PSG is joining the trend of major clubs in Europe planning a renovation to its stadium, the Parc des Princes, in Paris. Following the suit of both Real Madrid and Barcelona, PSG opted against constructing a new stadium. Instead, it plans a major revamp of the Parc des Princes. However, PSG must first own its stadium.
As of now, the Parc des Princes belongs to the Parisian government, according to L’Equipe. PSG and its Qatari ownership can submit a bid to buy the Parc des Princes by January 3, 2024. However, early efforts to connect with the Parisian government to buy the stadium have not been successful. PSG cannot begin any renovations or changes to the stadium without approval from Paris and its mayor, Anne Hidalgo.
Despite this, PSG already made plans to renovate the stadium. PSG sought out design advice from architectural firms Pierre Ferret and Populous. Again, this cannot happen until PSG has full ownership of the Parc des Princes. The French stadium has been the home of PSG since it moved to the French top flight in 1974. In 2013, PSG signed a deal with the Paris government that tied them down as tenants until 2023. That is why PSG must submit bids before early January 2024 if it wants full ownership.
If PSG fails to lock in a deal to buy the stadium, it may look elsewhere to play. It can seek rental agreements at a different stadium. Or, PSG can seek out a new area to build its own stadium.
PSG plans Parc des Princes renovation amid purchasing stalemate
A new stadium would be expensive, but that is not to say PSG’s plans at the Parc des Princes are cheap. Currently, that stadium has a capacity of 47,929 spectators. That makes it the fourth biggest ground in Ligue 1 based on capacity behind Marseille, Lyon and Lille. Moreover, it has the smallest stadium in its UEFA Champions League group that features AC Milan, Newcastle and Borussia Dortmund.
Therefore, PSG wants to push the capacity to 60,000 spectators. Yet, the changes do not stop with just more people in seats. In addition to modernizing the facilities in the stadium, PSG wants to add a retractable roof. This is something Real Madrid recently debuted in its renovated Santiago Bernabeu.
Real Madrid’s stadium changes took place during a two-year span. Wisely, Real Madrid took advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic when fans could not attend to race through renovations. The side briefly played at its academy ground, which did not matter as no fans could attend. FC Barcelona is also in the midst of a major change at Camp Nou. Barcelona’s project will last four years. Right now, the Catalan club is playing at the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona instead of its hallowed ground.
PSG not willing to invest in stadium unless it is theirs
Previously, PSG had the power to pour money into the stadium to help its development. However, due to the rising conflict with the Parisian mayor, it stopped that funding. The club hopes this can lead to a full sale of the stadium, which would allow PSG to enact its own plans for the ground.
The Parc des Princes is dated, but that comes with considerable history, too. The original stadiums on the ground date back to the 1870s. Since then, it has undergone major changes, including the second edition hosting games in the 1938 World Cup. The current venue started in 1972, and PSG moved in two years later. When France hosts major international soccer events, the stadium is one of the major venues. It hosted games in Euro 1984, including the final, as well as group-stage and knockout games in Euro 2016, the 1998 men’s World Cup and the 2019 Women’s World Cup.
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