Parc des Princes

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Parc des Princes
Parc des Princes - Logo.png
Paris Parc des Princes 1.jpg
Location24, Rue du Commandant-Guilbaud
75016 Paris, Île-de-France, France
Coordinates 48°50′28.9998″N2°15′11.001″E / 48.841388833°N 2.25305583°E / 48.841388833; 2.25305583 Coordinates: 48°50′28.9998″N2°15′11.001″E / 48.841388833°N 2.25305583°E / 48.841388833; 2.25305583
Public transit Metro-M.svg Paris m 9 jms.svg Pont de SèvresMairie de Montreuil
Metro-M.svg Paris m 10 jms.svg Boulogne - Pont de Saint-CloudGare d'Austerlitz
Owner Paris City Council
Operator Paris Saint-Germain
Capacity 47,929
Record attendance50,370 France vs Wales (18 February 1989)
Field size105 m × 68 m (344 ft × 223 ft)
Surface GrassMaster by Tarkett Sports
Built1967 (current Parc)
Opened4 June 1972 (1972-06-04)
Renovated1998, 2014–2016
Construction costc. 125 million
Architect Roger Taillibert & Siavash Teimouri
Paris Saint-Germain (1974–present)

The Parc des Princes (French pronunciation:  [paʁk de pʁɛ̃s] , literally "Princes’ Park" in English) is an all-seater football stadium in Paris, France. [1] The venue is located in the south-west of the French capital, [2] inside the 16th arrondissement of Paris, in the immediate vicinity of the Stade Jean-Bouin (rugby venue) and within walking distance from the Stade Roland Garros (tennis venue). [1]

An all-seater stadium is a sports stadium in which every spectator has a seat. This is commonplace in professional association football stadiums in nations such as the United Kingdom, Spain, and the Netherlands. Most association football and American football stadiums in the United States and Canadian Football League stadiums in Canada are all-seaters, as are most baseball and track and field stadiums in those countries. A stadium that is not an all-seater has areas for attendees holding standing-room only tickets to stand and view the proceedings. Such standing areas were known as terraces in Britain. Stands with only terraces used to dominate the football attendance in the UK. For instance, the South Bank Stand behind the southern goal at Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, home of Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C., had a maximum of 32,000 standing attenders, while the rest of the stadium hosted a little bit less than that.

Association football Team field sport

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

Stadium place or venue for (mostly) outdoor sports, concerts, or other events

A stadium is a place or venue for (mostly) outdoor sports, concerts, or other events and consists of a field or stage either partly or completely surrounded by a tiered structure designed to allow spectators to stand or sit and view the event.


The stadium, with a seating capacity of 47,929 spectators, [3] has been the home stadium of Paris Saint-Germain since 1974. Before the opening of the Stade de France in 1998, it was also the home arena of the French national football and rugby union teams. [4] The Parc des Princes pitch is surrounded by four covered all-seater stands, officially known as the Présidentielle Francis Borelli, Auteuil, Paris and Boulogne Stands. [5]

Seating capacity number of people who can be seated in a specific space, in terms of both the physical space available, and limitations set by law

Seating capacity is the number of people who can be seated in a specific space, in terms of both the physical space available, and limitations set by law. Seating capacity can be used in the description of anything ranging from an automobile that seats two to a stadium that seats hundreds of thousands of people. The largest sporting venue in the world, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, has a permanent seating capacity for more than 235,000 people and infield seating that raises capacity to an approximate 400,000.

Paris Saint-Germain F.C. association football club

Paris Saint-Germain Football Club, commonly referred to as Paris Saint-Germain, Paris SG, or simply PSG, is a French professional football club based in Paris. Founded in 1970, the club has traditionally worn red and blue kits. PSG has played its home matches in the 47,929-capacity Parc des Princes in the 16th arrondissement of Paris since 1974. The club plays in the highest tier of French football, Ligue 1.

