Paris Saint-Germain will submit a bid for the country’s largest stadium, the Stade de France, the Ligue 1 champions said on Friday as they look to move from their Parc des Princes home.
Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo said the Parc des Princes was not for sale which prompted PSG to say in January that they would explore “alternative options” for their home stadium.
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The Stade de France hosted the soccer World Cup final in 1998 and three Champions League finals since 2000, including last year’s showpiece in which Real Madrid beat Liverpool.
The stadium has a capacity of around 80,000.
A PSG spokesperson told Reuters the capital club will submit a bid for the Stade de France but added that their preferred option remains a ‘renovated’ Parc des Princes.
The Parc des Princes, owned by the Paris city council, has been PSG’s home since they entered the top-flight in 1974.
In 2013, PSG reached an agreement with the Paris City Council to extend their lease until 2043, following which they completed a €75 million ($79.89 million) upgrade of the stadium over three years.
The Ligue 1 side also announced their intent to commit an additional €500 million towards the Parc des Princes’ renovations, but only if they owned the stadium.
French media reported that PSG put forward an offer to buy the Parc des Princes in November last year but PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said in an interview with Marca that the club did not feel welcome at the stadium.
The lease for the Stade de France is held by a consortium of the French companies Vinci and Bouygues with any buyout of the stadium set to take place after 2025.
The arena opened its doors in 1998 and was the venue of the World Cup final that year, won by the hosts. It will also stage track and field events at the Summer Olympics in 2024.
Last season’s Champions League final was delayed after thousands of Liverpool supporters were unable to get into the Stade de France for the match on May 28, which Real won 1-0.
French police were filmed using tear gas on fans, including women and children. UEFA initially blamed the Merseyside club’s supporters for the mayhem, but the European governing body later apologised following the release of an independent review.
The spokesperson added that a third option for PSG would be to build a new stadium located outside Paris.
PSG have been the most successful club in France since Qatar Sports Investments took over in 2011, winning the league eight times. They have also had success in France’s domestic cup competitions, but have failed to win the Champions League.
PSG to submit bid for Stade de France as potential new home