Crowd numbers allowed attend Paris Olympics opening ceremony halved

France's government on Wednesday said it would halve the number of spectators allowed to attend the Paris Olympics opening ceremony – the first to be held outside the usual stadium setting – in order to account for organisational and security challenges.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said some 300,000 ticketed spectators would be able to attend the mega show on the River Seine on 26 July.

The traditional Olympics opening parade of athletes and sporting delegations is to take place in boats along a 6-kilometre route of the river. Both banks will be lined by spectators behind multiple security cordons.

Speaking to TV channel France 2, Darmanin said plans would now allow for 100,000 paying spectators with a waterside view, and more than 220,000 people with free tickets on the river’s upper embankments.

His announcement comes on the back of months of speculation about the size of the crowd permitted to watch the flotilla.

Darmanin had earlier referred to around 600,000 spectators when speaking in the Senate. He did not give a reason for why those figures were revised.

Widespread security

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