Reports hint at major facelift plans for Stade de France



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Stade de France upgrade Image: Stade de France

With an eye on 2024 Olympics, the landmark Stade de France in Saint-Dennis, just north of Paris, will soon get a major facelift that would put the 21-year-old venue among the very best modern stadiums in the world, according to reports by French newspapers l’Equipe and Les Echos.

Some of the key upgrade as part of the stadium redevelopment project will include capacity increase (which currently is 80,000-plus) and additional floor space for commercial and office use for non-event activities. There are plans to install a retractable roof to address the longstanding issue of weather playing spoilsport a France’s national stadium that opened in 1997. If the plan goes through, Stade de France will became the largest stadium in Europe to flaunt a retractable roof.

According to l’Equipe, the changes would come at a massive cost of as much as €450 million. That’s more than the €364 million paid originally for construction in 1997. Reconstruction would conclude in 2023, just in time for the 2024 Olympics. However, it would not be carried out just for the event.

The scheme is understood to be pushed forward by Vinci, the construction giant holding two thirds of shares at Consortium Stade de France, whose concession to manage the stadium runs out in 2025.

The new plan would be a way to secure future operation, which Vinci is clearly interested in. The second shareholder, Bouygues, may pull out, as the company has stated it would part with its shares if the price is right.

Ultimately, however, the plan would have to be approved by the French state, which owns Stade de France. It’s expected that decision regarding future operation may come by the end of 2018. If Vinci’s plan is promising enough, the company will likely expect taxpayers to foot some portion of the planned revamp.

More details on the project will be revealed at the forthcoming Coliseum Summit EUROPE, March 20-21, 2019, in London, UK.

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