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PSG's Qatari owners eye new Parc des Princes

Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi on Tuesday said he would like to knock down the historic Parc des Princes to build a new 60,000-seater stadium in its place

AFP, Tuesday 22 May 2012
Parc des Princes
Parc des Princes stadium (Photo: Reuters)
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"There's an atmosphere at the Parc des Princes that I've never seen anywhere else," PSG's Qatari owner told AFP in an interview. "It's PSG's home, its heart and it's history.

"Of course, we have big plans. We want a bigger stadium. We dream of having a stadium with 60,000 seats here on the same site. It's our first option. If it's not possible, we want to renovate it to have 50,000 seats. There are other options.

"It's easy to get 60,000 seats. You've got to knock down the stadium. To have 50,000, it's just renovation. Paris is the capital. The city deserves a bigger stadium.

"Attendances have increased a lot this season and they'll increase even more next season in the Champions League."

PSG, who were bought last year by a consortium headed by Al-Khelaifi, narrowly lost out to Montpellier for the Ligue 1 title this year, with the race for top spot going down to the last match of the season on Sunday.

The cash-rich Qataris had set out plans for the French giants to challenge for the Ligue 1 title after they finished fourth in France the previous season, missing out on Champions League but securing a place in the Europa League.

Al-Khelaifi refused to rule out a move for PSG to the Stade de France in Paris' northern suburbs, which was built for the 1998 World Cup that France won and replaced the Parc des Princes as the venue for the national rugby union and football team.

"We're talking with everybody," he said. "(PSG director-general) Jean-Claude Blanc is in charge of the issue. He'll make an announcement as soon as a decision has been taken."

The current Parc des Princes, situated in southwest Paris on the edge of the leafy Bois de Boulogne, has a capacity of just under 49,000 and has been home to PSG since 1973.

Its history as a sporting venue dates back to the late 1800s and previous stadia on the site included a velodrome that was the original finish of the Tour de France cycling race.

 

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