Ticket sales for the Paris Olympics in 2024 are going great, according to organizers. Nearly 70 percent of the planned 10 million tickets for the summer games in France have already been sold, but fans are complaining that the prices are way too high for the global competition. Even some athletes have spoken out against the pricing for fans hoping to attend.
“Olympic Games accessible to all, you said,” tweeted Amandine Buchard, a judo athlete representing the host nation, France. “In fact, you have to take out a bank loan so that families and loved ones can have the chance to come and see us… Well at least if by then there are still tickets.”
Jeux Olympiques accessibles pour tous vous aviez dit… 🤔
Enfaite il faut faire des crédits à la banque pour que les familles et proches puissent avoir la chance de venir nous voir…
Enfin du moins si d’ici là il reste des billets… #Honte #Degoutée
— Amandine Buchard OLY (@BubucheOfficiel) May 16, 2023
“How can we put such high prices for our sport?” French runner Jimmy Gressier wrote on Instagram.
Belgian Nafissatou Thiam, a two-time Olympic heptathlon champion, told Belgian media DH: “I’m not even sure that my family will be able to come to see me, it’s so expensive.”
Much of that criticism likely stems from the fact that the French organizers have made efforts to claim that Paris 2024 would be a “games for all” where affordable tickets would be on offer. Organizers said this week that tickets sold at the €24 price point represented 17 percent of the 6.8 million reportedly sold so far. “Around 60 percent” of tickets sold have been for €100 or less, representing an affordable figure, according to organizers.
But the perception has been far from that – fans in the first round of ticketing were angered by the need to buy several events worth of unwanted tickets in order to have access to the ones they wanted tickets for. And often, the lower priced tickets were gone almost immediately.
“I really wanted to have tickets for the Olympics. I wanted my son to live that unique experience … in our city,” says Amélie Beney, an English teacher who was looking to purchase tickets to the event for herself and her 9-year-old son during the first wave of ticket sales. “I became disillusioned (with the ticket system) and the prices. This is just insane.”
Beney had hoped to purchase tickets for BMX, water polo, or soccer, but found there almost no affordable tickets left, and the bundling requirement sent costs sky-high. According to ESPN’s reporting, there were tickets for a soccer match at 50 euros ($53) but Beney would also have to buy at least two tickets for two additional events. Available tickets included basketball or handball at 150 euros ($160), swimming at 230 euros ($244) and a whopping 690 euros ($732) for a qualifying event in track and field.
“Who can afford tickets at that price?” Beney asked. “I can’t.”
Despite the complaints, tickets have reportedly sold well, with residents of 178 countries purchasing tickets so far, according to organizers. Just shy of 64 percent of ticket buyers were residents of France. Football (soccer) tickets sold the most tickets by event, trailed by basketball, handball, athletics (track & field), and volleyball.
“The success of the ticket sale was better than we ever could have imagined,” said Tony Estanguet, president of the Paris 2024 Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
There will be another phase of Olympic ticket sales this summer, with details to come.
“A next phase of Olympic Games tickets will be held this summer,” added Estanguet. “The procedure for this new phase – without a draw – will be specified in the coming weeks.”
Last Updated on May 24, 2023 by Dave Clark
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