after the announcement of the abandonment of the Parc des Expositions for basketball, the Organizing Committee urgently seeks a plan B

Then the decision of the Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games of Paris 2024 from “they do not retain the Arena Paris Sud 6 to organize the preliminary phase of the men’s and women’s basketball competitions“, Thursday March 24, it’s time to find a new place to receive the best basketball players in the world.

And at the moment, no plan B really seems to emerge according to information from franceinfo: sport. The organizers had full confidence in this pavilion 6 of the Parc des Expositions. But the latest technical studies on lighting did not reassure them, and they had to decide to abandon this option, on the eve of a meeting with Fiba, the international basketball federation. The fear of distorting game conditions with too much light was too great.

A decision that comes just eight days after the discontent of many French basketball players for the place chosen for this preliminary phase. Paris 2024 denies, however, having given in to these pressures and highlights the technical expertise received during the week. The date of the announcement does not correspond in any way to these protests, but to studies initiated even before the start of the controversy, according to our information.

The organizers want to reassure themselves by blowing that this pavilion 6 was the only one in which they had reservations. Therefore, volleyball will take place in Hall 1 of this Parc des Expositions, which has a ceiling height of 26 meters and 12,000 seats for future spectators. The handball players will remain, for their part, in Lille, despite the reluctance of some players due to the distance from the Olympic village and the popular festival.

The question now is where to play. The decision must be made jointly by Paris 2024, FIBA ​​and the IOC (International Olympic Committee). Together with the mayor of Paris, the Organizing Committee wants these games to be played in the capital, it remains to be seen where.

Nothing will be built especially for this week of preliminary phase, in order to respect the new IOC standard of 95% of the already existing equipment. The Accor Arena in Bercy, initially planned for the entire duration of the basketball competition before a game of musical chairs in December 2020, could be an option, provided that all plans are upset again with the transfer of the gym.

Evan Fournier, very involved in the challenge of pavilion 6 of the Parc des Expositions, had raised the idea of ​​taking advantage of the Arena de la Porte de la Chapelle, which opened in 2023 and will later host Paris Basket. To do this, the badminton would have to be moved. The Knicks player had volunteered for them to play in the Pierre de Coubertin room where French Open badminton has been hosted in recent years.

There remains the solution of rooms not yet planned for Paris 2024, but which already host basketball games. The Halle Georges-Carpentier, home of Paris Basket with its 5,000 seats, or the Palais des sports Marcel-Cerdan where the matches of the Metropolitans 92 de Levallois, currently leaders of Betclic Elite, seem to be credible options at a lower cost.

The Marcel-Cerdan Sports Palace during a Euro Cup match between Metropolitans 92 and Turk Telekom SK, January 19, 2022 (VICTOR JOLY / DPPI via AFP)

A decision must be made as soon as the deadline approaches. Ticket sales conditions have already been announced, proof that the Paris Games are not far away.

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