Paris 2024: “no totem figure” for the number of spectators who will attend the opening ceremony of the Games


The ambitions displayed for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, which will take place on the Seine in Paris on July 26, 2024, should be revised downwards. Bringing together 600,000 spectators (100,000 on the lower platforms with paid access, 500,000 on the upper platforms with free access), which had been an objective announced very early on, both by the organizers and by the government, appears more today as an intangible milestone. “We don’t have an absolute goal. We don’t have a totem number. It’s not absolutely 600,000”declared, Tuesday, March 14, Tony Estanguet, the president of the Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Cojop), at the microphone of FranceInfo.

The prospect of having to manage the influx of 600,000 people on the quays coming to attend the nautical parade of delegations over 6 kilometers along the Seine, imagined by the Head of State, Emmanuel Macron and the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has given rise to many warnings in recent months. Both from security managers, but also from transport managers.

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The president of the Ile-de-France region, Valérie Pécresse (LR) thus argued that the transport capacity would be “insufficient” with a gauge of 600,000 people as this opening ceremony day will result in “the closure of almost all the bridges”the metro being “the only way to cross the Seine”. Ile-de-France Mobilités estimates that it can manage up to 500,000 people in total – therefore 400,000 on the high quays.

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“The gauge is not yet stopped, explained for her part Anne Hidalgo in an interview with the teamTuesday. We want to welcome as many spectators as possible to the high platforms to watch the ceremony in good and safe conditions. We are working on it”.

“We will refine the spectator areas according to the show” who will be “designed by Thomas Jolly”added Mr. Estanguet, adding that the important thing is to “ ensure that the people who will have access to this ceremony can have a great experience”.

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