PARIS (AP) — The second round of ticket sales for next year's Paris Olympics started Thursday with only the lucky winners of a lottery being able to buy about 1.5 million seats for the most prestigious competitions, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies.
The Paris Games, which run from July 26-Aug. 11, 2024, will feature 32 sports across 37 sites.
HOW IT WORKS
Four million of people applied for the online lottery, organizers said. Winners in the random draw have a 48-hour timeslot to make their choice on a single online platform open to all fans worldwide. They receive an email two days beforehand and can buy up to 30 tickets per person — but no more than six per event, limited to four for the most popular finals and the opening and closing ceremonies.
Michael Aloïsio, the deputy general manager of the Paris Olympics, said the system is made so that winners can easily buy seats for family and friends.
Tickets in many sports — especially the cheapest ones — are expected to sell out quickly.
“We put on sale the most emblematic tickets of the games,” Aloïsio said, adding that Olympic fans who accessed the platform on Thursday “are over the moon.”
"But those who will be drawn in the next few days will obviously have much less choice,” he said.
Tickets are available in several categories according to price range. About 10% have been set to the lowest price of 24 euros ($26). The same proportion is above 200 euros ($218), Aloïsio said.
Top prices include prestigious athletics, swimming and basketball finals.
Tickets for the women’s 100-meter final on Aug. 3 are 690 euros ($752) for the best seats. For the men’s 100 final the next day, it’s 980 euros ($1,069).
Skateboard and breakdance range from 24 to 160 euros ($26 to 174).
“The whole challenge of ticketing is to be able to balance our budget without losing price affordability,” Aloïsio said.
Ticket sales represent about a third of the budget for the Paris Olympics, which is estimated at 4.4 billion euros ($4.8 billion).
It's too late to apply for the draw, but there will be further ticket opportunities at the end of the year, organizers said. The exact date has not yet been set.
In addition, an official ticket re-sale platform will open next spring.
Tickets for the Paralympics go online on Oct. 4 but not in a lottery, with about 3 million tickets expected to be sold. Those games will take place from Aug. 28-Sept. 8.
A total of 3.25 million tickets were sold in the first phase earlier this year, featuring packages for multiples sports. Some fans then expressed frustration with the system, pointing to limited choice and high overall costs.
“The event is so much awaited that we unfortunately know that many are going to be disappointed,” Aloïsio said.
”People have seen the images of the (Olympic) sites that are extraordinary, from the beach volleyball at the foot of the Eiffel Tower to horseback riding at the Palace of Versailles and all urban sports at the Place de la Concorde, everyone wants to get hands on tickets," he said. "But it’s not over yet.”
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