Paris Olympics tickets viewed as too pricey, poll finds
March 6, 2023 06:25 AM
Around four out of five French people think tickets for the 2024 Paris Olympics are too expensive, a poll showed Sunday, underlining growing public frustration with organisers over the issue.
A total 82 percent of respondents said that tickets for the games were "not accessible in terms of price", according to a survey from the Odoxa polling group for the RTL media group and sports betting firm Winamax.
Around the same proportion of people (79 percent) found the ticketing process to be "complicated," the survey found.
The president of the 2024 Paris organising committee Tony Estanguet has been forced on the defensive in the last fortnight after the first major release of tickets to the public under a lottery system.
Successful applicants have been obliged to buy places for three events at the same time, with many finding sports priced at a minimum 80 euros, meaning a family of four could face a bill of nearly 1,000 euros.
"We're not more expensive than London in 2012," Estanguet told RTL radio on February 22. "It's the same for the football and rugby World Cups. These are the prices."
The official slogan for the Paris event is "Games Wide Open" and former canoeing gold medallist Estanguet promised "a large number of tickets at accessible prices, for all the sports" when the ticketing policy was announced in March last year.
Organisers have pledged a million tickets at 24 euros ($25) and almost half at under 50 euros, but the difficulties in obtaining these cut-price offers appears to be the reason for the public frustration.
Social media has been filled with comments denouncing prices of up to 690 euros for a place at the athletics, as well as a lack of availability for sports such as fencing and climbing that have quickly sold out.
Around three million tickets were on sale in the first phase, with a further seven million to come in another two rounds.
The second phase will begin in May which will see applicants able to buy single tickets, including for the opening and closing ceremonies.
There will follow a third and final ticket selling phase at the end of 2023.
In an editorial this week, left-leaning newspaper Le Monde said the first reactions to the ticketing system were "worrying" given the objectives of organisers to make the games accessible and a popular success.
"Tony Estanguet might claim that 'tens of thousands of people are delighted', but the dissatisfaction of the public is a threat when ticket sales are only just starting," the newspaper added.