Tickets sales for the Tour de France Team Presentation in Leeds have been “strong”, according to organisers.
The annual pre-Tour ceremony, which is being billed as the biggest ever by tourism bosses, will see all 22 teams including 2013 champion Chris Froome grace the stage at the First Direct Arena, in Leeds, on July 3.
Organisers and Yorkshire Grand Depart bid leaders Welcome to Yorkshire were criticised for setting ticket prices between £45 to £85 when they were released on Friday. The event has been free in previous years.
It responded by stating that the presentation, which is being coordinated by Martin Green who was head of ceremonies for the London 2012 Olympics, is “self funded” and will be “the biggest ever in the history of the Tour”.
Welcome to Yorkshire was unable to specify how many tickets had been sold when contacted by the YEP on Thursday, but say they remain “confident” the event will be a sell-out.
Gary Verity, chief executive of the tourism agency, said: “Ticket sales have been strong, we already have more people attending the Team Presentation ceremony in Leeds than saw the riders in Corsica last year.
“We think the teams and the riders will be blown away by the reception they receive in Leeds and the show they will star in.”
The tourism firm said that the event has been one of the fastest selling events at the First Direct Arena since it opened last year, and that all £85 tickets have already been snapped up.
The show will take place just two days before the Tour de France gets underway in Yorkshire on July 5 and 6.
Mr Verity added: “Acts and entertainment that will accompany the riders will be revealed in the coming weeks and we are encouraging people to make sure they don’t miss out on what will be the grandest Grand Depart TeamPresentation ceremony in the history of Le Tour.”
The 2013 Team Presentation in Corsica was free as was the one in London’s Trafalgar Square event the last time Le Tour visited Great Britain in 2007, although tickets were sold for the 2011 presentation in France’s Vendée region.
People wishing to buy tickets in person can buy them from the arena box office situated beside Boots at Trinity Leeds shopping centre’s customer service desk. Tickets bought there will not be subject to handling fees.
Visit www.firstdirectarena.com or www.letouryorkshire.com/teampresentation for information.