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.
A preview of the 2014-15 Aviva Premiership season as we run the rule over Bath, Exeter Chiefs, Gloucester, Harlequins, Leicester Tigers and London Irish
ESPN looks at the forthcoming season of the Guinness PRO12 and assesses how each of the 12 teams will do
"Like the Treaty of Versailles, despite all the promises, the new Participation Agreement is certainly not the final solution." John Taylor writes
"We know where we are going and we know where we want to get but how long that will take is anybody's guess." David Humphreys on his plans for Gloucester