PSG to remain at 'renovated' Parc des Princes
Paris city council confirmed in a statement on Thursday that capital club Paris Saint-Germain "wish to remain at a totally renovated Parc des Princes for the long term."
The statement released by the municipal authorities -- who own the stadium -- said that the Ligue 1 runners-up wish to remain in a stadium that "corresponds to the highest international standards and the sporting ambitions of the club."
"Work will begin in the coming months," the statement continued, with the city council and PSG agreeing to continue talks over the best way to go about increasing the capacity of the stadium, which presently holds 47,428 fans."
The current capacity is not enough to satisfy the wishes of the club's Qatari owners as they seek to turn PSG into a major player in the European game.
The statement added that the initial work, in the run up to the 2016 European Championship which France will host, will seek to improve areas dedicated to players, spectator comfort, facilities for the disabled and press before a larger scale "facelift" is started later on.
The refurbishment will be "inspired by the best international models".
However, PSG Director General Jean-Claude Blanc told AFP the decision to renovate the venue in two separate phases was their "third-choice option."
"We realised that even with a lot of work we just would not have the time to carry out major renovation (before Euro 2016)," he said.
"We therefore decided to give ourselves more time to look at all the possibilities and work with the city council towards improving the ground for Euro 2016."
The club's preferred options were to build a brand new 60,000-seat venue on the site of the current Parc des Princes or to redevelop the stadium in one go, increasing the capacity to 50,000.
Jean Vuillermoz, who holds the sports portfolio for Paris under city mayor Bertrand Delanoe, had said in May that PSG president's Nasser El Khelaifi's project for a new venue on the site were "impossible" to follow through.
"The mayor said it would be impossible to destroy a monument which is part of Paris," he told AFP at the time.
The Parc des Princes has been PSG's home since the early 1970s and has hosted many showpiece games, including France's 2-0 win over Spain in the 1984 European Championship final, and several European club competition finals.
The French national rugby team also played matches there before moving to the Stade de France following its opening in 1998.
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