French Open could be moved out of Paris in 2016

14:49, May 23, 2010      

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The French Open could be relocated from Roland Garros in 2016, a French tennis official said here on Saturday.

Gilbert Ysern, general director of the French tennis federation, told a news conference on Saturday that the move is being considered because the French Open needs more space to stay competitive with the three other Grand Slam tournaments.

He said there were three options now, including one next to Versailles castle. Another possible site is near Disneyland Paris.

The French Open has been at Roland Garros since 1928 and the federation has a contract there till 2015. The French federation assembly is expected to make its decision in February.

The French Open's facilities are spread over 21 acres, while Melbourne Park, the site of the Australian Open, and Wimbledon each have 49 acres. Flushing Meadows for the U.S. Open has 34.5 acres.

If the tournament stays in Paris, three next-door areas will be added to Roland Garros at a cost of about 200 million euros (251 million U.S. dollars). Building a new stadium outside Paris would cost an estimated 600 million euros (754 million U.S. dollars).

Versailles castle is 19 kilometers from downtown Paris. Disneyland Paris in Marne-La-Vallee is 48 kilometers from the French capital, while Gonesse, near the Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport, is 32 kilometers away.

Should the tournament be relocated, the new site must cover more than 74 acres and hold 55 tennis courts.



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