The State will launch the process for a sale or a new concession of the Stade de France
The State is preparing to launch two calls for applications next week, the results of which will define the future of the Stade de France, the current concession contract ending in July 2025, announced on Friday March 3, the entourage of the Minister of Sports and the Olympic and Paralympic Games (JOP). One of these calls is addressed to potential buyers of the Saint-Denis enclosure (Seine-Saint-Denis), the other to companies interested in a concession for the operation of this stadium, which hosts sporting events and culture for 25 years.
Since 1995, it is a consortium made up of the two giants of the French construction industry Vinci and Bouygues (respectively for two thirds and one third), builders of the stadium, which operates the enclosure which can accommodate 80,000 people, which had been created for the Cup of the 1998 World Cup.
Whether it’s a takeover or a concession, candidates could be identified “by the end of April” with a “delivery of the first offers in the fall”. The process will continue throughout 2024, the year that will see the Stade de France install a new athletics track for the Paris Olympics in the summer. The new owner or dealer will likely not be known until 2025.
The idea is to “keep the sporting vocation of the equipment” and at the same time “to preserve the economic and financial interests of the State”said the entourage of the Minister of Sports and JOP, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra. “The state will not sell off any of this equipment”we warn from the same source.
A few weeks ago, several sources close to the executive had indicated that the hypothesis of a sale remains ” weak “.
The State, owner of the stadium, a rarity in the world of sport, has been thinking about the future of the Stade de France for several years with the idea in the background that the model chosen will cost it less. In 2018, former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe had not ruled out a sale and promised to “decide on the main principles of the system by the end of 2019”. Since then, several reports and studies have been published and nothing has changed. According to a source familiar with the matter, it would be worth between “400 and 600 million euros”.
In the fall of 2022, the president of PSG, Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, engaged in difficult discussions with the city of Paris which does not want to sell him the Parc des Princes, had mentioned a possible takeover of the Saint-Denis enclosure. . But this scenario leaves many people incredulous.
Will the International Football Federation (FIFA) be one of the potential buyers? According to information from L’Equipe, FIFA President Gianni Infantino is reportedly considering it. Contacted by Le Monde, FIFA nevertheless “firmly denied this information” without giving further details.
For the moment, the consortium which manages the Stade de France, has not revealed its intentions. “The State is behind schedule, it cannot do the procedures one after the other before the end of the current concession, so it is launching both at the same time”deciphers a source close to the file at AFP.
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In a report on the Olympic and Paralympic Games, published in January, the Court of Auditors was moved that the case dragged on. Faced with the possibility of a call for tenders in the spring of 2023, it judged that “this calendar is the most unfavorable for the State which, as in 1995, will find itself under pressure from both candidates and sports federations”.
The French Football and Rugby Federations (FFF and FFR), which play a number of matches there, have been informed of the launch of the process and should be more involved, according to several sources.
According to a 2019 Senate Finance Committee Briefing Report, “the cost of the stadium for the public accounts since 1995 will exceed one billion euros after the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games”.
The invoice linked to the JOP will even be a little higher than expected: if, initially, the Organizing Committee of the Games (Cojop) had to have the enclosure from March 15 to September 20, 2024, for a non-exclusive provision in initially (March 15 to 1er June), then exclusive in a second phase (1er June to September 20), the Stade de France will finally be unavailable from 1er December 2023. Which means that there will be no football and rugby matches or concerts in the compound until September 2024. To compensate for the stoppage of activities, the bill – “stated in tens of millions of euros” according to the Court of Auditors – should be shared between the State and the Cojop.