Paris Saint-Germain have called the Parc des Princes home for 50 years.
Now, for the first time since 1974 – four years after the club was founded – fans and players may have to get used to the idea of settling into a new ground.
The search for greener pastures begins after city officials decided not to sell the venue to the club, despite PSG investing millions in modernisation and expansion works.
Though the club has not yet confirmed its departure date from the south-west of the capital, i explores the stadiums that could be fit for purpose.
A next-door neighbour to the Parc des Princes, this 20,000 capacity venue currently holds PSG’s women’s team and has hosted international rugby fixtures including the French leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series.
The major caveat to this desirable candidate, logistically speaking, comes from the fact that, like the Parc des Princes, the venue is owned by the city of Paris.
This reality fuelled the recent fall-out between city mayor Anne Hidalgo and the Qatari-owned club as she put a decisive end to sale negotiations.
“There will be no sale. Parc des Princes is the heritage of the Parisian people. The subject is closed,” she told Quest-France.
Relations between the two sides are less than friendly as a result, so it seems unlikely PSG will opt to remedy these in a bid to obtain this ground.
Another contender not unfamiliar with playing host to major sporting events – and teams, such as France’s national football team – is this 20,000 capacity multi-purpose stadium.
This government-owned site hosts the city’s local football side, Paris FC, but PSG would likely aim to knock the site down to make space for a much larger venue.
This would give rise to a new problem, effectively rendering Paris FC homeless, but the opportunity to out-build the Parc des Princes’ 48,000 capacity to house up to 75,000 fans should not be shied away from.
Given the city of Paris have already conceded they would be happy to sell, this seems all-in-all an enticing prospect.
Paris La Defense Arena
Rounding out the top three contenders is Paris La Defense Arena, home of rugby giants Racing 92 – and former England captain Owen Farrell’s new home during his international hiatus.
This 30,000 capacity venue will host Olympic swimming and water polo this summer, but with Racing 92 set to return to Colombes shortly afterwards, its availability couldn’t be more timely.
This venue has the capacity and design to host major sports events, not to mention the visual appeal.
However its location in the business district, coupled with its popularity as a music and events venue, could be an issue too tricky to overcome.
New ground in Poissy
An as of yet under-explored option – that would resolve the need to grovel to French officials to sell – might be to expand the club’s training ground in Poissy.
Opened last July, the state-of-the-art £300m facility took four years to build and would not be an easy farewell given the time and finances already invested by the club’s owners.
Yet while its familiarity may strengthen its magnetic pull, it is more close to home in mind than on the map. Based over 25km from the centre of Paris, the logistical challenges brought by this move might cause the club’s president Nasser Al-Khelaifi to hesitate.
PSG did also previously consider the Stade de France, a centrepiece for the 2024 Paris Olympics this summer, but failed to make an offer during last month’s bidding.
With the long-term support of cash-rich shareholder Qatar Sports Investments, who bought the club back in 2011, finding a new home is unlikely to be a fruitless treasure hunt.
Over the last five decades the club has undergone a transformation that has taken them from relative obscurity to global renown – as a trophy-winning club and an international sports brand.
But while a change of scene might not jeopardise this success, coupled with the departure of world-class players including Kylian Mbappe – who could leave for Real Madrid on a free transfer – the move may unsettle the fans who keep the heart of the club beating.