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Paris Olympics ticket packages promise to fulfill ‘hearts desire’ — for a price

IOC’s new global hospitality and ticketing program offers VIP experience but can cost thousands

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The Olympic rings are set up at Trocadero plaza overlooking the Eiffel Tower.

The Olympic rings are set up at Trocadero plaza overlooking the Eiffel Tower, a day after the official announcement that the 2024 Summer Olympic Games will be held in Paris, France, on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017.

Michel Euler, Associated Press

Looking for tickets for next year’s Olympics in Paris?

You could end up spending thousands of dollars under the International Olympic Committee’s new “global hospitality and ticketing model,” making its debut at the 2024 Summer Games.

Along with great seats for track and field, gymnastics, swimming and most of the other competitions, there’s access available to hospitality lounges where staff “will ensure you want for nothing,”

A premium-level ticket to just one event, the women’s gymnastics team finals, costs 3,995 euros (more than $4,300) and gets you “gold-level” hospitality service in the venue’s lounge before, during and after the competition.

Hungry? “An international gourmet menu featuring French regional signature dishes,” along with champagne and other beverages, will be served. Olympians and/or “sporting event specialists, will stop by to pose for photos or give autographs.

If watching the world’s greatest gymnasts from your prime seat in the stands isn’t enough entertainment, the lounge will feature multiple TV screens broadcasting Olympic events as well as live music from “local French performing artists, or local DJs.”

Oh, and you’ll also receive what’s described only as a commemorative Olympic gift intended to “create lasting memories of your time at the Games.”

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The aquatic center that will host the artistic swimming, water polo and diving competitions for the Paris Olympic Games in 2024 is under construction in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022.

Bertrand Combaldieu, Associated Press

Lower-tiered tickets provide limited access to the lounges and fewer amenities. Silver level? Expect a buffet with champagne poured only upon arrival. Bronze? There’s “a contemporary street food concept” that doesn’t include any bubbly.

The new hospitality program also offers travel packages that include hotel rooms and local transportation, as well as something called “in-city” hospitality at the Palais de Tokyo, a site that houses a museum and exhibition space near the Eiffel Tower.

The Paris organizing committee president, Tony Estanguet, said the service is “the first-ever global e-commerce platform offering hospitality for the Olympic Games that will be accessible to all budgets.”

But the options add up fast. Around the Rings said it costs more than $25,600 for a six-night stay at a top hotel with access to tourist attractions, private transportation and tickets for the Opening Ceremonies, fencing, archery, judo, horseback riding and beach volleyball.

“The Olympic experience in the City of Lights doesn’t want to be just another one for fans,” the Buenos Aires-based Olympic newsletter commented about the “customizable luxury packages” that started selling this week.

The program allows the IOC and Paris organizers to collect millions of euros that used to go to independent high-end tour operators, according to The Sports Examiner, a California-based Olympic newsletter.

About 750,000 tickets are being offered through the program, some 7.5% of the 10 million available for the Paris Games, The Sports Examiner reported. The IOC has said there are a million tickets priced at 24 euros or about $26, and almost half cost 50 euros or less.

The IOC has named On Location as its official and exclusive hospitality provider. The New York company also sells pricey Super Bowl packages as the official hospitality provider for the National Football League.

The 2024 Summer Games packages are a “newly elevated and innovative hospitality offering” developed with the IOC as well as Paris organizers, On Location President Paul Caine said.

“We believe that attending the Olympic Games should be an experience of a lifetime,” Caine said in an IOC news release that promised a “diverse range of prices and services” available through the hospitality program.

“We have something for everyone,” Caine said, “for whatever their hearts desire.”