The opening ceremony of the Paris Olympics on the Seine will be “scheduled for the end of the year”, Thierry Reboul, director of ceremonies for the organizing committee, said this Tuesday during a round table.

“At the end of the year, we will be stuck,” he said during a day of debate around sport, “Demain le sport” on Radio-France (franceinfo, l’Equipe, FranceTV).

This Olympic ceremony, unprecedented on a river and outside a stadium, is an organizational and security challenge and its artistic aspect is kept ultra-secret.

Mr. Reboul specified that there would be parts of the rehearsal “out of sight” but other passages of the ceremony, “those that we cannot hide”, will serve as “teasers” to make the publicity for this great celebration planned for the opening of the Olympic Games on July 26 and on which the organizers are banking heavily.

“1.5 billion viewers are expected,” he said, alongside Serge Boulanger, prefect in charge of the Olympics at the Paris police headquarters. “The first camera shot was done the day before yesterday,” confided Mr. Reboul, with “130 cameras” on the big day to film the ceremony.

Special feature of this show: there will be spectators who will pay for their tickets on the lower quays of the Seine and hundreds of thousands of people on the high quays who will be able to attend for free.

The exact number is not yet known: it was initially 100,000 paid places, and 500,000 free, and the subject of numerous discussions and even friction between the Paris town hall, the organizing committee and the police headquarters.

“We are in the finalization phase with Paris-2024 and the city of Paris,” said Serge Boulanger, adding that a precise number would be given “in the coming weeks.” To attend even for free, you will need to reserve your place via a ticket office set up by the Ministry of the Interior.