The 2024 summer Olympics in Paris will break from tradition and not hold its opening ceremony inside a stadium. Instead, the ceremony will take place along the River Seine, with crowds lining the streets and bridges of Paris.
However, this unconventional choice comes with a significant security risk, requiring extensive safety protocols.
The opening ceremony will begin at 8:24 pm on July 26 and start with a procession of boats carrying different country delegations, with the last boat, carrying the French delegation, arriving at the Eiffel Tower, where the official ceremony and lighting of the Olympic flame will take place.
Rather than using a stadium to showcase national culture, Paris itself will be the star of the show. The ceremony will be open and free to view from specific zones along the river’s upper embankments.
The number of attendees, including athletes, paid guests, free ticket holders, and heads of state, is expected to reach 400,000.
Therefore, an unprecedented deployment of 35,000 police officers will be present during the event, with security protocols designed to counter terrorist threats, protests, and drone attacks.
The French interior ministry set up a specific ticketing platform for crowd control purposes. However, concerns remain over the logistics of the flotilla procession, the number of boats, and recruitment shortfalls for privately hired security personnel.
Preparations for the event include multiple tests and rehearsals, with new air defense technologies planned to counter drone attacks.