Paris Saint-Germain’s move to sign Lionel Messi has reignited discussions about renovating its Parc des Princes stadium, with Pierre Rabadan of the Paris City Hall Sports Department suggesting that work on an expansion may not begin until after the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France.
“Every big club has a stadium with 80,000 spectators these days”. Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the club president, expressed his wish to expand the venue capacity.
He was later supported by Emmanuel Grégoire, First Deputy Mayor of Paris, who said that “the attractiveness and notoriety of PSG deserves a venue offering more seats for spectators”.
“There are technical topics and organizational arrangements for the club that are very important. There are architects working on the possibilities that exist to expand the capacity of Parc des Princes,” Rabadan said while explaining to France Bleu. “Conversations have been going on for several months” between city and club about expanding the stadium.
As a result of the Parc des Princes’ “unique structure, which has a very specific architecture, concrete reinforcement with arches connected to each other, located up to the side of the ring road,” he said, “the project will be complex.”
Rabadan stated that 80,000 seats may be too many for the current site’s architecture and that discussions so far have focused on an additional 12,000 seats, which would bring the total capacity to 60,000.
“Technically, I can’t tell you if we are able to bring in 80,000 seats,” he said. “It seems to me that this was not the case in the studies I saw. Maybe [Al-Khelaifi] had new ideas. You know, they don’t always tell us everything. Just a few days ago, we didn’t know that Messi was going to arrive.”
After hosting several football matches in Paris’ 2024 Olympic Games, there is little chance of a stadium redevelopment before then, according to Rabadan. In the meantime, he said, several other venues are being renovated in the city.
“In any case, you can imagine that there are a number of studies that must be done, that continues to be done, and a number of authorizations to have. It should allow the stadium to be expanded just after the Olympic Games.”