Saturday, November 7, 2009

So Much for Those "Economic Troubles"

According to the federation at Roland Garros, a project is underway to have an entire new venue created for the French Open built in the next several years. Here is the statement:
The federation announced this year a project to build a new center court with a
retractable roof that could be in use by 2013 or 2014.

The new 14,600-seat stadium would be located just under 500 yards from the current center court and surrounded by two other smaller, covered arenas at a cost of $177 million.

The project is reportedly facing opposition from green
members of the city council and residents living near the stadium. Paris city
hall said it remained committed to the project.

“Paris city hall and its
political majority wants the French Open to stay in Paris,” city hall said in a
statement. “We are well aware of the necessity for the French tennis federation
to modernize its facilities to stay competitive. We want to find a solution in
this area.”

Ysern said the federation has the right to use Roland Garros
until 2015.

“We have already injected a lot of money, an architect has
been appointed and has already started his works. We can’t lose our time. We
have to build,” Ysern said.

The FFT chose architect Marc Mimram, who
designed the overpass that connects France and Germany across the Rhine River in

Ysern added the FFT would pursue other options—including the
possibility of moving the tournament away from its historical site—in case the
new stadium project falls through.

“We are thinking about the impact of
such a relocation,” Ysern said. “When you want something and you understand it’s
not sure that you are going to get it, you have to think about other options.”

The FFT hasn’t determined a site yet but it would be difficult to build
a new arena in Paris itself, with the organizers probably being forced to
consider a move toward the suburbs.

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