Parsons: "We are working to ensure full stadiums in Paris". GETTY IMAGES

International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons said he hoped the Paris Paralympics would see packed stadiums and unprecedented media coverage.

The 16th Summer Paralympic Games will be held in the French capital from 28 August to 8 September 2024, seventeen days after the conclusion of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The 47-year-old, who was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, said his priority was to ensure the Games attracted a large audience.

So far, less than one million tickets have been sold out of a total of 2.8 million available, but the IPC President insisted that this was a "normal" situation with half a year to go, which is a long time for a Paralympic Games. Unlike the Olympics, ticket sales for the Paralympics tend to spike closer to the start of the Games. 

At the Rio 2016 Paralympics, ticket sales peaked in the weeks leading up to the event, with the total number of tickets sold doubling in a 48-hour period two weeks before the Games opened.

If ticket sales are currently following "a normal Paralympics graph line", Parsons said media coverage of the Games has already exceeded that of previous editions. Broadcasting agreements have been secured in more than 160 nations and territories, the "largest number ever recorded", said Parsons, who has worked as a sports administrator as well as a journalist.

Andrew Parsons at the closing ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics. GETTY IMAGES
Andrew Parsons at the closing ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics. GETTY IMAGES

"We are working with the organising committee to make sure we have full stadiums in Paris. We have some sports that are almost sold out. We are happy with where we are, but obviously we have to push harder. We are very happy with the preparations so far. We are at a point where all the operational plans are ready," said Parsons, who has been at the helm of the IPC since 2017.

"We have learned from the test events and now we are at the point where we need to focus on fine-tuning some of the operations. We are all focused on promoting the Games," added the former journalist. 

To achieve the goal of full stadiums in Paris, the IPC is running a series of campaigns through various channels such as social media, traditional media and National Paralympic Committees to spread the word and "get people excited about the Games... get them informed, get them to buy tickets, get them to watch it on TV".