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Arc ticket prices slashed following backlash

Organisers have cut Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe ticket prices by more than 13 per cent following criticism of last year’s massive hike.

Racing fans will this year pay €65 to watch one of France’s most celebrated sporting events, down considerably on the €75 charged a year ago. Operator France Galop cut prices after a significant decline in attendance at Longchamp last year, while plans to improve facilities have also been outlined after visitors gave a satisfaction rating of just 3.9 out of 10 in 2018.

The 2018 Arc was the first to held at Longchamps since it was closed for redevelopment in 2015, with Chantilly taking on hosting duties in 2016 and 2017.

Just 35,000 punters attended the 2018 event in Paris – 20,000 fewer than 2015 as fans baulked at the price hike. It is hoped many will return for this year’s event in early October.

“The first edition of the Arc at Paris Longchamp didn’t meet racegoers’ expectations,” said Olivier Delloye, director general of France Galop.

The 2019 entry price is still more than treble the €20 punters paid to attend the Arc prior to the move, with Chantilly charging €30. Longchamp’s Jardin de l’Arc enclosure will cost €20, down from €30 in 2018.

Among the improvements is an increase of 60 per cent on the number of pop-up restaurants after complaints of long queues, a total of 17 new bars will be in situ with an additional 50 beer pumps and a lawn area just after the winning post, known as the Pelouse de l’Arc, will be the site of the biggest temporary pub in the Parisian region.

There will be 400 outlets taking bets – a 25 per cent increase on last year – while the number of toilet facilities will rise by 30 per cent also.

“It is not unusual for a newly revamped racecourse to have problems on a big occasion. We blame ourselves, but we are not the first to experience disappointment,” said Delloye.

“We were sad people left the racecourse disappointed and we are keen to do better this year. The second year is going smoothly, we have improved a number of things and people feel much more at home.”

Image: France Galop