Paris 2024: temporary stadiums take shape at the foot of Paris monuments

Athletes will soon be competing in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower or the Concorde obelisk: at the foot of the Parisian monuments, almost a hundred days before the Olympic Games (July 26 – August 11), ephemeral stadiums are taking shape, shaking up the daily lives of Parisians.

On Friday, April 12, the assembly of the structure that will host archery events this summer began on one of the lawns of the Esplanade des Invalides. Part of the side street is already closed to traffic.

“It’s a bit noisy, crowded and blocked, but it’s for a good cause”

“It’s a very nice concept to put these installations in such beautiful places and integrate them into the city,” greetings Madeleine Kruger, an American student living in Paris for two years, enjoying the sun on one of the lawns. “But the fact that these areas are also places where people live and move … makes it very difficult,” confides.

Nausicaa Ben Khaled, an employee of La Calèche Dorée, a small food kiosk located near one of the exits of the Invalidovna metro station, had to “move” a few meters because she was in the security perimeter. “We don’t have too much information about what will be closed, such as road access and the subway,” she says. “It’s true that these are limitations, it annoys everyone (…) But we take it upon ourselves, it’s still something special”, for his part, he reports a butcher on the rue Saint-Dominique near Les Invalides.

Temporary stadium at the foot of the Eiffel Tower

At the foot of the Iron Lady, on the Champ-de-Mars, a temporary stadium – called the Eiffel Tower – has also been under construction since the beginning of March. Beach volleyball and blind soccer will be held here. A particularly impressive design makes some people frown.

“The site commission said it absolutely did not detract from the perspective,” quips Gérard Der Agobian, president of Les Amis du Champ-de-Mars, about what he likens to “multi-storey building”. Gina is annoyed to see her habits disrupted. “There are barriers everywhere and we can’t get to the lawns,” laments a pensioner walking her dog there. “It’s a bit noisy, crowded and blocked, but it’s for a good cause,” penthusiasm from Simone, a German tourist.

For picture”

At the other end of the promenade, judo and wrestling will be held in the ephemeral Grand Palais, built in early 2021 to replace the Grand Palais under construction.

On the other side of the Seine, in the Trocadéro gardens, medal-winning athletes will parade in the Park of Champions, which is also under construction.

 

 

To provide an environment for the four so-called urban sports (BMX freestyle, three-way basketball, breaking and skateboarding), the obelisk will soon be surrounded by as many small stadiums as possible. The area will be completely closed to traffic from June 1.

 

In addition to the inconveniences of everyday life, Christine Nedelec, president of the heritage protection association SOS Paris, worries “damage”. “This site is clearly not intended to host sporting events”he worries “We had stadiums everywhere that we could use. It’s just because we wanted to have the Eiffel Tower in the background in the photo.”These temporary sites must host two more tourist sites, for a total of seven: Alexander III Bridge. and the square with the town hall.

 

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