Parc des Princes

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Parc des Princes
Parc des Princes - Logo.png
Paris Parc des Princes 1.jpg
Location 24, Rue du Commandant-Guilbaud
75016 Paris, Île-de-France, France
Coordinates 48°50′29″N 2°15′11″E / 48.84139°N 2.25306°E / 48.84139; 2.25306Coordinates: 48°50′29″N 2°15′11″E / 48.84139°N 2.25306°E / 48.84139; 2.25306
Public transit Paris Métro Paris Métro Line 9 Porte de Saint-Cloud
Owner Paris City Council
Operator Paris Saint-Germain
Capacity 47,929
Record attendance 50,370 France vs Wales (18 February 1989)
Field size 105 m × 68 m (344 ft × 223 ft)
Surface GrassMaster by Tarkett Sports
Built 1967 (current Parc)
Opened 4 June 1972 (1972-06-04)
Renovated 1998, 2014–2016
Construction cost c. 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, 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][2]

The stadium, with a seating capacity of 47,929 spectators, has been the home stadium of Paris Saint-Germain since 1974.[3][4] 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]

Conceived by architect Roger Taillibert & Siavash Teimouri, the current version of the Parc des Princes officially opened on 4 June 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 following 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]


The first Parc (1897–1932)

The first Parc under the snow in 1908.

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 18 July 1897.[7]

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]

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 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.

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, the Tour de France was not the only major sporting event hosted at this stadium.[4][7] It was the venue for several matches at the 1938 FIFA World Cup, as well as the Euro 1960.[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 pitch of the current Parc des Princes.

The current Parc (since 1972)

French president Georges Pompidou officially inaugurated the new enclosure by attending the French Cup Final on 4 June 1972.[7] Paris Saint-Germain played their first game at the Parc des Princes against Red Star on 10 November 1973, as a curtain-raiser for that season's league season between Paris FC (PFC) and Sochaux. PSG won 3–1 as Othniel Dossevi scored the club's first goal at the Parc.[12]

Paris SG returned to Ligue 1 in 1974, ironically the same year that Paris FC were relegated, and 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 a few times that season despite the reluctance of PFC.[15][16] 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 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.[2] It has also staged games at the 1998 FIFA World Cup, 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup and UEFA Euro 2016, and was the venue for the 1984 and 2016 UEFA European Championships finals, not to mention the 2007 Rugby World Cup.[2][4]


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 aging with grace. It's a landmark and legally protected icon of French architecture.[17]

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.[17]


The Parc des Princes during the UEFA Euro 2016.

The stadium has moved with the 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, based on a fixed rent plus a variable share of their income.[18][19]

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.[17] 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.[19]

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.[19]

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.[19]


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.[19] 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, 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.[20]

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.[20]

Major tournament matches

1938 FIFA World Cup matches

Date Time (WEST) Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Spectators
4 June 1938 17:00   Switzerland 1–1 (a.e.t.)  Germany First Round 27,152
9 June 1938 18:00  Germany 2–4   Switzerland First Round replay 20,025
16 June 1938 18:00  Hungary 5–1  Sweden Semi-finals 20,000

1954 Rugby League World Cup matches

Date Time (CET) Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Spectators
30 October 1954  France 22–13  New Zealand First round
13 November 1954  France 12–16  Great Britain Final 30,368

1960 European Nations' Cup matches

Date Time (CET) Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Spectators
6 July 1960 20:00  France 4–5  Yugoslavia Semi-finals 26,370
10 July 1960 21:30  Soviet Union 2–1 (a.e.t.)  Yugoslavia Final 17,966

1972 Rugby League World Cup matches

Date Time (CET) Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Spectators
1 November 1972  Australia 9–5  New Zealand First round 8,000

UEFA Euro 1984 matches

Date Time (CEST) Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Spectators
12 June 1984 20:30  France 1–0  Denmark Group 1 47,570
20 June 1984 20:30  West Germany 0–1  Spain Group 2 47,691
27 June 1984 20:00  France 2–0  Spain Final 47,368

1991 Rugby World Cup matches

Date Time (CEST) Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Spectators
19 October 1991  France 10–19  England Quarter-finals 48,500

