“Tens of thousands of people are delighted”, assures Tony Estanguet
“These are the prizes for major events. We are not more expensive than the London Games, or to attend the Football World Cup or the Rugby World Cup. » At the microphone of RTL, Wednesday morning, Tony Estanguet, the president of the Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Cojop), sought to defend the ticketing model put in place to attend the events of the sporting event of the summer of 2024, the subject of strong criticism in recent days.
Since the official opening of the first phase of the ticket office, Wednesday, February 15, many people have, in fact, expressed their dissatisfaction on social networks. They are annoyed by a ticket allocation system (3 million are on sale), which means that seven disciplines (out of 31) are already inaccessible. And, above all, they are indignant at the prices to be paid, denouncing in passing the slogan of “Popular Games” put forward by the organizers.
“In one week, it started very strong. Within days, people rushed to the squares. There are tens of thousands of people who are delighted”argued Tony Estanguet, explaining that of the 3 million people who had registered for the draw process, “a few hundred thousand” have already been notified that they can proceed with the purchase of tickets (the sales process is open until March 15). “Inevitably there is frustration, we know that. Of the 3 million people registered on this first wave, we will not be able to serve everyone. »
#Paris2024: “We wanted an accessible ticket office, we have a million tickets at 24 euros!”. @TonyEstanguet… https://t.co/Nblx5qnE76
About the prices offered, “one million tickets are sold at 24 euros, and 50% are seats [5 millions de billets] at very affordable prices, less than 50 euros »reminded the president of the Cojop. “Currently, there are still places at 24 euros in sailing, golf, rugby, football. But maybe tomorrow there won’t be any more. On about fifteen disciplines, there are still places at affordable prices, below 50 euros., he added, while certifying that the places at 24 euros concern ” all the sports “.
Half of the 24-euro tickets purchased by the State and the communities
Small detail that Tony Estanguet fails to recall: of the million tickets at 24 euros, half are not directly accessible to the general public through the current sales process. This half has been reserved for the State and the various local authorities involved in the Games for solidarity ticketing (young people under 16, sports volunteers, people with disabilities, etc.).
A good part of the “popular” aspect of the Games is therefore financed by public money. The State thus provided for in the context of the 2023 budget, voted at the end of 2022, an envelope of 5.5 million euros in credits under this “popular ticket office”, the total envelope should reach 11 million euros. The department of Seine-Saint-Denis estimated for its part at around 1 million euros the purchase of tickets (Olympic and Paralympic Games combined) which it must proceed.
As regards the prices deemed too high (they reach several hundred euros), Tony Estanguet justified them by explaining that there are ” a half “ tickets put on sale which finance the organization of the Games » and should allow“balancing the economic model”. Paris 2024 is betting, in this case, on 1.24 billion euros in revenue with ticketing alone (excluding “hospitalities”or the sale of tickets combined with other services).
This represents a third of the total budget of the organization of the Games, that is to say as much as the contribution paid by the International Olympic Committee and the sponsorship agreements. In a report, published in January, the Court of Auditors deemed this objective ambitious and expressed reservations about the “certainty” to achieve it.
The current ticket sales phase is only a first step. Seven million tickets will go on sale individually from May 11. A new draw process will be opened beforehand, between March 15 and April 20.