Paris 2024 opening ceremony attendees estimate cut to 300,000

February 1, 2024 4:35 pm

[Source: Reuters]

The number of people set to attend the opening ceremony of this year’s Olympics has been estimated at about 300,000, French Interior minister Gerald Darmanin said, around half as many as were previously expected.

The opening ceremony will be a six kilometre parade along the River Seine on July 26. It will take place amid security concerns as France is on a high terrorism alert.

“The idea is that there will be 100,000 people on the lower quays (with paying tickets) and more than 220,000 people on the upper quays (with free tickets),” Darmanin told French TV channel France 2.

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“Then there are all those who live there and who will be able to rent, have parties along the Seine.”

The last time Darmanin estimated the number of attendees was in May 2023, when he said up to 600,000 were expected at the opening ceremony.

Paris 2024 organisers said the estimate was not final.

“As the French government has indicated, the final decision on the size of the stadium will be taken at the end of the consultation process in spring 2024,” they said in a statement to Reuters.

“When it comes to security, the Minister of the Interior is in the best position to take the right decisions. As you know, it is the State that is responsible for security and for welcoming the spectators who will attend the opening ceremony free of charge on the upper quays.

“Paris 2024 has been working for many months in close collaboration with the public authorities to calibrate the capacity, for which we are taking many parameters into account. Consultations are still underway, under the authority of the chief of Police.”