Organizers of the Paris Olympic Games announced Tuesday that they have sold 6.8 million of the 10 million tickets available with 14 months to go before the opening ceremony. They also dismissed criticism that the prices are too high.
Tony Estanguet, the president of the organizing committee, reported that the second stage of ticket sales, which ended last week, exceeded expectations despite some fans — and even athletes — complaining about the high prices.
The most expensive tickets cost 2,700 euros ($2,900) for the opening ceremony. The sports with the highest prices are track and field, swimming and basketball playoffs. The cheapest tickets start at 24 euros ($26) and sold out quickly, leaving just 200,000 moderately priced seats for a later stage, leaving many buyers frustrated.
The main objective has been to try to make prices as affordable as possible, Estanguet said. He mentioned that 5.3% of the tickets at an individual cost of 400 euros guarantee that four million seats can be purchased for 50 euros or less.
“There is a huge appetite from the public, French and international,” Estanguet said. “It is an important success in terms of sales. This is excellent news for the Paris 2024 Games”.
5.2 million tickets have been sold to the public after two stages — with 1.6 million allocated by corporate partners and others.
During the second stage — in which individual tickets were sold and more than four million people registered for a lottery — 1.89 million tickets were sold in 178 countries. 58% of them cost 100 euros or less.
“Our goal was to sell 1.5 million tickets and we did better than we expected,” said Estanguet.
More than 3.25 million tickets were sold in the first phase earlier this year, including multi-sport packages.
Organizers did not break out details of the sale by country, but said the biggest demand in the second leg was concentrated in France, followed by Britain, the United States, Germany and the Netherlands.
Soccer was the sport that sold the most, ahead of basketball and handball.
The tickets for the triathlon, the climbing, the two modalities of BMX cycling (freestyle and racing) and the breaking (urban dance) sold out in less than two hours, according to the organizers.
The Paris 2024 budget must reach 4.4 billion dollars. Estanguet pointed out that the organizers maintain the objective of generating 1,200 million euros in income through ticket sales.
The Paris Games, between July 26 and August 11, 2024, will have 32 sports and 48 disciplines that will be spread over 37 venues. The Paralympic Games will take place between August 28 and September 8, with ticket sales scheduled to begin in the fall of 2023.