Breaking News

Paris La Defense Arena

Paris La Defense Arena Undergoes Intensive Renovations for 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Swimming Events

Paris, June 12, 2024, The Europe Today: With the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games on the horizon, the Paris La Defense Arena, located in the western suburbs of Paris, is undergoing significant renovations to prepare for the swimming and water polo competitions.

Traditionally a venue for rugby matches and major concerts, the arena is being rapidly transformed to accommodate two 50-meter Olympic swimming pools. This transformation follows a series of four sold-out concerts by American pop star Taylor Swift, which drew 180,000 spectators last month. Immediately after the concerts, the arena commenced its rigorous renovation process.

The renovation project officially began at the end of May, with several trucks delivering the dismantled components of the pools. Myrtha Pools, an Italian company with a history of supplying pool facilities for the Olympic Games, is partnering once again for this project.

“If we had said in 2010, when we first started building this arena, that it would host Olympic swimming and water polo events, I think everyone would have thought we were crazy,” joked Patrick Jarry, former Mayor of Nanterre, at a recent press conference.

Currently, around 150 workers are engaged in installing the pools and related facilities. It is estimated that 5,000 cubic meters of water will be needed to fill the two pools, one for warming up and one for competition. The entire system is scheduled for testing by June 27.

“All the work is still ongoing. Besides the pools, the entire environment needs to be considered. The work has been slightly delayed, but we will be able to test the entire system by June 27,” said Etienne Thobois, CEO of the Paris Organizing Committee.

Originally, the Paris Organizing Committee planned to host the swimming events at the newly built Aquatic Center near the Stade de France. However, due to budget overruns, transportation issues, and cost control measures, the committee decided to relocate the swimming events to La Defense Arena in Nanterre. Consequently, the gymnastics events initially planned for this arena have been moved to the Accor Arena in Bercy.

During the Olympics, La Defense Arena’s spectator capacity will be limited to 15,000. “It will be a fiery atmosphere,” promised Aurelie Merle, the Director of Sports for the Olympics.

“We’re going to do better than Taylor Swift!” exclaimed Denis Navizet, site manager for the organizing committee, emphasizing the anticipated excitement and attendance for the Olympic events.

The first test event is scheduled for early July, with the Olympic swimming events running from July 27 to August 4. The Paralympic swimming events will also take place at the same venue.

To meet the requirements of the Olympic Games, the arena not only needs the installation of the pools but also the completion of timing equipment, media cabling, lighting systems, and sports presentation facilities. This renovation project is regarded as a “technical feat,” given its complexity and scale.

After the Olympics, the temporary pools will be dismantled and relocated to Seine-Saint-Denis. One 50-meter pool will be given to Sevran, one 25-meter pool to Bagnolet, and a recipient for the remaining 25-meter pool is still being sought.

The transformation of Paris La Defense Arena underscores the city’s commitment to hosting a successful and memorable 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, ensuring state-of-the-art facilities for athletes and spectators alike.