Ligue 1 football club Paris Saint-Germain has opted against submitting a bid to buy the Stade de France and will turn its attention to renovating its current home, the Parc des Princes, or building a new stadium.
PSG had until yesterday (Wednesday) to submit a bid for the Stade de France, the 81,000-capacity stadium which serves as the home of France’s national football and rugby union teams.
It emerged in April last year that PSG was ready to bid for the Stade de France amid uncertainty over its future at the Parc des Princes, its home since 1974. French newspaper Le Parisien has now reported that the club has chosen not to pursue a purchase.
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 stadium to the two companies in 1995. The contract is set to end on July 1, 2025.
FIFA, football’s global governing body, reportedly expressed an interest in buying the stadium, which will also be used during this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris.
Le Parisien has reported that there are three bids left on the table to operate the Stade de France. The Vinci-Bouygues consortium is said to be interested in signing a new deal, while GL Events, which manages Paris’ Accor Arena and other venues in the city, is also in contention.
A group known as ‘Stade de France notre bien commun’ is also said to be a candidate and would look to integrate the French Football Federation and French Rugby Federation into its ownership model.
Last month, private investment firm Arctos Partners acquired a minority stake in PSG. The deal includes support for the club’s real estate initiatives, and Le Parisien noted that the arrival of Arctos played a “significant role” in PSG’s decision to divert its attention away from the Stade de France.
In November, it emerged that PSG was continuing to explore plans for a major renovation of the Parc des Princes despite uncertainty over its future at the 48,000-capacity venue.
L’Équipe reported that PSG would consider adding a roof and a retractable pitch to the Parc des Princes as part of an ambitious expansion project. The stadium is owned by the City Council of Paris and PSG would need to acquire the venue in order to carry out any major renovation work.
In January last year, PSG threatened to leave the Parc des Princes after the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, insisted that the stadium was not for sale. PSG feels restricted by the stadium’s 48,000 capacity, with matches at the venue constantly sold out.