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May 28, 2017
Press Conference (In French)
BERNARD GIUDICELLI: Good morning to all of you. Good morning. I'm very happy to be with you again this morning. Yesterday we were here. We were very emotional, all of us, with Yannick in the Fete le Mur.
I'd like to thank you all, thank you because you have conveyed Yannick's emotions and ours. And we are convened today to talk about our project, which is no longer a project. Works have started, if I can say. Marc Mimram is the architect for the Court of the Serres, but also the National Center for Practice.
As we speak, and if you're interested, if you'd like to visit the construction sites for the Court des Serres court, at the end of our conference we will try and organize this so that we can carry everybody.
To my right, Gilles Jourdan is the deputy and in charge of construction works and in charge of modernizing the stadium.
As you probably know, we have sent you leaflets that will give you all the particulars you need to have on the project from different angles, different facets. Let me perhaps go through our ambition to start with, the ambition of the French Tennis Federation.
As you know, we have been elected for 99 days, to be very precise, and tomorrow with all of the club heads and the volunteers, we will be celebrating our 100th day for our term of office. As I said several times, we count the days because we know that there is global competition, a global race, if you will, and we want to be winning the race but still bearing in mind our initial objective.
We don't want to be a giant site. We have this project which is unique so that we think about our needs and the challenges ahead. This stadium will grow on its plot of land, its heritage plot of land, if I can say, and will have an extension that will be as retractable as the roof before, during, and after the tournament.
Also, we will be able to broadcast the tournament. People will be able to see what's happening at home, out stadia, as we say. And there is a third dimension that is not very often mentioned, but people will talk about this more and more in the future, that is, we intend to develop our community. Our community is the national community but also the international community, that is, those who play tennis, those who play on clay. These are the objectives.
So truly, this is what's at stake for us. What's at stake is to modernize, renovate this temple of clay. We will pay particular attention to this surface that changes with the players and with the weather conditions, and it will give the world of sports more uncertainties. As usual, it makes sometimes tennis more difficult for the champions whose intention it is to write their names on the cups, on the trophies, to contribute to the legend of the tournament.
As you probably know, we finished with Phase I, that is year No. 1, out of these total four years that we have for the project, and as we speak, there are things that are visible today, things that are not necessarily the highlights of the whole plan, but that will be essential for the tournament to go on well. The two centers, the operational center and the other control center, and under the Chatrier court, Gilles will talk about the technical details in a minute.
He will tell us more about what we have done on the Chatrier court or below the court. Then this building for the so-called organization, this is the cathedral that we have built between the Chatrier and the Lenglen. In one single venue, we will have everything we need for the tournament to be up and running smoothly. Everything for the players, as well, and to manage the flow of people, you and also those who are with the players.
So this is my introduction. Now I will perhaps hand over to Gilles. Gilles will be giving you more specific details, will tell you more about the phasing in of the project, and then we will listen to Marc. Marc will be probably telling you more about his design, that is the practice center, but also the Serres Court, Court des Serres. Then we will answer your questions.
Gilles, over to you.
GILLES JOURDAN: Hello. A few words about Phase I, which ended by mid-April. We have more or less 10 months in between two tournaments to do the works. It's not that easy to manage. That's why we have several phases, and the tournament should be as good as it is now each year.
Construction works are not yet over. You can see the work site. But we have developed what we call crystal around it, so as to hide it, and people don't really realize that there is work in progress at present not far away from where we are. So that's Phase No. 1.
We have Door I with the different centers and where we work in the media, and we have also worked on the underground infrastructure. We have worked on the underlying foundations for the center court. We have also started works in the Jardin des Serres Gardens, the Batiments Meuliere Buildings for the general public, and the Court des Serres court started in Phase I, and the organization building which is not yet finished.
This is, for the time, something that's come to a halt. Phase No. 2, that is, between tournament 2017 and 2018, that is, we have 10 months to finish the organization building, and as the chairman was saying, this building for the organization is not just a nice village for the partners. It's always very interesting to have a nice village for the partners, but there are three different levels underground and three in the superstructure with many different families. As the chairman was saying, this is a family that's in charge of the family or of the tennis courts. The three levels underground, we have the administration, the cloak rooms, the locker rooms, 400 umpires, 250 ball boys and girls, and all of them will be working in the organization building. And then offices for those in charge of the tournament. So it's not just a village. It's a center building which is useful, in between the Suzanne Lenglen and Chatrier court. And therefore, will have a nice flow underground. Thanks to this organization building, you can go from Suzanne Lenglen to Chatrier. Therefore, will have an underground life from this organizational building. When the project is over and finished, the players on center court will be able to play on Court 14 going underground. They won't have to go on the superstructure or in the open air.
