The town hall of Paris defends its choice to attach the name of the equipment manufacturer Adidas to the Arena Porte de la Chapelle, future venue for the 2024 Olympic Games. But this naming is disputed by the communist and environmentalist allies of Mayor Anne Hidalgo. The Council of Paris will rule on July 8 on the subject. Without its left-wing allies, the socialist group will have to rely on the right-wing and center opposition to push the project through.
“Adidas is very established in France”
“ Adidas is a sports equipment manufacturer very established in France and elsewhere, which corresponded to what we wanted to do with this Arena », explained Pierre Rabadan, assistant to the sports and the Olympics of the elected socialist. In exchange for this name, the Adidas brand must pay nearly 2.8 million euros per year over five years, and this contract is renewable for seven additional years.
This will contribute, according to Pierre Rabadan, to “ economic balance » of the 7,800-seat enclosure, which will host badminton and gymnastics during the Olympic Games. “ If we create a room and it is not balanced (economically)it will be up to the community to pay »he recalled.
Adidas rather than Alice Milliat?
Currently under construction for delivery in September 2023, the Arena Porte de la Chapelle represents a discounted cost of 106 million euros, plus 32 million for the town hall’s ancillary projects on the site. The operator of this Arena, the operating company of the Palais omnisports de Paris-Bercy (SAE POPB), a satellite of the city of Paris, chose the naming Adidas last May.
The Communists blame Anne Hidalgo for a “ turnaround » vis-à-vis the wish for 2020 in which the city of Paris promised to study “ the possibility of naming the future Olympic equipment Arena Alice-Milliat », in tribute to a pioneer of women’s sport. The Alice-Milliat Foundation, which works to promote women’s sport, signed the petition in May for an Alice-Milliat Arena rather than Adidas, launched by the elected communist Nicolas Bonnet-Oulaldj, at the initiative of the wish.
Adidas must donate 180,000 euros per year for women’s sport
It’s a “ very big misunderstanding »for Aurélie Bresson, President of the Foundation, who does not want “ close the door to Adidas, committed to women’s sport ». The agreement with the sports equipment manufacturer includes an endowment fund of 180,000 euros per year to develop the practice of women’s sport and sport in the La Chapelle district.
Pierre Rabadan proposed to baptize the forecourt of the Arena after Alice Milliat and pointed out that a Parisian gymnasium already bears her name.
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