French football club Red Star FC of Paris has formally abandoned plans for a new arena and will instead renovate its Stade Bauer along with partner Realites Group.

Work on the project will begin next year and be completed in 2024, with a view to it being utilised as a training facility for that year’s Olympic Games in Paris. The third-tier Championnat National club said in a statement that it will continue to play at Stade Bauer while the work is carried out and that the arena will comply with requirements for top-tier Ligue 1.   

A public consultation on the project will be held from November 4-26, with Parisians invited to give their views on the development of the stadium in the Saint-Ouen district that has been Red Star’s home since 1909.

Saint-Ouen Mayor Karim Bouamrane told the Le Parisien news site that he wants the arena’s capacity to be limited to no more than 12,000.

In a statement, Patrice Haddad (pictured above with Mayor Bouamrane), president of Red Star, said: “Since taking over the club, I have made the new Bauer the priority for our development. It’s a historic moment for the entire Red Star family and a crucial step in our 2024 roadmap.

“Our desire is to preserve our social dimension, in the age of football business, while targeting the sports elite. The future enclosure will allow us to anchor ourselves definitively on our territory, and will give the club the means of its ambitions.”

Red Star, France’s third oldest professional football club, was one of the founding members of Ligue 1. It has spent 19 seasons in France’s top division, but last played at the highest level in 1974-75.

Last June, French development group Réalités won a contract to build a new multi-purpose stadium that would serve as Red Star’s home, but then-Mayor William Delannoy announced in November 2019 that the land earmarked for the project would not be sold.

In January, Red Star and the Saint-Ouen authorities said that some alterations would be made at Stade Bauer, but the latest announcements confirm that the club and local politicians are agreed on the future of the project.

Mayor Bouamrane said: “We are going to renovate Bauer together so that this stadium is better integrated into its neighbourhood and responds to ecological objectives and innovative mobility.

“Bauer must also become an open living space offering many new services. The consultation will involve residents, the club, supporters, economic players and associations, all elected municipal majority and opposition officials and the entire population.”

Images: Red Star