• Let's go to register for the draw for the individual places for the 2024 Olympic Games, between March 15 and April 20. 1.5 million tickets will go on sale, of which about 10% will be at 24 euros.
  • A step that follows the sale of group tickets, which had caused a lot of controversy because of prices considered above ground and too expensive.
  • This second part of the sale should go better. 20 Minutes explains why.

We have long looked for a quote from ancient Greece to stick to the theme of the Olympics, but failing that, here is Latin: "Errare humanum est, perseverare diabolicum". Understand for non-fans of Remus & Romulus: "To err is human, but to persevere in error is diabolical". Too bad for historical and geographical coherence, a handful of millennia later, this saying sounds like a cautionary tale for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

This Wednesday, precisely 499 days before the opening ceremony, the second phase of sales of the Olympic Games, those of individual tickets, begins. And there is no question of a new hiccup, after a first step - the sale of group tickets - which has generated much criticism. In a statement published last week, the organization of the Olympic Games announced that 3.25 million tickets had been sold, including 400,000 tickets sold at 24 euros and nearly 70% of seats for less than 100 euros. But behind these figures that smell of success, a big controversy on the price of places, considered too expensive for 82% of the French, according to an Odoxa survey in early March.

Bis repetitia (yes, we really worked on our Latin for the article) from Wednesday? At 20 Minutes, we think not. And we give you four good reasons for that.

Because the individual seating system is simpler

What if the real problem of the first phase had not been the price of tickets but this pack system without tail or head? By forcing buyers to fade three events instead of one, the organization of the Olympic Games had precipitated controversies over the price, inflated by unwanted events. This is the opinion of Julien, 29 years old and resident in Paris, who had given up the first phase of sale in view of the prices: "Paying 70 balls for riding events that I do not care about completely to be able to have access to climbing, no thanks. I'd rather pay 200 euros for just the event I want to see than pay 100 euros for the pack of two events where I'm going to be bored to death."

Same observation and fight at Anthony, 30 freelancers and ready to leave his native Montpellier for the capital next summer, but not to see anything: "Forcing to take some tests to have others, it was an ultimate nonsense. Of course we are even more attentive to prices when we are deprived of choice. In 2023, imposing purchases was frankly disappointing and anachronistic."

Beyond letting the public take only what they want, these unit purchases have another logical advantage. "The purchase of a pack necessarily increased the price of the final basket, so we can hope for much cheaper purchases with single seats," says Emmanuelle Bonnet Oulaldj, administrator of the French National Olympic and Sports Committee and the National Sports Agency.

Because there are fewer illusions about prices

In addition to this impractical pack system, the first phase suffered "from the communication errors of the organization of the Olympic Games," points out Pierre Rondeau, sports economist. Since 2017, we have been sold popular and democratic Olympics, with 600,000 people at the opening ceremony, a marathon open to amateurs... By force, it played on the collective unconscious, which only imagined cheap places. »

"If there are a certain number of tickets at 24 or 49 euros, especially on the flagship events, this second phase will be a success. We must not give the impression that low rates are reserved for the most unpopular events, "says Emmanuelle Bonnet Ouladj.

But since an audience warns is worth two, Julie, 34, is preparing to heat up the blue card: "I know that the places will be expensive, and I have very little hope of picking a place at 24 euros. But never mind, we only saw the Olympics once. The price of some events has already filtered out. Count between 50 and 180 euros for an archery final, 45 to 2,700 euros to attend the opening ceremony, 90 to 320 euros for handball, 125 to 980 euros for the men's final of the 100 meters in athletics... That's it, at least you won't be able to play the surprised or the disappointed.

The first phase served as a crash-test for a lot of illusions, including that of the draw. "It's a fairly rare mechanism in France," says Pierre Rondeau. Usually, when demand is greater than supply, two other ways of process are used: "first come, first served", for example in celebrity concerts, and auction. "In both cases, there is less frustration, since we were beaten by faster or richer than us. With the draw, there is the joy of having been selected, then the disappointment of falling on high prices. It's an important emotional lift." But after the multiple roller coasters of the first phase, the public should have their hearts better hooked, and "knowing that being drawn is not synonymous with good prices".

Because there will be other priorities

On the cool side, the ticketing results will fall from May 11, between the traditional holidays and the return of sunny evenings, aperitifs terraces and Instagram stories sunset lover in the background music, which should somewhat appease souls and relativize places a little expensive for the Games.

On the less cool side, spring 2023 promises to be "red" on the inflation side, with a rise in prices generally in food. Explosive prices in supermarkets that should be prioritized in criticism and anger, relegating the controversy over the price of the Olympic Games, all the same a little less important in life.

Because it's the Olympics, roh!

The first phase of sales may have been littered with controversy, but all the tickets were sold, and in just three weeks watch in hand. If the French complained or found it too expensive, they finally put the price. Prices that are not so exorbitant given the context, according to Pierre Rondeau: "The average price of a ticket for the London Games in 2012 was 60 pounds. With inflation and the exchange rate, we fall to about 90 euros, the average price of a ticket for the 2024 Games. »

And then the Olympics, "it's once every four years, the first time in a hundred years in Paris... Inevitably it has a cost, just like a finals match in the Champions League, a Beyoncé concert, etc. ", lists the specialist. What is rare is expensive, a simple basic principle of the market economy.

The Games must also be profitable, as reaffirmed by Tony Estanguet, President of the Paris 2024 Organising Committee, finally breaking with the popular 100% Olympic communication: "Ticket sales are a key programme in the financing of the Games. Ticketing [€1.24 billion budgeted] accounts for a third of our revenues, it's a strategic issue."

So everything will roll for this second phase? "Tickets will find takers," says the sports economist. Even if "with such a strong demand, for a limited supply, there were necessarily many disappointed. Not everyone will be happy enough to have a ticket to the Games. The second phase contains only 1.5 million tickets. If it should be able to circumvent polemics, it will not avoid frustration.

  • Paris 2024 Olympics
  • Olympic Games
  • Sport
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  • Inflation
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  • Controversy