Paris Olympics: 600,000 opening ceremony spectators and €24 tickets

An opening ceremony with 600,000 spectators and event tickets on sale for €24 are just two of the ways that the organising committee hope that the 2024 Paris Olympics will be the most open and inclusive ever.

Paris Olympics: 600,000 opening ceremony spectators and €24 tickets
An artist's impression of the Paris 2024 opening ceremony. Image: Paris Olympic Committee

Tony Estanguet, president of the Paris Olympic Committee, has revealed more details of the 2024 event, which organisers want to be open to as many people as possible and celebrate the culture and beauty of Paris, as well as celebrating sport.

Speaking in a briefing organised by the Anglo-American Press Association of Paris, Estanguet said: “We want to bring the sports out of the stadiums and into the city to include the iconic landmarks of Paris.

“So we are working with museums and other venues to organise competitions at landmark sites – for example fencing will be in the Grand Palais, archery and para archery at Les Invalides, volleyball and blind football at the Eiffel Tower.”

MAP Here is where events will be held at Paris Olympics

The opening ceremony will also be open to as many people as possible – with space for at least 600,000 spectators.

Rather than holding it in the Olympic stadium as is traditional, in Paris the opening ceremony will be along the Seine, allowing organisers to showcase some of Paris’ most famous landmarks and also providing space for 600,000 spectators in stands along the banks of the river.

The spectacle will include 160 boats, moving 6km from the Pont d’Austerlitz to the Pont d’Iéna – passing the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame (which will, if all goes according to plan, be fully restored by 2024) and the Louvre along the way, with events staged in key locations along the route.

An artist’s impression of the Paris 2024 opening ceremony, which will include events staged in landmarks such as the Trocadero. Image: Paris Olympic Committee

Eighty big screens and speakers will relay the events live to spectators in Paris.

The ceremony will be held on July 26th, 2024.

Organisers have also pledged to include as many affordable tickets as possible, with €24 tickets available for all Olympic events and a total of 1 million €24 tickets. Half of all tickets sold will cost less than €50.

For the Paralympics, tickets will be on sale from €15 and half of all tickets on sale will cost €25 or less.

Estanguet said: “We know that of course that this price is not affordable to everyone but if you compare it to other sporting events or going to a concert we think this is a good price.”

The marathon event will also be open to non-elite athletes, in another Olympic first.

Tickets for the Olympics will go on sale in February 2023, and the Paralympic tickets will go on sale in Autumn 2023. the registration process for games volunteers will open at the beginning of 2023. 

Although the games are mostly being held in Paris, there are multiple events held outside the capital – including surfing which will be held in the French overseas territory of Tahiti, roughly 15,000km from Paris.

Equestrian events will be held outside Paris at the Palace of Versailles, while sailing be held in Marseille and handball in Lille. Meanwhile the football tournaments will be spread around 6 cities – Marseille, Nice, Lyon, Saint-Etienne, Bordeaux and Nantes.

Referring to the famous Paris-Saint-Germain v Olympique Marseille football rivalry, Estanguet remarked: “In a sporting sense it’s more usual to see competition between Paris and Marseille, but they are working together for the Games.”

There is also a programme known as Terre de jeux, in which towns can partner with the Games for Olympics-related events and the Olympic committee have created a sports programme for schools that involves 30 minutes of activity per day for primary schools – the intended legacy of the Games is not around physical infrastructure but in getting the nation moving and taking part in sports.

Keep in touch with all the latest news on the Games in our Paris 2024 section.

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City of lights out: Paris energy-saving measures come into effect

The first energy-saving measures for Paris' monuments and cultural establishments, as outlined by Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo on September 13th, came into effect on Friday. Here's the full list of what's changed.

City of lights out: Paris energy-saving measures come into effect

Lights will be turned off earlier

All external ornamental facades and municipal monuments managed by the city will now go dark at 10pm.

The buildings affected are:

  • L’Hôtel de Ville
  • The 17 district mairies
  • QJ (the former mairie of the 1st arrondissement)
  • L’Académie du Climat (former mairie of the 4th arrondissement)
  • La Fabrique de la Solidarité (former mairie of the 2nd arrondissement)
  • La Caserne Napoléon (4th arrondissement)
  • La Tour Saint-Jacques (4th arrondissement)

Lights will be switched off at cultural establishments at 10pm or as soon as performances finish. This affects:

  • Le théâtre du Châtelet
  • La Gaité Lyrique
  • Le théâtre de la Ville
  • Le Musée d’Art Moderne
  • Le Petit Palais
  • Le Palais Galliera
  • Le Musée Carnavalet
  • Le Musée de la Vie romantique

And the Eiffel Tower, which is usually bathed in a warm glow until 1am, will now be turned off at 11.45pm.

However, as previously announced at the press conference on September 13th, for safety reasons, public lighting in the streets of Paris will remain on.

Swimming pool temperatures will be slightly cooler

This measure also came into effect this weekend.

Water temperatures have been reduced to 26C from 27C and air temperatures to 25C from 26C in the capital’s 31 pools that are managed by the city.

READ ALSO: Reader question: When should I turn my heating on in France this year?

Other previously announced energy-saving measures related to the heating of city buildings and included turning on the heating 30 minutes later in the morning and, for administrative buildings, pushing the start of the winter heating season back by one month to All Saints’ Day holidays (November 1st).

And, depending on the quality of the construction, temperatures will be gradually scaled back by 1C to be set at 18C during the day and 12C at night and when buildings are unoccupied.

The heating measures will be implemented in consultation with the users of the buildings. But buildings that house vulnerable people, such as care homes and nurseries, are exempt from these measures.

The measures form part of the city’s energy-saving plans agreed to protect residents from long-term price hikes and to help combat global warming.

They came as energy prices surged to record levels at the end of August – they reached €1,000/MWh, 12 times higher than the price seen in the same period a year earlier.

These new measures will save around 60GWh of energy in the coming weeks, i.e. more than 80 percent of the city’s 10 percent energy-saving target for this winter.

Further energy-saving measures are set to be announced soon, the Mayor’s office said in a press release on Friday.