ticket prices are soaring, anger is brewing

The second phase of ticket sales for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games is still causing controversy because of the soaring prices which make the idea of ​​attending events of these Games, which are presented as popular, inaccessible.

Less than 500 days from their opening, the Paris Olympics still make people groan, while generating incredible enthusiasm at the ticket office. Since May 11 and the opening of the second phase of ticket sales (individually this time), testimonials have been pouring in on social networks to denounce the exorbitant prices to attend the majority of the events. A first prize bordering on 700 euros for athletics sessions (680 euros), 500 euros for swimming, 480 euros for gymnastics, fencing and judo sold out. Not to mention the minimum 2,700 euros to attend the opening ceremony on the Seine.

There are still tickets at 24 euros but…

These prohibitive prices irritate the promise of popular games brandished by the organizers. Tony Estanguet, president of the organizing committee of the Olympic committee (Cojo), had promised the recirculation of places at 24 euros (the first price) for this second phase. These had flown away during the first phase where the people drawn had to compose packs of several places between February 15 and March 15 with a maximum of 30 tickets per person. Logically, the cheapest ones quickly found takers.

Football at 24 euros, the opening ceremony at 2,700 euros – Capture JO 2024
Prices soar in athletics – Capture JO 2024

Less than a week after the start of the second phase, they are currently very rare, but there are still some for football matches in the provinces, sailing in Marseille or less popular disciplines. They flew to the most anticipated events such as athletics where holders of a precious sesame at low prices will be located at the top of the stadium under the roof, when the most central places reach 980 euros.

Virgile Caillet, sports economist, general manager of the sport and cycle union, justifies these high prices and tempers the controversy. “We are still on exceptional sessions, he underlines on BFMTV. When we think of the Olympic Games, we think of the 100m final, of quite exceptional events. If we take the basketball final as a reference in an enclosure where there will be no more than 15,000 places with the possibility of a France-United States final, the 100m final or the main swimming finals, there are indeed a lot of requests and few places , we have to find an equation.

It also deflates the criticisms of the lack of places at affordable prices which were logically torn off first. “Very factually, there are ten million tickets for sale, one million at 24 euros and four million at less than 50 euros, he lists. It is partly already sold and it is not illogical that the cheapest places go first. For the second phase, there were four million people entered in the draw for 1.5 million tickets to be sold. There are bound to be some people who are frustrated.”

“An economic equation” between the promise of accessible tickets and that of Games at a reasonable cost

According to him, this pricing responds to “an economic equation” between the promise of accessible tickets and that of Games at a reasonable cost which requires tickets at much higher prices. “We say that it must be reasonable Games, which must not cost taxpayers money and we regret that the tickets are expensive, the equation becomes complicated to solve”, he puts forward.

A difficult problem to understand for the winners, the majority of whom give up buying the precious sesame in the face of the explosion in their prices. This is the case of Jérémy, guest on BFMTV, who will be content with free outdoor events such as the marathon or the triathlon. The latter testifies to having met much more advantageous conditions at the ticket office for the London Olympics in 2012. What Virgile Caillet disputes.

“2012 was twelve years ago, he recalls. If we take inflation into account, they are essentially the same prices. The strategy of Paris 2024 was to say we put a lot of cheap tickets and to get the financial goal, you have to put in very expensive tickets. It’s this balance that they tried to find.” The Cojo has promised the forthcoming availability of 400,000 free tickets to attend the opening ceremony and justify the popular dimension of these Games that many sports enthusiasts do not perceive too much when paying for their shopping baskets.

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