Victor Wembanyama Hype Causes Olympic Tickets To Go On Sale Early

Paris 2024 is banking on the name brand of its golden generation of young athletes.

BYBen Mock
2023 NBA Draft

Victor Wembanyama may be the hottest name in basketball right now. The French center is the most anticipated NBA prospect since LeBron. He is set to make his stateside debut on July 7 during the first day of the NBA Summer League. Furthermore, clips from Spurs training sessions have already gotten fans hyped up.

However, there's another sporting event on the mind of the generational prospect. Next year, his home city of Paris will host the Olympic Games. It is the first time that Paris will host the event since 1924, having unsuccessfully bid in 1992, 2008, and 2012. While Wembanyama, a member of the French National Team, opted to skip this year's FIBA World Cup to focus on preparing for the NBA, he will likely take part in the Olympics barring injury. Wembanyama previously won silver at the 2019 U16 European Championship and the 2021 U19 World Cup. Furthermore, this expectation has influenced some decisions made by the organizing committee.

Paris 2024 Moves Up Basketball Ticket Sales

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 22: Victor Wembanyama celebrates after being drafted first overall pick by the San Antonio Spurs during the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June 22, 2023 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Tickets for Olympic basketball, handball, sailing, and soccer went on sale on July 4, months earlier than previously expected. All four events are set to take place partially or entirely outside of Paris. Handball and basketball will stage matches in Lille while sailing will take place in Marseille. Meanwhile, soccer will be staged at six venues around the country. The Paris Organizing Committee stated that the decision to move up the sale came after other sports saw huge sales in their opening rounds.

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However, other factors are likely in play. The sports in question contain some of France's biggest athletes - namely Wembanyama and soccer's Kylian Mbappé. That name-brand appeal will help boost sales, as well as help cover for some of the less pleasant headlines from recent weeks. Paris 2024 is currently under investigation by local prosecutors over corruption charges. Reportedly, these charges stem from concerns about how several lucrative contracts for the Games were awarded. Regardless, tickets will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Hopeful fans around the world had to enter a lottery to try and get the chance to buy tickets. The cheapest tickets reportedly available for the four events cost around $26.

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About The Author
Benjamin Mock (they/them) is a sports and culture writer working out of Philadelphia. Previously writing for the likes of Fixture, Dexerto, Fragster, and Jaxon, Ben has dedicated themselves to engaging and accessible articles about sports, esports, and internet culture. With a love for the weirder stories, you never quite know what to expect from their work.