The option of the Place de la Concorde had already been announced last June.
To satisfy the request of the Paralympic movement to have a gauge at least equivalent to that of the Stade de France in ceremonial mode, that is to say at least 60,000 people, the project was amended and extended to most famous avenue in Paris.
This ceremony, validated by the board of directors of the organizing committee on Thursday, will be able to accommodate 65,000 people: 35,000 people (well 35,000) in paying places and 30,000 free of charge (well 30,000) will be able to attend the parade of delegations – 184 in total – – which will also take place at the bottom of the avenue des Champs-Elysées.
It will take place on the evening of August 28, said the president of the organizing committee Tony Estanguet, who wants to make “the Games as inclusive as possible”, with “11 days of (Paralympic) competitions which must change the world “.
Place de la Concorde, an emblematic square in Paris, will host urban sports during the Olympic Games. Its stages and stands will be used and transformed for this celebration: 4,400 athletes, and 7,000 people in total with their hosts, are expected to parade.
This show, which could attract 300 million viewers, will be designed “like a music festival” using the stages installed on the square, explained Thierry Reboul, director of ceremonies.
It is the director Thomas Jolly who will orchestrate all the JOP ceremonies, and in particular the unprecedented opening ceremony on the Seine for the Olympic Games.
“Behind this ceremony is to change the way we look at disability and to move forward on certain issues that are still a little behind in terms of transport and accessibility”, commented para-rowing champion, Perle Bouge, during the press conference.
The Minister of Sports and the Olympic Games, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, hailed the “symbol of unity” of the Place de la Concorde.
She also indicated that the decree on major sporting events, which are protected by unencrypted broadcasting, would be “readjusted” to include parasports.
The modernization of this decree dating back to 2004 had already been announced in January 2022 by the Ministers of Sports and Culture at the time to integrate more women’s sport and parasport.
The first deputy mayor of Paris, Emmanuel Grégoire, recalled that “each cobblestone of the Place de la Concorde bears the traces of history”. In view of the Games, the square will undergo “renovations” in particular the gatehouses and the fountains, he specified.
The two closing ceremonies must take place at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis.
The cost of the opening ceremonies has still not been disclosed. The vice-president of the Ile-de-France region, Patrick Karam, indicated that there will be “an additional cost, we will all bear it collectively”.