So the organization building will be ready at the end of this year, beginning of next year. No. 2 will finish the Meuliere Building in the botanic gardens, will continue works for the Court in the Serres, which will not be ready before 2018 but slightly after 2018, and we will build Court No. 14, which is to the west, extreme west of our site, Court No. 14, that will replace Court No. 2, which will be destroyed at the end of this tournament. We are going to destroy Court No. 2 at the end of the tournament to prepare our future for central court. We need room for center court around center court so we can prepare for the next phases.
Since I'm talking about center court, we are going to continue with Phase II with more infrastructure works, mainly the new foundations that we need for the structure that we are going to have on the center court. That is foundations and spikes that will be outside of the present court, and outside of the court because center court will be a bit wider, eight or ten meters on each side. That is west and east. Not north and south but west and east but wider and the foundations will be there.
Along the center court, we have networks, fluids, high and low voltage. All this will have to be moved. We have to anticipate all the prep work to be done for the future phases, which is very important. For the 2018 tournament, we will have a new organization building that will be finished. We will have Court 14 that will be ready, and we will have the Batiments Meuliere Building that will be finished and access to these buildings and facilities, as well.
And also, access to the northwest, a new entrance will be there. That will be for year 2018 tournament. Is that all, or should you ask questions for 2018? Will I continue? Yes, I will continue.
What's going to happen between 2018 and 2019? Now, very serious business is going to start, because after the 2018 tournament we are going to destroy 80% of the existing center court to rebuild the stands on the Philippe Chatrier or center court.
Now, this is what's going to start during that phase. Everything is planned and organized, but we don't have much time. We have to be well organized, which means that we will bring down or deconstruct, which is what we are going to do, slowly but surely, and we will rebuild the stands plus the B Stand, which is the Borotra Stand, where we are, will be destroyed, will be brought down. It's the only thing that doesn't have anything in the underground structure.
The other three stands will be kept. The lower parts will be kept. And the upper parts will be destroyed and rebuilt.
During this phase, we are going to deliver the zone for the players, which is to the north, and we will have the TV booths to the south. The rest will be under the stands, and this will not be finished. We will do the main structure, not the secondary structure, to welcome the general public, the audiences.
So the works will be going on, and that's going to be interesting in some way, and then in parallel we will continue with the Court des Serres that will be used for the 2019 tournament, and we will also finish the other area behind the Suzanne Lenglen that is the five courts close to Court No. 14 will be finished. The western part will be finished in 2019.
Between 2019 and 2020, lots of things, as well. We will finish the second part of the structure below the center court, for instance, the press center between 2019 and 2020. Also the roof will be placed on the court.
Also, we will work on the fittings and the infrastructure around center court, will bring down No. 1, and the main entrance hall to the northeast of the stadium, the main entrance. But we will be working on center court mainly. Maybe some things will be done in Phase V if we have not yet finished. For instance, landscaping. We need to wait until the right period has started for us to plant trees and shrubs. This is what we will work on in the three years to come.
BERNARD GIUDICELLI: Now, a few more perhaps explanations about your work, your art, Marc?
MARC MIMRAM: Hello. Well, lots of emotions today, because the Court des Serres works have started today. Well, at the beginning, as you know, the objective was to still have the Roland Garros tournament in Paris. That was the objective, and therefore, we had to have nice links between the city and the tournament.
Michel Corajoud, who was the landscaper with whom we were working at the time, unfortunately he's no longer with us, but he has worked on the whole site, including this extension on the Court des Serres where the greenhouses are. By the way, the Court des Serres is where the hot greenhouses were.
In fact, these were from the 20th Century made of aluminum and plastic. They were here for the botanic gardens and the flowers there that have been moved to other sites, and we have built this court because our objective is to have this discussion, if you will, discussion with nature, the gardens, and also a dialogue, a discussion, with the city. We want this court to be open to the city.
As far as gardens are concerned, we wanted to have a court that's going to be surrounded with greenhouses, 1,500 meters of new greenhouses or conservatories, and there will be this dialogue with existing greenhouses made by Camille Formige, the architect who built the main greenhouse. We want this permanent dialogue/discussion with the city, with the garden, but also with the history of the place.
That's why we have developed a greenhouse structure which is contemporary, a lot better than the one we have at present, botanic greenhouses of quality, which will be part and parcel of this history, the history of Roland Garros, the past and the future of Roland Garros, and the history of the city, as well as the steel construction, the history of botanic greenhouses in Paris. It's a great opportunity for us to build this new court to show that sports works well with the city and vice versa, the city goes nicely with sports. You were talking about opening the western part to the city when the stadium there is destroyed so that we have a nice entrance, a wide one. That's what we have worked on. We have done this totally loyally with 19th Century metallic structure that will protect us best as we can.
