ATP Tennis 360

November 5, 2009 9:35 AM

French Open to move venue?


It could be only an affected way to obtain what they they are not sure to achieve, that's to say "spaces, spaces, spaces", but the menace of the French Open director to move the event now seems quite realistic. The French Tennis Federation president Jean Gachassin said through the press that Eurodisney, and the city of Sarcelles, would be honoured to be the next French Open Venue. And Gilbert Ysern, the tournament director, declared: "We must be prepared to the worst, to leave the Roland Garros".


The menace was launched a year ago when a new project was presented; the key aim was expanding the 2.5-hectare venue with two courts with expected attendances fixed at 2500 and 1000 seats respectively. The French architect Marc Minram, after a contest, was elected as the project manager. In the project they introduced the possibility to move also the Paris-Bercy Masters-1000 in the new venue.

But Pierre-Christophe Baguet, the mayor of the 16th arrondissement, where the Roland Garros is, is accusing the FFT president to be «only a shrewd making pressure to obtain the annexion of the complex to the Georges-Hebert venue, but we don't need it.  To expand the Roland Garros venue for our exigences it' enough to add a retractile roof to the Philipp Chatrier, raise the stands and adjust the village. There's already an agreement with Claude Goasguen", the mayor of the French capital.


Rama Yade, the State secretary responsible for sport underlined that the tournaments needs a series of changes, but the most important thing is avoiding the Open are transferred abroad. And the Spanish pressing is becoming more and more intense. Their intention is hosting the Grand Slam event in the new, extra-modern venue in Caja Magica.


The Roland Garros stadium, built in 1927 to host the Davis Cup, is owned by the city of Paris, and the director of the tournament rent the right to use it to host the event, and the contract ends in 2015. The stadium went through different adjustments, the last in 2008 when the stands around the Philippe Chatrier court were expanded.


Anyway the French Federation will wait for an year before reclaiming a definitive answer by the mayor of Paris. In case of an effective transfer, the amount of the necessary investment seems exaggerated respect of the Federation possibility. So, the idea that this is only a tactic to make pressure gain credibility.


But, on the other side, the business reasons are more and more replacing the sport reasons, entertainment is overwhelming history. But Mickey Mouse can't substitute the Port d'Auteil.

A Member Of