Future Home Of French Open Will Be Determined By Sunday Vote
The French Tennis Federation will vote on Sunday to decide whether the French Open will remain at Roland Garros or “move farther afield in 2015 to one of three other sites: Gonesse, Marne-la-Vallée or Versailles,” according to Christopher Clarey of the N.Y. TIMES. Paris and Roland Garros, home to the Grand Slam tournament since 1928, "still look like the slight favorites,” but Versailles has the “requisite snob appeal, with its palace within walking distance of the proposed location on a former military base, and either Gonesse or Marne-la-Vallée would allow the French Federation to own its site outright instead of settling for a long-term lease.” FTF Dir General Gilbert Ysern said, “It’s true that when we started to talk inside our federation about the possibility of a move, the idea didn’t have much success. But we’ve come a long way. Thinking hard about it and laying out the possible advantages there would be in building a new stadium, there’s been a change in many people’s way of approaching it.” Retired tennis player Justine Henin said, “I have a hard time imagining Roland Garros anywhere else, but I think it’s definitely true that the site needs to grow. The players and the spectators suffer because it’s too small. They have to find a solution.” If the French Open stays at Roland Garros, the “plan is to build a retractable roof over the main Philippe Chatrier stadium, and the Paris municipal authorities have approved a proposal that would permit the tournament to expand from its current” 21 acres to about 33 acres, and “allow construction of a small stadium in the adjacent botanical gardens” (N.Y. TIMES, 2/11).