Posted on May 23
A senior French local government official on Wednesday dismissed a plan by Paris Saint-Germain's Qatari owners to knock down the historic Parc des Princes and build a new stadium in its place, calling it unworkable.
"In our opinion, this proposal seems impossible," said Jean Vuillermoz, who holds the sports portfolio for Paris under city mayor Bertrand Delanoe.
"We've discussed it and the mayor said it would be impossible to destroy a monument which is part of Paris," he told AFP.
PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi on Tuesday said that it was his "dream" to have a 60,000-seater stadium on the same site, with attendances up this year as the club challenged for the French title and with a Champions League berth next season.
"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," he said.
Vuillermoz, however, said they had examined the proposals and rejected them.
"It's very difficult," he added. "It would take a lot of time. It would involve the local city planners and starting a public consultation.
"We believe it would be practically impossible and would also mean that the stadium is not ready for Euro 2016 (which France is hosting)."
Vuillermoz, however, welcomed the fact that PSG's cash-rich owners have opted to stay in the capital and said he favoured the option of renovating the ageing venue, which is situated in southwest Paris on the edge of the leafy Bois de Boulogne.
The current Parc des Princes 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.