Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) has launched a consultation with its fans over the Ligue 1 football club’s stadium options, while Minister of Sport and the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, has said the Government would be open to foreign investors in the tender process for the Stade de France.
The latest news comes after it was reported last week that PSG will participate in the tender process to determine the future of the Stade de France, with the club also said to be in talks over potentially developing a new stadium on the site of Saint-Cloud Racecourse amid ongoing question marks concerning its current home, the Parc des Princes.
After earlier consulting its ‘VIP’ membership, PSG has now sent out emails to its “most loyal supporters”, according to Le Figaro newspaper. The club has said: “Aware of the scope of its choices in this matter, Paris Saint-Germain intends first to continue its reflection and to carry out wide consultations.
“For the club, it will then be time to determine what will be, for many years to come, both the home of the exploits of its first team and a magnificent rallying point for its community of supporters, within which we hope to count you in the future.”
PSG has outlined four options to its fans. The first is for a “significant” renovation of the Parc des Princes. PSG, which is said to have appointed premium experiences company Legends and Canadian real estate firm Colliers to assess its stadium options, has been battling with the City of Paris over its current home.
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 (£74.5m/$90.4m) 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.
The second option put forward to fans is to “move to the Stade de France after having renovated it”. The third option is to “build a stadium to the west of Paris” accessible by the future Grand Paris Express metro lines, within a radius of 5km from the Parc des Princes.
Le Figaro states that this could be the Saint-Cloud Racecourse site, while the fourth option of a new stadium within a 20km radius of the Parc des Princes could encompass the commune of Poissy.
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, with the state publishing 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 PSG last week stating it will participate in the process. The price to acquire the venue would reportedly be around €600m, 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.
PSG is owned by Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) and the subject of foreign investment in the Stade de France was raised during a Senate gathering earlier this week. Responding to a question from Senator Laurent Lafon on whether the state could sell this “sports emblem” to “an entity belonging to a foreign state”, Oudéa-Castéra did not rule it out.
She said: “(If there) should be one which meets the protective conditions, which in the context of a transfer would in any case be fixed by law, or if this foreign investor were to participate in a group of operators, there is no reason to dismiss it on principle.”
Oudéa-Castéra reiterated that the state is looking for “the best long-term project” by keeping “the sporting vocation of the stadium” and by “preserving the economic and financial interests of the state”.
Asked about the roles of the French Football Federation (FFF) and French Rugby Federation (FFR), current tenants of the Stade de France, the Sports Minister added that they are “free to apply, free to associate with a candidate, free to negotiate the conditions of use of the stadium”.