Parc des Princes

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Parc des Princes
Parc des Princes - Logo.png
PSG-Nantes Parc des Princes 05.jpg
Parc des Princes
Location24, Rue du Commandant-Guilbaud
75016 Paris, Île-de-France, France
Coordinates 48°50′29″N2°15′11″E / 48.84139°N 2.25306°E / 48.84139; 2.25306 Coordinates: 48°50′29″N2°15′11″E / 48.84139°N 2.25306°E / 48.84139; 2.25306
Public transit Paris logo metro jms.svg Paris m 9 jms.svg Porte de Saint-Cloud
Operator Paris Saint-Germain
Capacity 47,929
Record attendance50,370 (Rugby: France vs Wales, 18 February 1989)
Field size105 m × 68 m (344 ft × 223 ft)
Surface GrassMaster by Tarkett Sports
Built1967 (current)
Opened25 May 1972 (1972-05-25)
Renovated1997–1998, 2014–2016
Construction cost150 million FRF (1972)
Architect Roger Taillibert & Siavash Teimouri
Paris Saint-Germain (1974–present)

The Parc des Princes (French pronunciation:  [paʁk de pʁɛ̃s] , "Princes’ Park" in English) is an all-seater football stadium in Paris, France, [1] in the south-west of the French capital, inside the 16th arrondissement, near the Stade Jean-Bouin and Stade Roland Garros. [1] [2]


The stadium, with a seating capacity of 47,929 spectators, has been the home of Paris Saint-Germain since 1974. [3] [4] Before the opening of the Stade de France in 1998, it was also the home 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 Tribune Borelli, Tribune Auteuil, Tribune Paris, and Tribune Boulogne. [5]

Conceived by architect Roger Taillibert and Siavash Teimouri, the current version of the Parc des Princes officially opened on 25 May 1972, at a cost of 80–150 million francs. [6] [7] The stadium is the third to have been built on the site, the first opening its doors in 1897 and the second in 1932. [2]

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]


Original stadium (1897–1932)

Originally called Stade Vélodrome du Parc des Princes, the stadium was inaugurated on 18 July 1897. Situated in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, the area was a forested parkland used by the royal family before the French Revolution. This gave the Parc des Princes its name. [7] [10]

With more than 3,000 seats, the velodrome had a 728-yard track. [7] [10] The director of the stadium, Henri Desgrange, was a former racing cyclist and founder of the cycling magazine L'Auto (predecessor of L'Équipe ). [10] Le Parc marked the finish of the Tour from its first edition in 1903 until 1967. [4] The 1900 UCI Track Cycling World Championships was held at the Parc des Princes. [10]

In 1903, an English side easily defeated a team composed by the best Parisian players (11–0) in front of 984 paying spectators, in what was the first international football played at the Parc des Princes. [7] In 1905, the French national football team contested its first ever home match against Switzerland, winning 1–0 at le Parc. [7] [10] Subsequently, the stadium welcomed further prestigious friendly games, but also four USFSA French Championship finals, as well as the 1919 Coupe de France Final between CASG Paris and Olympique de Paris in front of 10,000 spectators. [7]

The original Parc des Princes under the snow in 1908. ParcdesPrinces1908.jpg
The original Parc des Princes under the snow in 1908.

PSG's home also boasts a long history as an international rugby venue. [2] In 1906, the French national rugby union team played their first international against the New Zealand national rugby union team. Other tenants included the Racing Club de France. [10]

The stadium capacity was increased to 20,000 by the start of the 1924 Summer Olympics, held in Paris. However, Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir, which had been expanded to 60,000 seats, hosted the event. [10]

Second stadium (1932–1972)

In the 1930s, L'Auto founder Henri Desgrange and his business partner Victor Goddet carried out a thorough reconstruction of the Parc des Princes and expanded it so that the sports arena had seats for 45,000 visitors, including 26,000 covered. [7] [10] The new stadium opened on 19 April 1932. [2] [7] Its capacity, however, was quickly reduced to 38,000 seats to improve comfort. [7] Le Parc hosted the opening match of the 1938 FIFA World Cup between Switzerland and Germany as well as the victory of Hungary in the semi-final against Sweden. But Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir continued to be more important, hosting the 1938 FIFA World Cup Final in which Italy beat the Hungarians 4–2 to claim its second consecutive world title. [10]

Following the Liberation of Paris in August 1944 and the end of World War II in September 1945, the French football championship returned, with big Parisian clubs Stade français-Red Star and Racing Paris regularly playing at the Parc des Princes. Still equipped with a cycling track of 454 metres, the Tour de France was not the only major sporting event hosted at this stadium. [4] [7] Le Parc also hosted the 1954 Rugby League World Cup Final, which saw Great Britain defeat hosts France in the inaugural staging of the Rugby League World Cup; [11] Real Madrid's win over Stade de Reims in the first ever European Cup final in 1956; [4] and the 1960 European Nations' Cup Final, which saw the Soviet Union claim the first edition of the tournament after beating Yugoslavia. [2]

Current stadium (since 1972)


The second Parc des Princes in 1932. 1932 Le parc des princes v1.jpg
The second Parc des Princes in 1932.

