Paris 2024 president defends ticketing pricing after criticism

Featured image credit: Paris 2024

Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet has responded to criticism over ticket prices for the Olympic Games, arguing that they are in line with London 2012. 

Estanguet also said the prices were in line with football and rugby World Cups.

Early last year, organisers revealed that nearly half of all tickets available would be priced at €50 (€44/$53) or less, to make sure the Games were inclusive for as many people as possible. Organisers also said that prices for the Olympics would start at low as €24 and tickets for the Paralympics would start at €15.

According to a report from Insidethegames, tickets for sport climbing, fencing, judo, breaking, skateboarding, triathlon and BMX racing and freestyle have sold out since the launch of the first ticketing phase for three-session packs this month.

Sports fans have taken to Twitter to express their frustration over the price of tickets, with the €24 tickets not appearing for many.

In an interview with media group RTL, Estanguet said: “We are no more expensive than in London in 2012.”

He added: “When you go to see a big concert today, the seats are several hundred euros, for amusement parks it’s the same.

“We have a million tickets at €24, in all sports. We have 50% of the tickets, that is to say five million tickets, at €50 and less. For what? Because we wanted an accessible ticket office. But that also means that, besides that, the other half of the tickets finance the organisation of the Games. It’s a way to also balance the economic model.”

This first phase of ticket sales will run until March 15, with successful applicants in the ballot given a 48-hour window to secure their choice of tickets.

The next phase is for single ticket sales and will begin with the registration for the draw from March 15 to April 20. Tickets for all sports and the opening and closing ceremonies will go on sale on May 11.

Tickets for the Paralympic Games will go on sale later this year.

At the time of writing (15:00 GMT), there were tickets available for 28 sports with prices ranging from €24 to €690.

There were tickets available for athletics with prices starting at €170 and rising to €690; tickets for swimming starting at €230; hockey tickets available from €35 to €70; basketball tickets starting at €50 and increasing to €120; and beach volleyball tickets starting at €95 and rising to €145.

For the majority of sports, it seems that tickets for the latter stages and medal events are yet to go on sale.