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Exorbitant ticket prices for the 2024 Olympics

Since May 11, the opening date of the second phase of ticket sales for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, social networks have been flooded with outraged testimonies at the exorbitant prices demanded to attend the various sporting events. Internet users vehemently denounce excessive prices, reaching financial heights, for the majority of Olympic disciplines. A first price close to 700 euros was noted for athletics sessions (680 euros), followed closely by 500 euros for swimming, and 480 euros to attend very popular sports such as gymnastics, fencing and judo, which were quickly declared "complete".

tickets for the 2024 Olympics
tickets for the 2024 Olympics

Faced with the scale of the criticism, the Minister of Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, tried to defend these high prices by highlighting the logic of supply and demand. She said that if some sports enthusiasts are willing to pay such amounts, it is good for them. However, this argument has caused great excitement, because it seems to contradict the promises made by the organizers, who had mentioned the possibility of putting tickets at 24 euros (the first price) back into circulation during this second phase of sales. However, the cheapest tickets sold out quickly during the first phase, where those selected had to put together packs of several seats.

The controversy is also growing with regard to the promise to organize "popular" Olympic Games. Some Internet users and journalists do not hesitate to compare the prices charged during the London Olympic Games in 2012 with those of Paris-2024. The figures are striking: in London, one million tickets were offered at 24 euros, while in Paris, only 1 million affordable tickets are available. Furthermore, prices have literally exploded in certain disciplines where French athletes excel, which increases public resentment in the face of prices that seem inaccessible to many.

If the organizing committee insists on the need to finance the Olympic Games through ticket revenues, many critics question the level of disconnection with the average purchasing power of spectators. In particular, the prohibitive prices of tickets for the finals of popular events such as athletics or gymnastics only accentuate the frustration of the public and the athletes themselves, who deplore that it is easier to participate at the Olympics than attending as a spectator.

Virgile Caillet, sports economist and general director of the sport and cycle union, tries to temper the controversy by justifying these high prices by the exceptional nature of certain sporting events, such as the 100 meter finals in athletics or the swimming grand finals. It highlights the strong demand for these special sessions, where places are limited, and where the need to find a complex financial balance justifies the prices charged.

However, economic explanations fail to fully quell criticism over the lack of affordable tickets available to the general public. The high prices in certain disciplines, the scarcity of accessible places and the inaccessibility for many sports fans arouse incomprehension and anger. However, the Minister of Sports assures that of the 10 million tickets for sale, one million are offered at 24 euros, and four million at less than 50 euros. It also says that 100,000 seats will be paid for for the opening ceremony, while another 300,000 to 400,000 seats will be free.

Beyond financial considerations, the stakes are also high for the organizers who aspire to make the Paris 2024 Olympic Games a memorable event accessible to all, reflecting the image of an open and welcoming France . The question of ticket pricing thus becomes a challenge to be taken up, to offer the French and international public an unforgettable experience during the Paris-2024 Olympic Games, while preserving the spirit of inclusion and conviviality that these Games should be. to embody.

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