French champions Paris Saint-Germain on Friday confirmed it is in the race to buy the Stade de France, the centre piece for next summer’s Olympics.
The French government has launched a call for tenders to find a buyer at a price of around 600 million euros ($635 million) for the 81,500-seater stadium, the largest in France, whose current lease expires on July 1, 2025.
PSG’s announcement follows a hitherto unsuccessful bid by the club’s Qatari owners to buy the Parc des Princes, which has been its home for almost 50 years, from the Paris City Council to be able to expand it.
“We are candidates for the Stade de France,” a PSG source said, confirming a report in the French sports daily L’Equipe, adding that it had not yet put in its bid.
The price of the Stade de France, which was built for the 1998 World Cup finals, was estimated at 647 million euros by the French government in 2021.
The current lease has been held since 1995 by a consortium comprising French business groups Vinci and Bouygues.
Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera said the sale of the national stadium is an option, as well as granting a new operating lease.
The deadline for the tenders expires on April 27 with bids to be examined next year for the possible handover of the stadium in 2025.
PSG currently play at the 48,500-seater Parc des Princes, its home since 1974.
The club signed a 30-year lease for the Parc in 2014 but recently said it would try and find a new home if it failed to buy the stadium from the Paris City Council.
The current Ligue 1 leaders want to make significant upgrades to the venue but only once they have assumed full ownership.
PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi revealed last November that the club had lodged an offer to buy the Parc des Princes, which was rejected for being below the council’s asking price.
Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo told Le Parisien newspaper that the stadium “is not for sale” but said she could work with PSG on potential renovations should the Parc de Princes remain under the council’s ownership.
PSG wants to expand the capacity of the Parc des Princes to 58,000 which renovation work estimated at around 500 million euros.
This remains PSG’s preferred option with acquisition of the Stade de France a second choice. The third possibility is the construction of a new stadium near Poissy, a town in Paris’s western suburbs.
If PSG gets the tender to buy the Stade de France, it will have to share the complex with other actors including hosting matches organised by the French football and rugby federations.