Event Info / Stadium Modernization
Modernising Roland Garros stadium
When, on 13 February 2011, the French Tennis Federation chose to remain in Roland Garros stadium at the Porte d’Auteuil in Paris, it was a decision that would go down in history as one of the most important since the stadium was built in 1920!
Faced with the problems of unpredictable weather conditions, a lack of space and conditions that were not ideal for players, spectators, partners and the media, the French Tennis Federation decided to modernise the current stadium and equip it with facilities that befit a tournament of this stature.
The new Roland Garros is set to be inaugurated in 2018, at its traditional and unique location in the heart of Paris which has played host to so many chapters in French and indeed world tennis history.
The new stadium will meet three requirements as set out by the FFT :
- a centre court with a retractable roof to enable play to continue regardless of the weather and also the light, enabling evening sessions to be organised;
- more comfort and space for everyone – players, fans, partners and media alike;
- a stadium with up-to-date infrastructure.
An extendable stadium
To meet the needs of the FFT, whose head office is located within the stadium, there will be two versions of the site – one that is "extended" for the tournament (11.16 hectares) and a "contracted" one (8.6 hectares) the rest of the year.
A greener stadium that is open to its surroundings
The aim of the project is to cultivate what is already an exceptional site, opening it up to its environment and integrating it more into the surrounding landscape and the day-to-day life of the Porte d’Auteuil area. The focus of the development will thus be on the landscaping aspect of the project. The stadium will extend from east to west from the southern section of the Auteuil greenhouses garden over to the Fonds des Princes tennis courts.
To the east, a semi-sunken new court with 4,950 seats will be constructed, surrounded by four large greenhouses, with a botanical garden alongside the south-east part which serves a purely visual purpose. The court will be architecturally striking and will highlight the beauty of the garden. It will also serve to replace the current No.1 Court which is making way for a vast esplanade of greenery at the heart of the stadium which will form the new Place des Mousquetaires. This landscaped area stretching over a hectare will be a place for people to relax and will also help to regulate the flow of fans.
Philippe Chatrier Court will be fitted with a retractable roof to enable play to continue despite adverse weather and nightfall, and to enable evening sessions to be held. The 15,000-seater stadium will also be altered to provide more comfort for spectators and to create extra space for all involved in the tournament, and in particular the players.
To the west, the Fonds des Princes will be extended and turned into an area for competitive matches, with seven courts in total, one of which will have room for 2,200 spectators.
A building for the tournament organisation will be constructed where the National Training Centre is located, and will also house the new Roland Garros Village.
The large-scale redesign of the site will also see new access points created to make it easier to manage the flow of visitors, including an enormous entrance on the Avenue de la Porte d’Auteuil.
The project has estimated costs of 340 million euros, of which around 95% will be financed by the FFT using its own funds and also a loan. The City of Paris owns the site and is responsible for its urban planning, and will provide a grant of 20 million euros for the project.
By choosing to improve the existing site, the French Tennis Federation is proving that it is equal to the task of combining the sporting, financial, social and cultural interests at stake in the 21st century. Plenty more chapters in the history of tennis are set to be written here at Roland Garros…