Monday, June 17, 2024

Lord Coe Worries Over Cost Barriers for 2024 Paris Olympics

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Eamily Evans
Eamily Evans
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In the realm of sporting extravaganzas, the Olympics stand as the pinnacle of human athletic achievement. The anticipation, the excitement, and the unifying spirit it brings to the world are unparalleled. However, as the countdown to the 2024 Paris Olympics commences, there is a growing concern echoing within the corridors of the sporting world. Lord Coe, the esteemed president of World Athletics, has voiced his apprehensions about a looming issue that threatens to cast a shadow over the grandeur of the event—sky-high costs.

The Concern of Sky-High Costs

Lord Coe, a figure synonymous with the world of athletics, is raising a pertinent question: Can fans and athletes alike afford to partake in the 2024 Paris Olympics? The answer, it seems, is far from reassuring. The official Paris 2024 website has ticket prices that are, in Lord Coe’s words, “sky-high.” A ticket for an athletics session at the iconic Stade de France could set you back as much as £850, while the cheapest admission for an evening session comes in at £170.

2024 Paris Olympics
2024 Paris Olympics

Athletics: The Pinnacle of Olympic Sport

Athletics, often hailed as the heart and soul of the Olympics, remains the number one Olympic sport. Recent events have only solidified its status, with sell-out crowds gracing the World Championships held in Budapest. These developments have Lord Coe pondering the implications of such exorbitant costs.

“These are going to be the most expensive ticket prices in an athletics arena that we have witnessed at an Olympic Games,” he asserted. “We asked for a balance.”

Striking a Delicate Balance

Lord Coe recognizes the intricacies involved in organizing an event of this magnitude. While he acknowledges the challenges faced by organizing committees, his primary concern lies with the fans and athletes. “I don’t want fans being costed out of the stadium, and I certainly don’t want athletes and their families being costed out of the stadium,” he emphatically states.

The Importance of Affordable Prices

The crux of the matter, according to Lord Coe, is ensuring that the stadium is filled with passionate fans who can afford to be there. Reflecting on his experience with the London Olympics, he emphasized the significance of a well-thought-out ticket strategy. “Our ticket strategy was built three years before the Games. We knew more about our fans at the end of that. We had some expensive tickets in there but we also had a lot at affordable prices.”

Acknowledging the Sacrifices

Lord Coe is quick to acknowledge the sacrifices made by athletes and their families in the pursuit of sporting excellence. “If you look over the course of an athlete’s career, there are very few athletes that are able to sit down and say they got in commercial sponsorship more than what their families put in,” he notes. “Most are sitting there at the end of a 15-year career and saying it was my families that bore the brunt of what I did, in terms of funding time, commitment, and all the things. I want to be respectful for them, so that’s the challenge.”

Lumpy Ticket Prices and Future Plans

Addressing the issue of ticket prices, Lord Coe points out that they can be “lumpy.” In Budapest, for instance, very affordable price tickets were made available. Looking ahead to the 2025 World Championships in Tokyo, he pledges to ensure a similar balance. While premium tickets will always exist, Lord Coe firmly believes that Olympic stadiums should be filled with individuals who are driven by their love for the sport, not solely by their financial means.

BBC Sports Personality of the Year

In a tangential but interesting note, Lord Coe shares his perspective on the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award. He indicates his vote for world heptathlon champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson, who made a remarkable comeback after recovering from a serious Achilles injury.

“The issue is that there are two truly global sports; one is football, one is track and field. Both Katarina and Josh Kerr won a world championship in one of the most fiercely competitive sports on the planet. Do I think there was room for both of them on that list? Of course, I do. There is only Katarina Johnson-Thompson, so of course, I’m going to say, as the president of World Athletics, I would be voting for her because she’s a world champion, it was an extraordinary comeback, and she won a global world championship.”

In Conclusion

The concerns raised by Lord Coe shed light on an issue that extends beyond the world of sports. The 2024 Paris Olympics are an event of global significance, and ensuring accessibility for fans and athletes is crucial. Balancing the financial aspects of such a colossal event is undoubtedly challenging, but it is a challenge that must be met.

As we eagerly anticipate the spectacle that the 2024 Paris Olympics promises to be, let us hope that efforts will be made to strike that delicate balance between the love for the sport and the economic realities that govern it.

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