This is a tool, a tool for sports, a tool that's going to work well, we think. This is, of course, clay that we are talking about. It's going to be a few meters below the natural land surface, so as not to emerge. We will see the greenhouses only, the conservatories, at the same level as the existing greenhouses so that we have a seamless glass structure which will be mirroring the existing greenhouses.
A very nice experience, even though there are some constraints. As I said before, we want this dialogue between the different units and facilities. We want gardens and sports to have a dialogue, as well, and the greenhouses will be still visited and managed by the Ville de Paris City, and always with this focus on botanic gardens.
Now, it's with great emotion, dear chairman, that we have started the works, and unfortunately the works will not be totally finished before next year's tournament but slightly after next year's tournament.
A few words again about our facilities or equipment. Last year we worked on the National Center for Practice at the Porte d'Auteuil. Some of you are going to visit the center, I suppose, after our conference. This again is another tool, a performance tool, I will call it.
Gilles, can we talk about this and all that's in the center? There is a lot of sophisticated equipment, cameras that track the players. We have a technological court, as well, high-level technological court. All this should be enshrined in a cocoon, which is what we have done. As best as we could, we have used the structure so as to fit in zenithal light, which is what we have in the ceiling. It's a high-performance tool, as I said before.
It's in an urban site. And here again, it's quite transparent and you can have a look at the gardens. There are children, adults, and coaches that are here to prepare the tournaments for the future generations.
This National Center for Practice is at Porte d'Auteuil. If you're interested we are going to visit it after the conference.
So we will meet again next year. You will see not concrete but glass. Perhaps not plants next year, but we will have our plants in two years.
Thank you very much.
BERNARD GIUDICELLI: Let's kick start the Q&A session.
Q. (In English) What is the legal status of the Court des Serres? Have the opponents conceded defeat, or are they still attempting to block it?
BERNARD GIUDICELLI: Today the legal status is still there but we've capitalized on some elements that are important as part of the procedure, legal procedure. We are in a state governed by the rule of law, so in France, everybody can be hostile to a construction work. So we have to comply with this regulation. And we need to abide by this regulation.
So we have done that since February 2014. And we had to come up with two answers: civil law and administrative law. So there is a principle whereby we won't harm the artistic property of Mr. Formige, the architect.
So there is still an administrative appeal, but the main point of the procedure dates from October 2016. Decision was made by the state council, so the administrative court decided to suspend the work so the state council, this is the higher administrative body. So they took into account different elements.
There are two elements. And like what the opponents say, the Roland Garros court is on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne, so the same restrictions can't apply.
So there are rules that have to do with nature and sporting facilities. And according to the decision of the appeals administrative court, that has made a decision on the town planning local plan. So if you take into account the town planning blueprint, according to a decision, we don't harm the natural landscape. So we destroyed the serres chaudes, but we didn't undermine the natural landscape.
And you have an area that is close to the Bois, and part of that is urbanized and we were given the right to build. This has been recognized on February the 2nd, 2017, and an appeal was launched. So what is important to underline is that we said that we had to destroy the Formige greenhouses, but they are still there. They are there. They will dialogue, as Marc Mimram said. They will be in sync with the Mimram greenhouse, if I may say so, and we will defend this heritage, and we will turn it into one of our main assets, the future stadium.
So an appeal has been launched as part of the judgment on February the 2nd. The appeal administrative court will have to give a final decision on December 15. The same court confirmed the two elements I touched upon earlier. So we are at the end of this process that we started in February 2014, and we hope that a solution will be found.
But anyway, this appeal will not interrupt the work.
Q. (In English) (Off microphone)...permission to do the construction work right now ?
BERNARD GIUDICELLI: Yes, we are convinced about it, but according to the law, we can continue and pursue the construction work according to the deadlines that were set.
Q. In total, when the construction work is over, so what about these changes and transformations? What will be the investments? What about the time frame? Without the appeal to the administrative court, I mean, would it have taken longer or how long?
BERNARD GIUDICELLI: I like the tense that you used, the conditional tense, but we are very pragmatic. We are action oriented. All main projects included the time for the appeal.
So in February 2011, I mean, we made a choice. We wanted to stay in Paris and we were courageous at that time, because we had to be brave at that time, because we knew that there were many opponents. There were lots of people who told us that we would be incurring some risks but were not here to handle procedures.
We have to perpetuate a history. Gilles talked about Chatrier, and Chatrier has bequeathed us with a nice heritage. It's a matter of time, but we would have done it. Not very far from here you have the Louis Vuitton Foundation, you have the Lyon Stadium, you have Jean Bouin Stadium. So all this equipment could have been built in half the time.
