Official: 326,000 tickets for Paris 2024 opening ceremony


The mystery has finally been solved, as Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin confirmed for the first time that 326,000 tickets will be sold or distributed for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games on the Seine in Paris.

Not 700, not 600, not even 500 thousand tickets. In the end, 326,000 tickets will be sold or distributed for the opening ceremony of the thirty-third modern Olympic Games, which will be held for the first time outside a closed stadium.

The organisers are thus confirming an open secret: the reduction in their plans for the Floating Parade, from the two million people they once envisaged to a more reasonable figure of around 600,000. Opposition from the French security services, common sense and fears of terrorist attacks have prevailed over grandiose plans.

Nevertheless, the figure will be a record, quadrupling the capacity of a top-tier international stadium. Previous opening ceremonies have been held in the main athletics stadium.



“We will have 104,000 spectators on the lower terrace who have paid for a ticket. Then there will be 222,000 people on the higher stands (with free tickets),” Darmanin told a Senate hearing. Add these figures up and the figure is clear: 326 people will accompany the athletes during the ceremony on the Seine in the capital, Paris.

In addition, the ministry estimates that around 200,000 people will watch the open-air parade along the river on 26 July from buildings overlooking the Seine, with a further 50,000 in the capital’s fan zones. These figures, which are difficult to quantify, would bring the total to between 500,000 and 600,000, including those who pay for tickets, those who have access to free tickets and those who can watch from their buildings.

The open-air ceremony on the boats follows promises to make the Paris Olympics “iconic”, with the local organising committee keen to break with past traditions in the way it hosts the world’s biggest sporting event.



The opening ceremony at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics was widely regarded as the most spectacular in history, while the London 2012 ceremony, overseen by Trainspotting director Danny Boyle, won rave reviews for showcasing Britain’s quirky side. The French idea is clear: to top both.

A total of 180 boats will sail some six kilometres along the Seine, 94 of them carrying athletes, said Marc Guillaume, the head of security for the Paris region, at the same hearing.

“No country has told us they do not want to take part. They have confidence in our organisation,” the minister concluded. The Olympics have been targeted in the past, most notably in Munich in 1972 and Atlanta in 1996. France was placed on high alert for terrorist attacks in October after an Islamist suspect entered a school in northern France and fatally stabbed a teacher.

Around one million people are expected to be screened by French security forces for potential security risks, including athletes, journalists, private security guards and people living near key infrastructure.


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