1998 FIFA World Cup matches

Date Time (CEST) Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Spectators
15 June 1998 21:00  Germany 2–0  United States Group F 45,500
19 June 1998 17:30  Nigeria 1–0  Bulgaria Group D 45,500
21 June 1998 17:30  Argentina 5–0  Jamaica Group H 45,500
25 June 1998 16:00  Belgium 1–1  South Korea Group E 45,500
28 June 1998 21:00  Brazil 4–1  Chile Round of 16 45,500
11 July 1998 21:00  Netherlands 1–2  Croatia Third place match 45,500

2007 Rugby World Cup matches

Date Time (CEST) Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Spectators
9 September 2007 16:00  South Africa 59–7  Samoa Pool A 46,575
19 September 2007 20:00  Italy 31–5  Portugal Pool C 45,476
28 September 2007 21:00  England 36–20  Tonga Pool A 45,085
30 September 2007 17:00  Ireland 15–30  Argentina Pool D 45,450
19 October 2007 21:00  France 10–34  Argentina Bronze final 45,958

UEFA Euro 2016 matches

Date Time (CEST) Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Spectators
12 June 2016 15:00  Turkey 0–1  Croatia Group D 43,842
15 June 2016 18:00  Romania 1–1   Switzerland Group A 43,576
18 June 2016 21:00  Portugal 0–0  Austria Group F 44,291
21 June 2016 18:00  Northern Ireland 0–1  Germany Group C 44,125
25 June 2016 18:00  Wales 1–0  Northern Ireland Round of 16 44,342

2019 FIFA Women's World Cup matches

Date Time (CEST) Team #1 Res. Team #2 Round Attendance
7 June 2019 21:00  France 4–0  South Korea Group A 45,261
10 June 2019 18:00  Argentina 0–0  Japan Group D 25,055
13 June 2019 21:00  South Africa 0–1  China PR Group B 20,011
16 June 2019 18:00  United States 3–0  Chile Group F 45,594
19 June 2019 21:00  Scotland 3–3  Argentina Group D 28,205
24 June 2019 21:00  Sweden 1–0  Canada Round of 16 38,078
28 June 2019 21:00  France 1–2  United States Quarter-finals 45,595


See also


  1. ^ a b c d e "PARC DES PRINCES". Paris2024. Archived from the original on 15 August 2016. Retrieved 7 July 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Parc des Princes". Archived from the original on 3 July 2016. Retrieved 7 July 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ "Parc des Princes". Archived from the original on 19 August 2017. Retrieved 19 July 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "The lowdown on the Parc des Princes". Real Madrid CF. 21 October 2015. Archived from the original on 16 August 2016. Retrieved 7 July 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  5. ^ "Plan du Parc". Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  6. ^ "PSG firmly in the pantheon". 17 October 2008. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Le Parc des Princes". Info PSG. Archived from the original on 21 August 2016. Retrieved 7 July 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  8. ^ "PSG-OM, record d'affluence au Parc des Princes en L1". Paris.canal-historique. 24 October 2016. Archived from the original on 23 November 2016. Retrieved 23 November 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  9. ^ "Parc des Princes Paris". Stadium and Attendances. Archived from the original on 19 August 2016. Retrieved 7 July 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  10. ^ 1954 Rugby League World Cup
  11. ^ 1954 Rugby League World Cup Final highlights
  12. ^ "Millième au Parc des Princes : ces dix matches qui ont fait l'histoire du PSG". Europe1. 9 September 2016. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  13. ^ "Histoire du Paris Saint Germain". PSG70. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  14. ^ "A brief history: Paris FC". thefootballcult – Medium. 16 January 2018. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  15. ^ "1973 - 1978 : Paris se replace sur la scène française". Paris United. 19 November 2018. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  16. ^ "Le PSG et Manchester City, les faux jumeaux". Le Monde. 5 April 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  17. ^ a b c "Euro 2016: Parc des Princes". Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  18. ^ "Paris: PSG confirm next 30 years at Parc des Princes". 27 November 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  19. ^ a b c d e "Paris Saint-Germain finish Parc des Princes renovation but eye expansion". 11 May 2016. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  20. ^ a b "Paris: 2024 Olympics could accelerate Parc des Princes expansion". 11 May 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2016.

External links

Official websites
  • - Site officiel du Paris Saint-Germain
  • - Ligue de Football Professionnel - PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN
  • Paris Saint-Germain -
  • Live Scores - Clubs: Paris Saint-Germain -
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
Retrieved from ""
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