The organizers of the Paris 2024 Olympics will lift the veil this Monday on their ticketing strategy, an essential financial windfall to complete their budget of 4 billion euros that will be examined and revised by the end of the year.
After unveiling in December, with a lot of visuals, an unprecedented opening ceremony entirely on the Seine, whose invoice has not yet been displayed, the organizing committee (Cojo) will present on Monday elements of ticket prices and calendar at its board of directors.
We already know that more than 13 million tickets will be available for sale in 2023 for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Of course, the pandemic scenario is still running, after two Olympic editions behind closed doors, in Tokyo and Beijing. A year ago, the head of the Ocog, Tony Estanguet, told parliamentarians that the committee was working on several models.
This is the no-hitch scenario presented on Monday, with an expected fill rate of 85% for the Olympics. And not everything is settled yet.
Budget of $4 billion
The budget of the Ocog, which now stands at nearly 4 billion euros (3.980 billion, according to the latest figures released in February), is based on sponsorship revenues, those of ticketing – for a third – and a contribution from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The round table – 1.1 billion euros – is not yet completed on the sponsors’ side, and the objective has been set to raise 80% of the funds by the end of the year.
The interministerial delegate to the Olympics, Michel Cadot, recently granted satisfaction to the Cojo: “in terms of progress in terms of respect for the timetable (…) as in terms of budget, the files are very well controlled,” he explained to the Assembly before the working group on the Olympics.
After the December 2020 revision, which resulted in savings of 300 million, expenditure and revenue will once again be scrutinized. The next budget revision is scheduled for the end of 2022.
The executive has asked the organizers to refer the matter to its audit committee to review the budget by the summer, especially since the Cojo could see its forecasts hit by the inflationary context or by possible economic consequences related to the war in Ukraine.
Alongside these budgetary issues, the organizers manage other issues, such as the torch relay. More than a dozen departments have publicly refused the entrance ticket at 150,000 euros excluding taxes for the passage of the flame, deeming it prohibitive.
The Ocog insists that it does not make money from the operation and takes care of part of it. Not all departments have yet responded.
Basketball not happy
And some test sites are also talking about them. After the shooting site in La Courneuve, on track to stay there, it is now the site of the basketball qualifying events, one of the halls of the Parc des Expos at the Porte de Versailles, which is causing a lot of ink to flow, especially on Twitter.
«How can we accept to see basketball, the most popular Co sport at the Olympics, being sent to the exhibition park?” said Evan Fournier, Olympic vice-champion with the French team in Tokyo, last week.
«Of course, these are probably not the standards of an NBA hall, but it’s also what we like at the Olympic Games, to have a ‘horizontality’ between all sports,” said five-time Olympic biathlon champion Martin Fourcade, now a member of the IOC Athletes’ Commission.
For its part, the Cojo explains that meetings are underway with the international basketball federation to find “technical solutions” for the room’s layout.
But all this did not appease the basketball player who tried to train handball, who will play in Lille, in his fight: “Seriously, I am a handball player. I am told that I will live the Olympic Games @Paris2024 in Lille. I PETE A LEAD. It is a disgrace. Don’t let it happen. How many gold medals did you bring back to France? What a lack of respect.”