Stade de France French national stadium

Stade de France is the national stadium of France, located just north of Paris in the commune of Saint-Denis. Its seating capacity of 80,698 makes it the eighth-largest stadium in Europe. The stadium is used by the France national football team and French rugby union team for international competition. The Stadium is the largest in Europe for track and field events, seating 78,338 in that configuration. Despite that, the stadium's running track is mostly hidden under the football pitch. Originally built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, the stadium's name was recommended by Michel Platini, head of the organising committee. On 12 July 1998, France defeated Brazil 3–0 in the 1998 FIFA World Cup Final contested at the stadium. It will host the opening and closing ceremonies and the athletics events at the 2024 Summer Olympics. It will also host matches for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Conceived by architect Roger Taillibert & Siavash Teimouri, the current version of the Parc des Princes officially opened on 4 June 1972, [6] at a cost of 80–150 million francs. [7] The stadium is the third to have been built on the site, the first opening its doors in 1897 and the second following in 1932. [2]

Roger Taillibert French architect

Roger Taillibert is a French architect, active as a designer from about 1963 to 1987.

Siavash Teimouri Iranian architect and artist

Siavash Teimouri is noted architect and artist. He was born in Tehran, Iran, but moved to Paris in 1962. He received his diplôme of architecture from the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in 1969 as an architect DPLG. While working with top class architects he received the French Association of Architects's prize in 1967. He achieved the first place in design competition for University of Isfahan's faculty of science in 1973. He is a member of the French Society of Architects and also member of the board of trustees of the Iran Architectural Pride Worthies Foundation.

French franc former currency of France

The franc, also commonly distinguished as the French franc (FF), was a currency of France. Between 1360 and 1641, it was the name of coins worth 1 livre tournois and it remained in common parlance as a term for this amount of money. It was reintroduced in 1795. It was revalued in 1960, with each new franc (NF) being worth 100 old francs. The NF designation was continued for a few years before the currency returned to being simply the franc; the French continued to reference and value items in terms of the old franc until the introduction of the euro in 1999 and 2002. The French franc was a commonly held international reserve currency of reference in the 19th and 20th centuries.

PSG registered its record home attendance in 1983, when 49,575 spectators witnessed the club's 2–0 win over Waterschei in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals. [8] However, the French national rugby team holds the stadium's absolute attendance record. They defeated Wales 31–12 in the 1989 Five Nations Championship in front of 50,370 spectators. [9]

K. Waterschei S.V. Thor Genk association football club in Belgium

K. Waterschei S.V. Thor Genk was a Belgian football club from the city of Genk, Limburg (Belgium).

The 1982–83 season of the European Cup Winners' Cup was won by Aberdeen FC in an extra-time victory against Real Madrid. Alex Ferguson's young side defeated the Spanish giants after a notable victory over FC Bayern Munich in the quarter-final. Having conquered the domestic game in Scotland, by defeating the European Cup holders Hamburger SV to win the 1983 European Super Cup, Aberdeen went on to become the only Scottish team to win two European trophies, a record which still stands today. It was the second and last time the title went to Scotland, following Rangers' victory in 1972.

France national rugby union team national rugby union team representing France

The France national rugby union team competes annually against England, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales in the Six Nations Championship. They have won the championship outright seventeen times, shared it a further eight times, and have completed nine grand slams. Ten former French players have been inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame.


The cycling track inside the first Parc in 1910. Andre Auffray.jpg
The cycling track inside the first Parc in 1910.

The first Parc (1897–1932)

Originally, the site on which the pitch of Paris Saint-Germain stands was a hunting ground for members of the royal family in the 18th century, before the fall of the Bastille. This anecdote gave its name to the Stade Vélodrome du Parc des Princes, inaugurated on July 18, 1897. [7]

Storming of the Bastille part of the French Revolution

The Storming of the Bastille occurred in Paris, France, on the afternoon of 14 July 1789.

The “Princes’ Park” began its sporting history as a velodrome in the late 19th century. [1] With 3,200 seats, the velodrome marked the history of cycling, the number one sport in France at the time. [7] The ground, which featured a cycling track until the end of the 1960s, was the finishing line for the final stage of the Tour de France from its first edition in 1903 until 1967. [4] It also boasts a long history as an international rugby venue. [2]

Tour de France Cycling competition

The Tour de France is an annual men's multiple stage bicycle race primarily held in France, while also occasionally passing through nearby countries. Like the other Grand Tours, it consists of 21 day-long stages over the course of 23 days.

