Opening ceremonies crowd size reduced by France for Paris Summer Olympics

The French government announced on Tuesday that the number of spectators allowed to watch the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics along the Seine River in Paris will be limited to 325,000. This confirms that the initial plans to offer tickets to hundreds of thousands of spectators have been reduced.

According to the Interior Ministry, around 100,000 spectators will have the opportunity to secure excellent viewing positions on the lower section of the riverbanks. Additionally, an additional 222,000 individuals will be able to enjoy the boat parade from an elevated vantage point without any cost.

The government, public authorities, or the Olympic organizing committee will select the spectators from the latter group. Only those with an invitation will be granted entry, as stated by the ministry.

The International Olympic Committee did not respond immediately to an email seeking comment.

Two years ago, organizers proposed making the opening festivities on July 26 accessible to a large crowd of up to 600,000 people. The grand gathering was planned to span a distance of 6 kilometers (approximately 3.7 miles), stretching from the east of Paris to the Trocadéro.

In a surprising move, the Paris police prefecture decided to reduce the initially proposed crowd size by half, bringing it down to 300,000 people.

Government officials are aware of potential security risks, according to Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin.

“To ensure crowd control, we cannot invite everyone to attend,” Darmanin expressed, as reported by The Associated Press. “Due to the prevailing security concerns, particularly in light of recent terrorist threats, we are compelled to make it accessible yet restricted.”

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In recent years, French law enforcement officials have been dealing with the challenges of terrorism and politically motivated violence.

During a presentation to the French Senate, Darmanin stated that the nautical parade, which signifies the start of the games, will feature approximately 90 boats carrying 206 delegations, with a total of 10,500 athletes taking part.

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