France set for Stade de France split
November 25, 2010
France are set to quit the Stade de France © Getty Images
The French Rugby Federation (FFR) will sever its ties with the Stade de France in 2013 in order to construct a stadium of its own.
The FFR will not be renewing its deal at the impressive arena in Saint Denis, the home of the French rugby team since 1998, with plans already afoot for an 80,000 seat ground with a retractable roof on the outskirts of Paris.
Applications from the cities of Massy, Senart, Bondoufle and Marne-la-Vallee have been filed, with the cost of the stadium expected to run to an estimated €600m.
"I think rugby and the rugby federation are a company and a company, if it wants to grow, needs to be independent," FFR chief Pierre Camou said. "We want to build a stadium."
Former Ligue National de Rugby (LNR) chief Serge Blanco has been handed the reins for the project and the legendary Biarritz fullback quickly pointed out the cost implications of remaining at the Stade de France.
He has claimed that half of the gate from a Test match went to the FFR's landlords while they were also forced to switch the date of last season's Top 14 final due to a scheduling conflict with a show by French popstar Johnny Hallyday.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"It does sometimes get tough as you get older, but there's nothing else I'd rather do." Tom Hamilton talks to fly-half Dan Carter
Stingers, a rampaging Fijian and two Dannys looking to be champions of the world - Monday Maul looks at some key talking points
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Top 14, Super Rugby and the Aviva Premiership with fireworks and monsters both featuring
Firdose Moonda looks at the moves towards greater integration within South African rugby ... and what the future holds