But it was not until 1903 that an international football match was played at the Parc des Princes. In front of 984 paying spectators, a team composed by the best Parisian players suffered a severe defeat to an England squad: 11–0 was the final score. Two years later, the French national football team contested their first ever home match against Switzerland, winning 1–0 at the Parc. [7]

Subsequently, the stadium welcomed prestigious friendly games, but also many of the USFSA French championship finals, as well as the 1919 French Cup final between CASG Paris and Olympique de Paris in front of nearly 10,000 spectators. However, the Parc des Princes lost its primacy with the construction of the Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir for the 1924 Summer Olympics. [7]

The second Parc (1932–1972)

Outside view of the second Parc in 1932. 1932 Le parc des princes v1.jpg
Outside view of the second Parc in 1932.

In 1925, the Paris City Council, which owns the Parc des Princes, extended the stadium lease for 40 years based on a fixed rent of 25,000 francs plus 4% share of the revenue. This allowed the Société d’Exploitation Sports-Evénements (SESE) of the Parc to carry out a thorough renovation of the sports arena. The stadium was expanded to 45,000 seats, including 26,000 covered. But the capacity was quickly reduced to 38,000 seats to improve comfort. In spite of that, Match magazine published "A new grand stage at the very gates of Paris" in its front cover of 19 April 1932. [7]

Following the Liberation of Paris and the end of World War II, the French football championship returned, with new big Parisian club Stade français-Red Star and Racing Paris regularly playing at the Parc des Princes. Still equipped with a cycling track of 454 metres, [7] the Tour de France was not the only major sporting event hosted at this stadium. It was the venue for several matches at the 1938 FIFA World Cup, as well as the 1960 and 1964 UEFA European Championships. [4] The stadium was also the scene of the first ever UEFA Champions League showpiece in 1956 when Real Madrid beat Stade de Reims 4–3. [2]

In 1954, Parc des Princes hosted two games of the inaugural Rugby League World Cup which was held in France, including hosting the Final on 13 November. [10] In the Final, Great Britain defeated France 16–12 in front of a crowd of 30,368. [11]

In 1965, the Paris City Council chose not to renew the stadium's lease, instead opting to build a bypass, the Périphérique, near the Parc des Princes, which lost 17,000 seats in the process. On 9 April 1965, the management of the stadium was entrusted to the French Football Federation for five years and a new Parc was to be born. Roger Taillibert was the chosen architect for the project. The construction would last 5 years, from 8 July 1967 to April 1972. [7]

The current Parc (since 1972)

The pitch of the current Parc des Princes. Paris Parc des Princes 2.jpg
The pitch of the current Parc des Princes.

On 4 June 1972, French president Georges Pompidou officially inaugurated the new enclosure by attending the French Cup Final. On 10 November 1973, PSG played their first game at the Parc des Princes against Red Star Paris in Ligue 2. [7]

Paris SG returned to Ligue 1 in 1974, ironically the same year that Paris FC were relegated, and moved into the Parc des Princes. Thereafter, Paris FC and Racing Paris kept playing at the Parc while they were in Ligue 1 (until 1990), but never reaching the numbers of attendance leaders PSG. [7]

The current Parc des Princes, home of Paris Saint-Germain, has hosted five European club football finals: the 1975 European Cup Final, the 1978 European Cup Winners' Cup Final, the 1981 European Cup Final, the 1995 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Final, and the 1998 UEFA Cup Final. It has also staged games at the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2016, and was the venue for the 1984 and 2016 UEFA European Championships finals, [2] not to mention the 2007 Rugby World Cup. [4]


A view of the stadium's iconic "razors". Parc des Princes - Avenue du Parc des Princes, Paris.jpg
A view of the stadium's iconic “razors”.

