Paris Olympics organisers mark 100-day countdown with sale of 250,000 tickets

By Paul Myers - RFI

Paris Olympics organisers launched the sale of 250,000 tickets on Wednesday as part of initiatives to mark the start of the 100-day countdown to the Opening Ceremony along the River Seine on 26 July.

The final tranche of tickets will be available from 10am for 31 of the 32 sports on the Paris 2024 programme.

"It's a great chance for people who missed out in the earlier sessions of ticket sales to get something," said organising committee chief Tony Estanguet.

Previous rounds of sales have drawn criticism over the complexity of the packages and the costs. The final round will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

In December, Sebastian Coe, the head of World Athletics, warned that high prices could leave embarrassing gaps in stadiums.

“These are going to be the most expensive ticket prices in an athletics arena that we have witnessed at an Olympic Games,” said Coe who was head of the organising committee for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

"These are difficult balances for any organising committee. But if I am wearing my World Athletics hat, I don't want fans being costed out of the stadium and I certainly don't want athletes and their families being costed out of the stadium."

From Wednesday 125,000 tickets will be sold for €100 or less – around 20,000 of that number will be €24. And around 13,000 tickets will be €400 or more.

"There are all price ranges," added Estanguet. "Every time there have been sales they've gone very quickly. But there are some interesting new opportunities."


Nine thousand new tickets will go on sale for the equestrian events in the gardens at the Château de Versailles, priced between €24 and €420. And 15,000 tickets will be availabe for the swimming races at the La Défense Arena in Nanterre starting at €24 and peaking at €980.

In an effort to boost support for the local heroes, tickets for matches in Marseille, Nice, Lyon, Saint Etienne and Lille featuring French football and basketball teams will begin at €30 while places for the women's match between the United States and Germany in Marseille on 28 July will start at €24.

"These are the kind of international fixtures that we hardly ever see on our soil," Estanguet said. "Teams that have been world champions and Olympic champions who will be competing against each other at these Games.

"We've been waiting 100 years for these Games. And in 100 days we'll experience them for real. From now until that day, it's really important for us to look ahead to the final stage of the adventure."