Olympic Games opening ceremony could shift from River Seine to Stade de France

The perceived security risk will determine if the Olympic opening ceremony is held on the Seine.

The perceived security risk will determine if the Olympic opening ceremony is held on the Seine. Photo: Picture Alliance via Getty

French President Emmanuel Macron says the Paris Olympics opening ceremony planned on the River Seine could be shifted to the Stade de France if the security threat is deemed too high.

Speaking to French media, Macron said France’s law enforcement forces will be mobilised at an exceptional level for the security of the open-air event.

“But if we think there are risks, depending on our analysis of the context, we have fallback scenarios,” Macron said.

“There are plan Bs and plan Cs.”

The July 26 event is set to be the first Olympic opening ceremony held outside a stadium setting.

About 10,500 athletes will parade through the heart of the French capital on boats on the Seine along a six-kilometre route.

To limit security risks, Macron said organisers could decide to shorten the itinerary of the parade on the Seine, and even to “repatriate the ceremony to the Stade de France” for a more conventional opening event.

Organisers had originally planned a grandiose opening ceremony for as many as 600,000 people, most watching free of charge from riverbanks.

But security and logistical concerns have led the government to progressively scale back its ambitions. Earlier this year, the overall number of spectators was reduced to around 300,000.

The French government also decided that tourists won’t be given free access to watch the opening ceremony because of security concerns. Free access will be invitation-only instead.


Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.