France: PSG is preparing to build new stadium

source:; author: Paulina Skóra

France: PSG is preparing to build new stadium The leaders of Paris Saint-Germain have sent a letter to the head of the Île-de-France regional spatial planning commission. Consequently, the capital club has formalized its intention to find a location for the construction of a new stadium.


PSG is tired of struggle over Parc des Princes

The club is seeking land for a new stadium amidst a battle with the Paris City Hall over Parc des Princes, which somewhat confirms the divorce between Anne Hidalgo and Nasser Al-Khelaïfi. The club's president announced in early February that he wants to leave the facility due to a lack of a purchase agreement.

The Qatari owner of PSG initially tried to buy Parc des Princes from the Paris City Council to increase its capacity, which at 48,600 seats does not match large European clubs. However, the City Council, led by a coalition of left-wing and ecological groups headed by socialist Anne Hidalgo, opposed the sale to preserve the city's heritage.

I repeat today once and for all: there will be no sale of Parc des Princes, Hidalgo emphasized earlier this year in an interview with Ouest France. The clash between both sides has been ongoing for over a year. In addition to Al Khelaifi's accusations, Hidalgo deemed the club's €28 million offer for taking over the stadium as ridiculous. Finding an alternative to Parc des Princes, however, is not easy, as PSG and Île-de-France must find sufficient space to build a facility with at least 60,000 seats, along with public transport and parking spaces.

Resolving this situation will certainly not be easy. Both sides are bound by an emphyteutic lease, a long-term low-rent agreement in exchange for improvements made by the tenant to the leased property. In the case of Parc des Princes, the agreement is valid for thirty years until the end of 2043, and since signing the commitment in 2013, PSG has made improvements worth around €85 million.

Parc des Princes© Chabe01 (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Searching for land for construction

PSG is exploring all possibilities for building a new stadium within a 20 km radius of the capital. A letter signed by PSG's secretary-general, Victoriano Melero, is addressed to Jean-Pierre Chauleta, chairman of the investigatory committee for the general environmental protection plan for Île-de-France (SDRIF-E).

In his letter, Nasser Al-Khelaïfi's right-hand man specifies that because keeping PSG at Parc des Princes is not yet assured, he is requesting identification within the SDRIF-E boundaries of a 50-hectare area that could serve as land for building a new home for the team. A pink dot symbolizing this area will be marked on the general purpose map of the territory (CDGT). The final adoption of this SDRIF-E by officials will occur in the summer of this year, and then it will be submitted for approval to the State Council.

Several municipalities in Île-de-France have already expressed interest in hosting the capital club. But so far, no specific solution has emerged. Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, located in Montigny-le-Bretonneux, has the advantage of being close to PSG's training center. It's a great idea, but the road is long, comments one official quoted by Le Parisien.

We would gladly welcome PSG because this stadium would be a dream, an image for our youth from the suburbs, especially from the outer suburbs, which sometimes feel forgotten, Pascal Doll said a few years ago regarding the construction of a stadium in Gonesse.

Parc des Princes© Zakarie Faibis (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Could it be Saint-Germain-en-Laye?

The name PSG comes from the suburban town of Saint-Germain-en-Laye; it was there that the club played its matches at Stade Georges Lefèvre from its inception until 1974. "I told the leaders of PSG that it is not possible in Saint-Germain," admits Mayor Arnaud Péricard. He also mentions insufficient transportation offerings and concerns about commuting issues for residents.