Organizers of the 2024 Olympics in Paris are still scrambling to find a place for basketball, and possibly shooting and boxing, at the risk of making people miserable.
After a reorganization carried out in September 2020 to save money, which moved sailing from Saint-Denis to Nanterre, landed at Le Bourget north of Paris, and moved to Villeneuve-d’Ascq near Lille), it has not intended to be touched. raise the card again.
This was without regard to the stars of the French NBA basketball team, who were unhappy about having to play at the Parc des Expos de Versailles in the group stage. Due to bad publicity, the organizing committee of the Olympic Games (Cojo) left the site.
Since then there have been continuous consultations. Between an international federation, the IOC, the mayor’s office of Paris, Cojo… “The equation is not easy,” we explain everywhere. The mayor’s office of Paris, which hosts the Olympic Games, wants basketball to stay in Paris. “Away from Paris, it increases the carbon footprint…,” the elected official slips.
Basketball in the north, handball in Paris?
The last option is up for discussion, and it has not yet been approved, an exchange with handball, which should be developed in Villeneuve-d’Ascq. This one will play instead of basketball at the Parc des Expos de Versailles and will return for the final in the North because basketball will stay in Bercy for the final.
“Everyone wants to play in the center of Paris, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower”
On Wednesday before the association of international Olympic sports federations in Lausanne, this option was the subject of muscle exchanges. In citing the “three hours from Paris” solutions that did not fit, everyone understood that the Secretary General of the International Basketball Federation, Andreas Zagklis, was talking about the Stade Pierre-Mauroy, the stronghold of the Lille football club.
Response to Tony Estanguet, president of the organizing committee: “Everyone wants to play in the center of Paris, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.” The whims of basketball players sometimes worked out badly on Kojo. The decision “should be acceptable to you, as well as to all stakeholders and public opinion”, concerned a three-time Olympic champion.
He again brandished “budget constraints” and the need for “optimization”. In the midst of a period of inflation, Kojo’s budget, whose expenditures and revenues will be closely scrutinized this year, risks shocks.
The goal is to solve it by June 23rd.
Shooting versus boxing?
Another explosive equation: the location of the shooting at La Courneuve (north of Paris, in Seine-Saint-Denis). Located in the land of the Entities, a former army land that is being cleared, it is now in balance because it will not be ready in time.
This issue is politically sensitive because it will again be the Seine-Saint-Denis that will bear the brunt of the change. And, in particular, the area around Le Bourget, where there are calls to stop the construction of the media village, new metro stations do not appear on time, and where there is now a risk that shooting tests will disappear.
Cojo, which has its eye on the national center of Châteauroux, about 270 kilometers south of Paris, returned there again over the weekend. “It is no longer the technical aspect that will play a role, but the political aspect,” explained Michel Bachik, President of the French Shooting Sports Federation.
Organizers in a difficult position
The Endre communities are quite excited about the idea of hosting the Olympics and are already looking to buy a Chinese-owned lot to fill the need for housing offers.
But if Seine-Saint-Denis loses, he might be able to recover… boxing, currently scheduled at Court Suzanne Lenglen at Roland-Garros, which will get a removable roof by 2024. studied.