanguet. They show a very strong craze.”

The figures prove him right. All the figures. And there is no lack of them. The triple Olympic champion of canoe took them out of his pockets, Tuesday, May 23, without holding back his gestures, convinced to open a new page in the history of the Games.

In a little more than one week, the second phase of the ticketing allowed to sell 1,89 million tickets. The OCOG did not expect so much. He had fixed his objective in 1,5 million places. As a reminder, the first phase had sold 3.25 million.

Still according to the OCOG, the success was immediate. More than one million tickets were sold in the first 36 hours after the opening of the official platform. Within two hours on Thursday, May 11, five sports had sold out: BMX freestyle and racing, triathlon, climbing and breaking. In judo, tickets for the heavyweight session, the category of Frenchman Teddy Riner, were sold out in just two hours.

For the opening ceremony, where about 100,000 tickets were for sale in this second phase of ticketing, only 4,000 tickets remained. In category A, the most expensive, where a seat facing the Seine is offered at 2 700 euros. All the others have been sold.

The top 5 most popular sports: soccer, basketball, handball, athletics and volleyball. Three of them – soccer, basketball and handball – are played in part outside the Paris region, noted Tony Estanguet, satisfied to see that the craze concerns the whole of France.

Other figures put forward by the OCOG: 400,000 tickets already sold for rugby 7s – a record in the short history of the discipline at the Olympic Games -, and a sale of water polo tickets twice as high as the London Games in 2012.

In detail, the majority of buyers were French (63.5%), but sales were recorded in 178 countries. Behind France, the top 5 countries where tickets were sold are, in that order, Great Britain, the United States, Germany and the Netherlands.

The average age of the buyer is 40 years. More than four out of ten (45%) are women. Among the French, 55% live in the provinces.

What’s next? The OCOG has changed its strategy. Initially, it was planned to open a third phase of sales at the end of the year, to sell the remaining tickets. Tony Estanguet explained: the calendar has been brought forward by several months. The remaining unsold tickets will be offered in the summer of 2023. This time, the sale will be done without a draw.

In total, 2.8 million tickets remain to be sold. They concern a large number of sports and, surprise, all prices. In particular, there are 200,000 tickets left at 24 euros, for soccer, basketball, sailing and golf sessions. The matches of the French soccer teams, men and women, are not sold out.

Is this the end of the controversy? Not sure. But Tony Estanguet defended before the press, Tuesday, May 23, the pricing strategy of the OCOG and the promise, strongly disputed on social networks, of Olympic Games “accessible and popular“. “With four million tickets at 50 euros and less, one million at 24 euros, but also free events, we consider to have kept our commitment of Games open to the greatest number,” he explained.

Remain a question: the receipts. Questioned by FrancsJeux, the president of the COJO refused to communicate the amount of the incomes of the ticketing already assured after the first two phases. He was satisfied to remind the objective: 1,2 billion euro. At this rate, exceeding it should be a formality.