PSG ‘to pursue’ Stade de France, racecourse site targeted

Featured image credit: Zakarie Faibis/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) will participate in a new tender process to determine the future of the Stade de France, according to multiple reports, while the Ligue 1 football club is also said to be in talks over potentially developing a new stadium on the site of Saint-Cloud Racecourse.

The saga surrounding PSG’s future at the Parc des Princes has developed further today (Friday) amid the latest reports. French newspaper L’Équipe said PSG will respond to the call for tenders for the Stade de France that has recently been launched by the state, as part of measures it is exploring in the event it cannot reach a breakthrough on the impasse surrounding its current home.

The Stade de France is currently owned by the French Government through the Consortium Stade de France. Through an agreement with the consortium formed by construction firms Vinci and Bouygues, the state granted the management of the 77,083-capacity stadium to the two companies in 1995.

The contract with Vinci and Bouygues is set to end on July 1, 2025, and the AFP news agency said the state published two calls for tenders on March 7, one for the outright sale of the stadium and the other for a new concession agreement.

April 27 has been set as the deadline for responses, with an internal PSG source telling AFP: “We are candidates for the Stade de France.” The price to acquire the venue would reportedly be around €600m (£529.9m/$635.4m), with further investment required to convert it to the outright needs of a football club as its owner, from its current status as a multi-functional stadium.

Earlier this month, FIFA, football’s global governing body, was said to be considering the possibility of taking over or buying the Stade de France. L’Équipe, citing sources familiar with the matter, reported that FIFA president Gianni Infantino and French President Emmanuel Macron discussed the matter during a meeting at the Élysée Palace on February 15.

FIFA denied any interest when contacted by L’Équipe but the newspaper claimed that Macron and Infantino first discussed the possibility during the recent World Cup in Qatar.

Meanwhile, France Galop president, Edouard de Rothschild, has today said PSG has approached the governing body of domestic flat and steeplechase horse racing over the potential of building a new stadium at Saint-Cloud.

The racecourse is located only four kilometres from the Parc des Princes and De Rothschild told French broadcaster BFM Business: “The idea of ​​PSG, which actually approached us, is to examine whether we could make a stadium… more or less inserted in the middle of the racecourse.

“We have no reason not to study all the solutions and argue. It could be a pretty fantastic project.”

PSG was last month said to have appointed premium experiences company Legends and Canadian real estate firm Colliers to assess its stadium options. L’Équipe said Legends will study alternative solutions to the Parc des Princes, with Colliers working more specifically on the search for new sites.

The Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, in January ramped up the rhetoric surrounding PSG’s long-term future at the Parc des Princes, whilst rubbishing suggestions that the Stade de France could be an alternative home for the club.

Hidalgo’s latest comments came after PSG threatened to leave the Parc des Princes after the Mayor insisted earlier in January that the stadium is not for sale. PSG has played at Parc des Princes since 1974 but the club is currently restricted by its 48,000 capacity.

PSG has spent €85m in renovation work on Parc des Princes in recent years, and has further committed €500m to improve and expand the stadium, increasing capacity from 48,000 to in excess of 60,000. However, PSG will only provide this funding if it owns the stadium.

Hidalgo has said the City would prefer to discuss a potential renegotiation of PSG’s lease deal. The current 30-year agreement commenced in 2014. PSG has long been exploring its options and the matter returned to the headlines in November as it emerged that the club may look to acquire the Stade de France or switch to one of two new sites in the city if it is unable to complete a deal to purchase the Parc des Princes.

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaïfi later said that demands made by the City of Paris are pushing the club out of the stadium. The venue is owned by the City Council of Paris and Al-Khelaïfi has grown frustrated over the lack of movement regarding talks over the stadium.