free tickets for the opening ceremony will be distributed (but it is not known how many and when)

During a press conference, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin only specified that “several hundred thousand people” will be able to attend the ceremony free of charge on the upper banks of the Seine.

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Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo (right) Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera and Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet, left, May 23, 2023 at the Interior Ministry in Paris.  (GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT/AFP)

How many will be able to attend the opening ceremony of the Paris 2024 Olympics for free for the first time in the history of the Olympic Games? The Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, did not provide a precise answer on this matter, on Tuesday May 23, 430 days before this unprecedented event, which will take place on July 26, 2024 from 20:24. During a press conference on the occasion of the signing of a security protocol on the ceremony, the minister mentioned the figure initially foreseen by the organizers (600,000 people), before backtracking and citing “several hundred thousand people”. “It will depend on the weather, on the publicity you will make of it”launched at the address of the media present.

On the low platforms, managed by the organizing committee of the Olympic Games, 100,000 people are expected with places paid for between 90 and 2,700 euros. On the high quays, controlled by the Paris police station, the town hall and the state, the fork is the subject of bitter discussions. A senior official slipped to franceinfo that the figure was around 300,000 while the town hall has not lost sight of the target of 500,000. The sports minister, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, cited a figure last week “about 400,000”.

Gérald Darmanin, however, confirmed the setting up of a free ticket office for the upper platforms, based on a project by the Ministry of the Interior“a secure pre-registration platform that will allow the public to register”. The Interior Minister described a “essential tool to regulate all flows”, without announcing a date for the launch of this ticket office. He also did not specify whether a draw, like the one envisaged for competitions, was envisaged to deal with the influx of requests. As for a possible filtering of viewers upstream, Gérald Darmanin limited himself to replying: “You will need to register and come with ID.”

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