French Open Stays Put as Roland Garros Expansion and Renovation Finally Back on Track
- Oct 24, 2013
By Alex Girda, Associate Editor
Paris—According to recent reports, one of the most important sports venues in the world is set for a massive expansion and renovation process after Parisian authorities have lifted the suspension on a plan set to breathe new life into Roland Garros. The aging tennis facility is the host location of the French Open, one of the four largest tournaments in the international tennis circuit, dubbed the Grand Slams. The Federation Francaise de Tennis recently debated whether to replace the site with a new tennis complex.
However, the Administrative Court of Paris’ appeals court recently ended the suspension and gave the green light for the proposed revamping, which would cost a total of $406 million. The issues that lead to the suspension were mainly linked to the fact that local residents were concerned of the impact the expansion process would have on the nearby botanical garden, Yahoo Sports writes. Two years ago, Betrand Delanoe, the current mayor of Paris, stated that the project would not harm the botanical garden, back when the project first raised eyebrows in the local community.
Back in 2011 Roland Garros was given the Federation’s confidence to carry on as the host of the French Open, although the facility is currently the smallest of the four that hold the annual tournaments, the others being: The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York; the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, London; and Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia.
Roland Garros’ main tennis arena, Philippe Chatrier, is the only main arena that has not been upgraded with a retractable roof, with Rod Laver Arena, the main arena of the Australian Open, and Wimbledon’s Centre Court having already used their new improvements at previous events. As previously reported by MHN, the USTA is undergoing a makeover of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, and part of that process is the fitting of a retractable roof to Arthur Ashe Stadium, the world’s largest outdoor tennis-only venue.
Court Philippe Chatrier will be expanded and brought to the standard of the previously mentioned arenas, with Roland Garros set to keep its prestigious status as the home of the French Open, the only Grand Slam event played on clay, with US Open and the Australian Open being played on hard courts and Wimbledon on grass.