Athletes slam Paris 2024 Olympics over exorbitant ticket prices

·1-min read
© Anne-Christine Poujoulat, AFP

Athletes have joined the clamour of criticism at the high cost of tickets for the 2024 Paris Olympics, decried as undermining organisers' promises of a Games accessible to all.

Phase two of sales got underway on May 11, with nearly 1.5 million individual tickets available, after over three million were sold as multi-event packs during phase one.

Sales have been swift, with two thirds of the latest batch snapped up on the first day, organisers said.

Tickets for the men's judo heavyweight final, in which France's triple Olympic gold medallist Teddy Riner is expected to compete, sold out in two hours.

"Frankly it started very strong, almost too much so. It's proof of the huge enthusiasm," the organising committee said.

But just as during phase one, there were vocal protests, particularly on social media, that the exorbitant prices conflicted with the "Games for all" promised by Paris 2024 chief Tony Estanguet.

"We expected the criticism, we were warned that the sales periods were a difficult time. But we underestimated the scale," conceded Estanguet, a former three-time Olympic canoeing champion.

"With four million registered in the draw for 1.5 million tickets on sale, we knew that some people would be disappointed."

Of the promised one million seats at 24 euros ($26), the lowest price for next year's Olympics, nearly 150,000 went up for sale in phase two.

But as these tickets were the first to go, potential buyers quickly found themselves facing much higher prices.

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