A 100 meter final at the Stade de France at almost 1,000 euros per place. Ditto for the same distance in swimming or for the men’s basketball final with the probable presence of the American dream team. For a year and the opening of the ticket office for the Paris 2024 Games, criticism has continued to rain down on the Olympic high mass, announced “popular and accessible for all” by the president of the Olympic Committee. organization (COJO) Tony Estanguet. Wrongly? The answer is necessarily complex, between the great moments reserved for the most fortunate and the magic of attending the Games in less popular disciplines for 24 euros. And even for not a cent in some cases…

Indeed, there will be no shortage of opportunities to experience the Games as a spectator without breaking the bank, and even mortgaging your house. Starting with the long-awaited opening ceremony on the banks of the Seine and its approximately 150,000 free tickets to attend from the high quays. However, with the strong constraint of having to be selected and, a priori, to live in Ile de France. Even if, for the moment, all of the award criteria have not yet been revealed and are still the subject of arbitration on the method and deployment put in place. “Our objective, through the method of distribution, is to ensure that it is as wide as possible, and that it is as popular as possible, the distribution draws at the end of a competition , description on dedicated sites for example,” explained Stéphane Troussel, president of the Seine-Saint-Denis departmental council, at the microphone of France 3.

In other words, you will have to be vigilant, organized, have the right connections and… show a little luck to benefit from these free tickets. Otherwise, another possibility is to know someone living on the banks of the Seine – somewhere between the Austerlitz bridge and the Iéna bridge opposite the Trocadéro – and be prepared to organize a small evening with a balcony and/or a view of the ceremony. In terms of events, the 42.195km marathon for men (August 10) and women (August 11) will offer multiple free spots during the Paris-Versailles-Paris loop. Like in front of the Opéra Garnier or the Château de Versailles. However, you will probably have to come very early to be well placed in these strategic and culturally emblematic places. On the other hand, for the arrival located on the Esplanade des Invalides, tickets will have a cost.

Which is the case for all competitions accessible free of charge, with the exception of the final packaging (and sometimes the departure too). This will be the case for the road cycling event which will extend over 273 kilometers for the men’s event on August 3 and over 158 kilometers for the women the next day, with revealed routes available on the Games website. Without forgetting the two time trials contested on July 27, with the possibility of attending them free of charge in the Bois de Vincennes for example. The men’s (July 30) and women’s (July 31) triathlon will also crisscross the streets of Paris, and hopefully the waves of the Seine, with only one paid location: the Pont Alexandre III. Which leaves a lot of possibilities. As for open water swimming with the 10km on August 8 (women) and 9 (men), the banks of the Seine are free to follow the progress of the swimmers. Finally, regarding the events in Paris, the walk will also be followed without paying on August 1st and 7th.

The province will also be entitled to its “free” sailing events in Marseille, which it will be possible to follow in paid stands on the Prado sea wall, or without paying anything from different places on the Phoenician coast. Ditto for surfing in Tahiti from July 27 to 29. And then for those who want to follow the events on giant screens and celebrate, there will be multiple celebration sites in France and in the capital.