The current stadium was completed in 1972 by architect Roger Taillibert & siavash teimouri, who also built the Olympic Stadium of Montreal. The design is innovative and allows spectators to enjoy excellent sightlines, with no seat being further than 45 metres from the pitch. Parc des Princes was the first stadium where lighting systems were integrated onto its elliptical roof, and it is still praised for its unique acoustics and its distinctive concrete ribs. [1]

Described in French as a 'caisse de résonnance' ('box of sound') due to its tight dimensions and the pressure-cooker atmosphere created by its home fans, it is one of the continent's most emblematic and historic venues. [4] Its raw concrete exterior may not be as extraordinary today, in the era of multimedia stadiums. But the “razors” supporting the concrete shell remain an icon of local skyline and the structure is ageing with grace. It's a landmark and legally protected icon of French architecture. [12]

The seating bowl provides two continuous tiers without obstructed views, though some obstructions were introduced due to additional fencing of the away enclosure. Distance of end zones from the field is a disadvantage, because the stadium was designed with rugby in mind and left too much room for football configuration. [12]


The Parc des Princes during the UEFA Euro 2016. Port aut em2016 3.jpg
The Parc des Princes during the UEFA Euro 2016.

The stadium has moved with times and adapted well to changing standards over the last forty years. [1] In 2013, Paris Saint-Germain reached an agreement with the Paris City Council, owner of the Parc des Princes, who extended their stadium lease to 2043, [13] based on a fixed rent plus a variable share of their income. [14]

Subsequently, PSG completed a three-year €75 million upgrade of the Parc des Princes (2012, 2013–2014, 2015–2016) ahead of the UEFA Euro 2016 in France. [12] The latest upgrade, unlike those at Stade Vélodrome or Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, the homes of Olympique de Marseille and AS Saint-Étienne respectively, was achieved without partial closure of the ground. The ground in the west of Paris' centre was redeveloped under the guidance of American architect Tom Sheehan. [14]

The pitch was re-laid and raised 28 centimetres to help its growth, while two additional rows of seats were added, allowing the ground to remain at a capacity of 48,000, despite now boasting larger and more comfortable seats. Hospitality capacity has risen from 1,200 to 4,500, while some players have bought one of the private boxes that offer a great view of the pitch. The public areas around the stadium were refurbished to exploit them with fan zones. [14]

The remodelling of the stadium also saw the installation of new substitutes' benches and spacious, modern changing rooms that include warm-up and treatment rooms. The playing surface, the Desso GrassMaster technology, consist of natural grass and featuring undersoil heating, was reinforced with artificial strands sewn into the turf to provide a faster, more even and more resistant pitch. [4]

Carrying out this renovation work saw PSG's stadium revenue swell from €20m to €100m. The club has a 30-year agreement in place with the Paris City Council, which owns the stadium, based on a fixed rent plus a variable share of their income. [14]


PSG want to increase the capacity of their home to 60,000 in the coming years, having just completed their latest upgrades in time for the UEFA Euro 2016. [14] As Paris was chosen as host of the 2024 Summer Olympics, PSG might receive a boost in attempt to expand the Parc des Princes by over 10,000 seats. From the start of their ownership at the capital club, Oryx Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) made it clear that a larger stadium is one of the means to establish PSG as one of leading European clubs. [15]

There were two options under consideration: move to the Stade de France or expansion of the Parc des Princes. The first option is no longer under consideration; the club’s ownership invested €75 million into redevelopments at the Parc des Princes ahead of the Euro 2016. Expansion before the tournament proved impossible, importantly due to difficult location and protected legal status of the stadium. PSG decided to stay put and deliver the expansion in medium term. During an exhibition celebrating the club's 45th anniversary deputy CEO Jean-Claude Blanc reaffirmed that the club’s plans had not changed. [15]

Major tournament matches

1938 FIFA World Cup matches

DateTime (WEST)Team #1ResultTeam #2RoundSpectators
4 June 193817:00Flag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland 1–1 (a.e.t.)Flag of Germany (1935-1945).svg  Germany First Round27,152
9 June 193818:00Flag of Germany (1935-1945).svg  Germany 2–4Flag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland First Round replay20,025
16 June 193818:00Flag of Hungary 1940.svg  Hungary 5–1Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden Semi-finals20,000

