Edited by Sten Söderman and Harald Dolles
Chapter 14: Sacrés Français! Why they don’t have great football stadia; how they will: political, economic and marketing implications of the UEFA EURO 2016
In May 2010, France was awarded the right to host the final round of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) European Championship in 2016 (hereafter EURO 2016). The French bid rested mainly on the quality of both its private and public infrastructures, with the exception of its stadia. The French bid has pledged to guarantee the 1.7 billion euro cost of building and renovating ten stadia. In fact, no French stadium, not even the Stade de France (capacity 80 000; opened in 1998 to host the football World Cup), matches these standards. It begins to look as if France is failing to keep up with developments in the area of sporting facilities. It should be noted that since the early 2000s one line of thought, admittedly a controversial and minority one, has sparked a debate on the future of France: those who foresee its decline point to the country’s diminished international influence, expressed in its inability to meet economic challenges or to maintain the cachet it earned during the age of enlightenment.
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