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Friday, July 12, 2024

Wemby, Mbappé Give Paris Olympics Ticket Sales Big Boost

  • Organizers begin third wave of ticket sales, but without lottery
  • Homegrown star power acts as powerful attraction for fans
Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports

Homegrown French stars will loom large in the next wave of ticket sales for the upcoming Paris 2024 Summer Olympics.

Organizers put tickets for soccer, basketball, handball, and sailing competitions being held outside of Paris on sale Wednesday. Fans are expected to clamor to see Victor Wembanyama, recently selected first overall in the 2023 NBA Draft by San Antonio, and Kylian Mbappé, who led France to the 2022 FIFA World Cup final and is one of the world’s highest-paid athletes.

The latest batch of ticket sales also are beginning amid a troubled stretch for the Paris 2024 Organizing Committee. In recent weeks, the event has been hit with serious corruption allegations, controversy over alcohol restrictions, and issues surrounding high ticket prices and planned treatment of the city’s homeless during the Games.

More than 6.8 million tickets have already been sold so far for Paris 2024 during two prior rounds. The tickets for soccer, basketball, handball, and sailing — all competitions set to be held at least in part in various regional locations around France — were originally scheduled to be sold later this year, but organizers accelerated the timetable for this third round of sales amid the strong demand.

The tickets are being sold globally on a first-come, first-serve basis and without any sort of lottery that had been used in prior rounds.

Paris 2024 organizers are openly touting the likely presence of Mbappé at next year’s Olympics, even as it remains unclear whether he will be allowed by his professional club to play.

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