In a significant update on the 2024 Paris Olympics, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin disclosed that an estimated 300,000 individuals are anticipated to attend the opening ceremony on July 26. This figure marks a notable adjustment, as it is half the previously projected number.
The opening ceremony is set to unfold as a captivating six-kilometer parade along the picturesque River Seine, creating a spectacular scene against the backdrop of the iconic cityscape. However, this celebration is not without its challenges, given the heightened security concerns in France, which is currently under a high terrorism alert.
Darmanin outlined the distribution of attendees, revealing that approximately 100,000 individuals will occupy the lower quays with paid tickets, while an additional 220,000 are expected on the upper quays with free admission. Moreover, the local residents will play a role in the festivities, being able to rent spaces and host gatherings along the Seine.
It’s worth noting that the initial estimate in May 2023 suggested an even larger crowd, with expectations soaring up to 600,000 participants at the opening ceremony. However, Paris 2024 organizers clarified that these figures are not final.
The organizers emphasized that the ultimate decision regarding the stadium’s capacity will be determined at the conclusion of the consultation process in spring 2024. They pointed out that the Ministry of the Interior holds the authority to make crucial security decisions, underscoring the state’s responsibility for ensuring the safety of spectators attending the opening ceremony free of charge on the upper quays.
Paris 2024 has been actively collaborating with public authorities for months, working closely to fine-tune the capacity considerations. Ongoing consultations, under the leadership of the chief of police, aim to strike the right balance, considering various parameters to create a safe and enjoyable experience for all attendees.