Tuesday, February 21, 2023

How I got Tickets to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games pictograms
Paris 2024 Olympic Games pictograms

This was my first-ever attempt to buy tickets to an Olympic Games, and actually getting them felt 90% due to luck. These steps may not be an option if you did not complete step one, but hopefully, they provide some tips for those still awaiting their ticket window to open.

Though you are given 48 hours to create and purchase your packs, I struggled to select my desired events within the first 35 minutes of my time slot. Here are my recommendations for optimizing your time and increasing the likelihood of obtaining tickets:

1. Sign-up for the draw
This step is the gateway to purchasing Make Your Games packs for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, so if you didn't do that by the end of January 2023, you're out of luck for this round of ticketing, but you have another chance to try for the single-ticket lottery starting March 15th.

2. Be selected in the ticketing lottery
This step is entirely out of your control. If selected, you will receive an email a couple of days before your timeslot to purchase tickets.
Lottery success notification email

3. Set your alarm
The timeslot posted in the notification email will likely not be in your time zone, so be prepared to make that conversion. My particular timeslot opened at 7:00am (mountain time) on Monday the 20th. I set my alarm for 6:30am to ensure I was awake, my computer was started, and I had my lists and links in order. If your slot is later in the day an alarm will be a helpful reminder to log in on time.

4. Prepare a prioritized list of available events
Not all events have tickets available for purchase during the Make Your Games packs phase, so double-check your options. Tickets to the Opening Ceremonies and many of the medal events will be available in the single-ticket sale later this spring. If you want tickets to a specific event within a sport, good luck to you. The more popular the sport - such as swimming and artistic gymnastics - the quicker the tickets sell. Some events are also more expensive than others due to anticipated demand and if medals will be awarded.

5. Give yourself a head start
Before your timeslot, open the email with your "Access my timeslot" link. Next, you can expedite the process by clicking the provided link, entering your email on the login page, then typing in your password in the next window and waiting to submit until the exact moment your timeslot is scheduled to open.

6. Select your first event
The first event added to your pack can determine what will be available for the remaining two events in your Games pack. I made the mistake of not double-checking that I selected the correct number of tickets, and it cost me precious time (and probably money). You must purchase the same number of tickets for each of the three events in your pack so if you need a mixed number of tickets, be organized about what goes in each pack.

For example:
I wanted four tickets (12 total) to the Eventing - Cross-Country, Grand Prix Dressage qualifier, and Show Jumping Team qualifier (i.e. horse events, for the uninitiated). I also wanted two tickets to watch Swimming, Shooting, and Athletics (six total). In a perfect world, these groupings would have been two separate packs of tickets. Since things didn't go exactly to plan, I ended up buying two packs with four tickets (12 total per pack) to a mix-and-match of events, some of which weren't my preferences.

7. Make sure that your purchase is completed
You must complete the purchase of each pack within a specific timeframe (I think it's 15-20 minutes), so keep an eye on the clock.

Though this is only seven steps, it made for an intense 35 minutes. So much of the process is out of your control, but if you're flexible and organized you should be able to buy tickets. If it's only worth the time and expense to travel to see multiple of your preferred events, maybe don't bother with the draw. But if you're open to watching other sports and being part of the Olympic atmosphere, I would say it's worthwhile to attempt the draw. Watching Olympic-level equestrian events on the grounds of Versailles Palace could likely be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so it was entirely worthwhile to me!

The next opportunity for fans to purchase tickets will be for single tickets (ie not packs that require you to purchase tickets to multiple events). It will also be on a lottery system, with a sign-up that begins on 15 March 2023 (right after this first round of ticketing ends). You can go to the ticketing website to sign-up for reminder emails and, eventually, enter the draw. I believe this is also when tickets to the Opening Ceremonies will be available for purchase.

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