26 Nov 2010

French Rugby Union to build its own stadium

10:35 am on 26 November 2010

The French Rugby Federation says it will not be renewing its deal with the Stade de France when it expires in 2013 and plans to build a ground of its own.

FFR president Pierre Camou says the sport needs to have its own home in order to maintain independence.

The Federation is planning to be playing in a new stadium by 2017.

Sites at Massy, Senart, Bondoufle and Marne-la-Vallee on the outskirts of Paris have registered interest in being home to the proposed venue.

The 80,000-capacity ground would have a retractable roof and would cost an estimated 600 million euros.

The Stade de France in St Denis took over from Parc de Princes as the home of the French national team in 1998.

It was built for that year's football World Cup and hosted the 2007 Rugby World Cup final, won by South Africa.

The 80,000-seater venue has also played host to the World Athletics Championships, football's Champions League final and rugby union's Heineken Cup final.

Former French League president Serge Blanco, who is in charge of the project, claimed the FFR had to pay half its takings from international matches to the owners of the Stade de France.

He also claimed that last year's French Top 14 final had to be postponed from May to June because the Stade de France was hosting a concert by French rock star Johnny Hallyday.