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Paris 2024 Olympics to auction 300,000 free opening ceremony tickets

The Local France
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Paris 2024 Olympics to auction 300,000 free opening ceremony tickets
Officials do tests using several boats for the future opening ceremony of the Paris Olympics in 2024. (Photo by Bertrand GUAY / AFP)

France will offer 300,000 free tickets for the Paris 2024 Olympics opening ceremony, with a lottery expected to begin in January.

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The opening ceremony for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games will take place in less than a year - on July 26th - and the event has already been described as 'grandiose' and 'audacious'.

Now, according to reporting by RMC, we know the total number of spectators that will be able to attend the event in person. Officials had been waiting to confirm the number of spectators, as security planning was still ongoing.

The French media reported on Tuesday that a ministerial source confirmed that 400,000 people would be able to attend, with 300,000 on the upper levels and 100,000 in the lower levels, on the quais, close to the river Seine.

The quais will be seated spaces with paid-for tickets -  most of these have already been sold, with only a few of the highest priced tickets (over €2,500 per ticket) are still available.

READ MORE: Hotels, tickets and scams: What to know about visiting Paris for the 2024 Olympics

As for the 300,000 spots in the upper level, those tickets will be free for standing room.

France's ministry of interior will launch some form of lottery to offer up the free tickets for the upper platform spots in January 2024, although the final details are still subject to a security meeting at the end of November. 

This ceremony will involve boats passing along the river - from the Pont d'Austerlitz, close to Jardin des Plantes in the 12th arrondissement, passing by some of Paris' best-known monuments, and ending at the Eiffel Tower.

In 2022, the interior minister, Gérald Darmanin, had announced a possible capacity of 600,000 for the opening event.

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While the total number of spectators is lower than some initial estimates, the amount will still surpass all previous opening ceremonies, which have taken place in stadiums. For instance, around 80,000 people attended the London 2012 kick-off at the Olympic Stadium. 

It is possible the number of spectators could still shrink if there are serious security concerns. 

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