1954 Rugby League World Cup matches

DateTime (CET)Team #1ResultTeam #2RoundSpectators
30 October 1954Flag of France.svg  France 22–13Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand First round
13 November 1954Flag of France.svg  France 12–16Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain Final 30,368

1960 European Nations' Cup matches

DateTime (CET)Team #1ResultTeam #2RoundSpectators
6 July 196020:00Flag of France.svg  France 4–5Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg  Yugoslavia Semi-finals26,370
10 July 196021:30Flag of the Soviet Union.svg  Soviet Union 2–1 (a.e.t.)Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg  Yugoslavia Final 17,966

1972 Rugby League World Cup matches

DateTime (CET)Team #1ResultTeam #2RoundSpectators
1 November 1972Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 9–5Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand First round8,000

UEFA Euro 1984 matches

DateTime (CEST)Team #1ResultTeam #2RoundSpectators
12 June 198420:30Flag of France.svg  France 1–0Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark Group 147,570
20 June 198420:30Flag of Germany.svg  West Germany 0–1Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Group 247,691
27 June 198420:00Flag of France.svg  France 2–0Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Final 47,368

1991 Rugby World Cup matches

DateTime (CEST)Team #1ResultTeam #2RoundSpectators
19 October 1991Flag of France.svg  France 10–19Flag of England.svg  England Quarter-finals48,500

1998 FIFA World Cup matches

DateTime (CEST)Team #1ResultTeam #2RoundSpectators
15 June 199821:00Flag of Germany.svg  Germany 2–0Flag of the United States.svg  United States Group F45,500
19 June 199817:30Flag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria 1–0Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria Group D45,500
21 June 199817:30Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 5–0Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica Group H45,500
25 June 199816:00Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium 1–1Flag of South Korea (1997-2011).svg  South Korea Group E45,500
28 June 199821:00Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 4–1Flag of Chile.svg  Chile Round of 1645,500
11 July 199821:00Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 1–2Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia Third place match45,500

2007 Rugby World Cup matches

DateTime (CEST)Team #1ResultTeam #2RoundSpectators
9 September 200716:00Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 59–7Flag of Samoa.svg  Samoa Pool A46,575
19 September 200720:00Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 31–5Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal Pool C45,476
28 September 200721:00Flag of England.svg  England 36–20Flag of Tonga.svg  Tonga Pool A45,085
30 September 200717:00IRFU flag.svg  Ireland 15–30Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina Pool D45,450
19 October 200721:00Flag of France.svg  France 10–34Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina Bronze final45,958

UEFA Euro 2016 matches

DateTime (CEST)Team #1ResultTeam #2RoundSpectators
12 June 201615:00Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey 0–1Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia Group D43,842
15 June 201618:00Flag of Romania.svg  Romania 1–1Flag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland Group A43,576
18 June 201621:00Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal 0–0Flag of Austria.svg  Austria Group F44,291
21 June 201618:00Ulster Banner.svg  Northern Ireland 0–1Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Group C44,125
25 June 201618:00Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 1–0Ulster Banner.svg  Northern Ireland Round of 1644,342

2019 FIFA Women's World Cup

DateTimeTeam No. 1Res.Team No. 2RoundAttendance
7 June 201921:00Flag of France.svg  France Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea Group A
10 June 201918:00Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina Flag of Japan.svg  Japan Group D
13 June 201921:00Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China PR Group B
19 June 201921:00Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina Group D
20 June 201921:00Flag of the United States.svg  United States Flag of Chile.svg  Chile Group F
24 June 201921:00Runners-up Group FRunners-up Group ERound of 16
28 June 201921:00Winners Match 40Winners Match 41Quarter-finals

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    10. 1954 Rugby League World Cup
    11. 1954 Rugby League World Cup Final highlights
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    13. "Paris: PSG confirm next 30 years at Parc des Princes". 27 November 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
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    Official websites
    Preceded by
    All 8 venues used for
    the 1934 FIFA World Cup,
    matches on the first day were
    all played at the same time
    FIFA World Cup
    Opening match Venue

    Succeeded by
    Estádio do Maracanã
    Rio de Janeiro