France’s Minister of Interior Gérald Darmanin has said that around 300,000 spectators will be able to watch the opening ceremony of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in the summer – half the amount that was originally envisioned for the event on the River Seine.
During an interview with the France 2 television channel, Darmanin said that 100,000 fans will be seated on the lower platforms along the river, with more than 220,000 fans on the higher platforms.
People in the lower platforms will pay for tickets, while the seats in the higher platforms will be made available for free. Darmanin added that people who live in houses along the Seine will be free to watch the ceremony and hold parties.
Paris 2024 will set a first for an Olympic opening ceremony as it will take place outside of a stadium environment. Organisers announced in December 2021 that the ceremony would take place along the Seine, with boats for each national delegation.
The parade will come to the end of its 6km route in front of the Trocadéro, and each boat will be equipped with cameras to allow television and online viewers to see the athletes up close.
When the initial announcement was made, there had been plans for at least 600,000 spectators to attend the festivities. French President Emmanuel Macron recently revealed that there were backup plans in place for the opening ceremony amid concerns that the event would pose security risks, and Darmanin has now revealed that a scaled-back ceremony is scheduled.
The Paris 2024 Paralympics opening ceremony is also set to take place outside of a traditional stadium setting, with the athletes’ parade set to stretch from the Champs-Elysées to Place de la Concorde.
The Olympics will take place from July 26 to August 11, with the Paralympics to follow from August 28 to September 8.