Paris 1924 Yves-du-Manoir stadium becomes 1st venue ready for 2024

The stadium hosted events for decades including the Paris 1924 Olympics Games. /AFP

The stadium hosted events for decades including the Paris 1924 Olympics Games. /AFP

The Yves-du-Manoir stadium in the northwestern Paris suburb of Colombes on Monday became the first sporting venue to be formally handed over by developers to local authorities ahead of the 2024 Olympics.

Specially renovated for the 1924 Paris Olympics, the stadium was the main site for the 1924 Games, when it hosted the opening ceremony, athletics and other sports ranging from equestrian to gymnastics.

According to the organizers, it will be the only 2024 Olympic venue to be hosting the Games for a second time.

The stadium is named after French rugby player Yves du Manor, who died in a plane crash in 1928, aged 23.

Also known as the “Chariots of Fire” stadium, it was the scene of epic sprint races involving British athletes Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell portrayed in the 1981 film of the same name.

Besides hosting Olympic events, it hosted the 1938 World Cup football final, where Italy beat Hungary, and had its capacity expanded to 60,000 after the end of World War II.

But the opening of the Parc des Princes stadium in 1972 in the west of Paris signaled its decline and three of the four stands were demolished at the end of last century.

The Paris city hall with its new decoration inspired by the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France, November 28, 2023. /CFP

The Paris city hall with its new decoration inspired by the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France, November 28, 2023. /CFP

The Paris city hall with its new decoration inspired by the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France, November 28, 2023. /CFP

During the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, it will host the men’s and women’s hockey competitions between July 27 and August 9.

Two years of work enabled the historic stand, with a capacity of 6,000 seats, to be brought up to standard and a new stand of 1,000 seats to be built as well as training pitches for hockey and other sports.

Temporary stands to be installed between February and April will bring the total capacity to 13,500 seats, said Edouard Donnelly, head of operations of the Pairs 2024 organizing committee.

The total cost of the work amounted to 101 million euros ($110 million) – 87.4 million financed by the local authorities and the remaining 13.6 million from Solideo, the public establishment responsible for delivering the Olympic building works.

Other facilities will be declared ready during the first months of 2024.

The Arena Porte de la Chapelle, which will host badminton events, is to be handed over in January, the Olympic village in February and the aquatics center at the end of March.

(With input from AFP)

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