Conceived by French architect Roger Taillibert and Iranian artist Siavash Teimouri, the design of the third and current Parc des Princes was innovative for the time, allowing spectators to enjoy excellent sight-lines, with no seat being further than 45 metres from the pitch. [1] [10] It was also the first stadium with lighting systems integrated onto its elliptical roof, and to this day is praised for its unique acoustics and its distinctive concrete ribs or razors. [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] [10] 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 has aged with grace. It is a landmark and legally protected icon of French architecture. [12]

Furthermore, 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 a football configuration. [12]

Opening and Paris Saint-Germain

The inauguration of the Parc des Princes took place on 25 May 1972 on the occasion of the football match between France and USSR. The new stadium hosted the 1972 Coupe de France Final between Olympique de Marseille and Bastia on 4 June 1972. [7] [10] That same year, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) – a fusion between Paris Football Club (PFC) and Stade Saint-Germain – went through a bitter divorce. Paris FC remained in Ligue 1, while PSG kept their name but were administratively demoted to Division 3. [13] [14]

PSG played their first game at the Parc des Princes against Ligue 2 promotion rivals Red Star on 10 November 1973, as a curtain-raiser for that season's league season between PFC and Sochaux. PSG won 3–1 as Othniel Dossevi scored the club's first goal at the stadium. [15] PSG returned to Ligue 1 in 1974, ironically the same year that Paris FC (PFC) were relegated. They immediately moved into the Parc des Princes, which up until that point had been the home stadium of PFC. [13] [14] Before that, PSG had been playing at several grounds including the Stade Municipal Georges Lefèvre, the Stade Jean-Bouin, the Stade Bauer, and even the Parc des Princes a few times that season despite the reluctance of PFC. [16] [17] Thereafter, Paris FC and Racing Paris also played at the Parc des Princes while they were in Ligue 1 (until 1990), but never reaching the numbers of attendance leaders PSG. [7]

The current Parc des Princes seen from above. The neighboring facility is Stade Jean-Bouin (Paris). Paris - Orthophotographie - 2018 - Parc des Princes et Jean Bouin 01.jpg
The current Parc des Princes seen from above. The neighboring facility is Stade Jean-Bouin (Paris).

Following its opening, the Parc des Princes finally became France's biggest stadium. [10] This was where the national and international cup finals took place, including every single Coupe de France from 1972 to 1997, and three European club finals: the 1975 European Cup Final, the 1978 European Cup Winners' Cup Final and the 1981 European Cup Final. [2] [10] Most importantly, le Parc saw France defeat Spain in the UEFA Euro 1984 Final to claim its first-ever title. In 1992, France was named to host the 1998 World Cup. It was the country's first since 1938 and construction of a new arena began in May 1995, at the same time that Parc des Princes hosted the 1995 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Final. [10]

Inaugurated in January 1998, the Stade de France was the stadium of the future, while le Parc hosted its last international final that same year: the 1998 UEFA Cup Final. [10] Les Bleus have only played twice at the Parc des Princes since 1998: against Scotland during the UEFA Euro 2008 qualifiers in September 2007, and versus Australia in a friendly match in October 2013. [18] Nonetheless, the stadium has still staged games at the 1998 FIFA World Cup, 2007 Rugby World Cup, UEFA Euro 2016 and 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup. [2] [4]

Renovation and expansion

In November 2013, PSG reached an agreement with the Paris City Council, owner of the Parc des Princes, to extend their stadium lease for a further 30 years until 2043, based on a fixed rent plus a variable share of their income. [10] [19] [20] Subsequently, under the guidance of American architect Tom Sheehan, 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] [20]

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. [20] Hospitality capacity went from 1,200 to 4,500, and new substitutes' benches and spacious, modern changing rooms that include warm-up and treatment rooms were installed. [4] [20] Carrying out this renovation work saw PSG's stadium revenue swell from €20m to €100m. [20]

PSG are also looking to increase the capacity of their home to 60,000 in the coming years. [20] From the start of their ownership at the capital club, 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. Originally, there were two options under consideration: move to the Stade de France or expand the Parc des Princes. The former was discarded following the redevelopments made to le Parc ahead of the Euro 2016. Expansion before the tournament proved impossible, but according to PSG deputy CEO Jean-Claude Blanc the club's plans have not changed. [21] There have also been rumours that QSI are interested in buying the Parc des Princes for a fee believed to be around €150m. [10]

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 (1915-1918, 1919-1946).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 round13,240
13 November 195412–16Flag 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 2–0 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 F 45,500
19 June 199817:30Flag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria 1–0Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria Group D 45,500
21 June 199817:30Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 5–0Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica Group H 45,500
25 June 199816:00Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium 1–1Flag of South Korea (1997-2011).svg  South Korea Group E 45,500
28 June 199821:00Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 4–1Flag of Chile.svg  Chile Round of 16 45,500
11 July 199821:00Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 1–2Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia Third place match 45,500

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 10–34Bronze 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 D 43,842
15 June 201618:00Flag of Romania.svg  Romania 1–1Flag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland Group A 43,576
18 June 201621:00Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal 0–0Flag of Austria.svg  Austria Group F 44,291
21 June 201618:00Ulster Banner.svg  Northern Ireland 0–1Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Group C 44,125
25 June 201618:00Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 1–0Ulster Banner.svg  Northern Ireland Round of 16 44,342

2019 FIFA Women's World Cup matches

DateTime (CEST)Team #1Res.Team #2RoundAttendance
7 June 201921:00Flag of France.svg  France 4–0Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea Group A 45,261
10 June 201918:00Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 0–0Flag of Japan.svg  Japan Group D 25,055
13 June 201921:00Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 0–1Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China PR Group B 20,011
16 June 201918:00Flag of the United States.svg  United States 3–0Flag of Chile.svg  Chile Group F 45,594
19 June 201921:00Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland 3–3Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina Group D 28,205
24 June 201921:00Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden 1–0Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada Round of 16 38,078
28 June 201921:00Flag of France.svg  France 1–2Flag of the United States.svg  United States Quarter-finals 45,595

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