So this project is imbued in its environment with foundations, from an architectural viewpoint, but of course I understand your question. I know that there are some opponents to the project. But as part of this logic, we need to be prepared.
It's like a tennis player who will have to play against a hostile crowd or hostile surface. So like a tennis player, we are prepared and very happy with all the people who provided us with some advice and recommendations.
Second part of your question regarding the cost, 350 million Euros, this is approximately the cost of a stadium, and this, if you consider the overall cost, you have to consider the historic triangle and the court Philippe Chatrier. So allow me to insist on the Philippe Chatrier court. The name is very important. The name of this court is very important.
So of course there will be better visibility on this court. There will be more space. It will be a lively space, a living space, so fans at terraces 1, 2, 3, will be able to experience the event without moving. They will be able to drink, to eat, able to go to the toilets and they will be able to optimize their time, because the spectators, they want to attend high-level matches. The Philippe Chatrier court will be the flagship of the stadium, and it will be possible to beam the event very well.
I can tell you that this court will nurture the dramatic effect of the environment. It's almost a colosseum that we are currently building, and it's similar to what the Romans built.
So there are some pressures upon the shoulders of the minister of ecology, Nicolas Hulot. Did you have time to discuss with Nicolas the minister for environment? Have you talked about the ecological impact, the new Court des Serres could be a way of heightening the awareness of people on environmental and diversity issues. I don't know if we're clear enough.
BERNARD GIUDICELLI: No, you were not clear, but I did understand you. I would like to tell you that we met the minister for sports who are looking forward to meeting Nicolas Hulot. He's the new minister of environment.
So I could mention figures, 400 additional trees, I could talk about the work of Michel Corajoud. So our stadium is a ecostadium, and nature is pervasive as part of this project.
You have Fessenheim and Notre-Dame-Des-Landes, shale gases, genetically modified foods, and these are issues that are on the agenda of the minister for the environment.
These things are uppermost on his agenda. So you have to comply with the rule of law. Of course we don't deteriorate the environmental heritage. Bear witness the different appeals to the administrative court.
MARC MIMRAM: There is a point to underline. We are talking about a new stadium with a specific relationship with the Bois de Boulogne, the plantations, ecology. Some shrubs have been destroyed. We will replant many more trees and shrubs.
We were able to build 1,500 square meters of greenhouses or serres chaudes. And we have four different ecosystems, north, south, west, east, conjuring up the different continents and the botanical diversity.
GILLES JOURDAN: So gardens and botanical gardens are really highlighted. So we are in a botanical garden with some greenhouses, gardens, in order to grow plants and to give them -- you have the A-13 motorway and you have the Ring Road of Paris. So there is no natural species to protect. There is no moist or humid areas. So we are dealing with a botanical environment. We have to use the right words.
And the second thing I would like to add, and Marc could have said it, we have done 40% of the structural work. So we still have a long way to go.
BERNARD GIUDICELLI: And there is another point that is quite pivotal and one of the key elements of our organization. So Anglosaxons are using the word business, but culture is also part of our business.
In the Meuliere buildings, we will have some spaces that will make it possible to inform and to train people to make people aware of botanical aspects, but there will be some information about the ecosystem, the surrounding ecosystem, but at the same time, we will be talking about the culture of tennis and the French culture. There are some quotes by poets on the path with their names, and we will be able to highlight the history. We will be able to talk about the culture.
So on these Meuliere buildings, people will be able to relate to sports, to culture. So this is the genuine business of our Federation.
Q. Regarding the colosseum, there are lots of Italian people who come to Roland Garros, and they are surprised because you will destroy Court No. 1. People do relate to this Court No. 1 tennis-wise, so why have you decided to destroy Court No. 1. So let's talk about architecture.
GILLES JOURDAN: Court No. 1 space is pivotal for us as part of a stadium, because we wanted to get wood in the stadium with this green square, but we want to organize the tournament directly. There will be some night sessions that will be organized on center court. So we need space, because there will be lots of people.
So Court No. 1 will go to botanical garden, and Court No. 1 didn't comply with the standards of the ITF. Court No. 1 was built in 1983, if I'm not mistaken. There is no stadium in France, in Europe, in the world that was built in 1983. They all have been modernized and refurbished. So remember this Court No. 1 was built in 1983, so it doesn't comply with the standards. It's very difficult to get it to the standards. If you were to destroy the terraces, it wouldn't be enough.
So we are talking about a tennis court. So we need space. So we need to build a mainstream court, and we need to refurbish and modernize our court dating from 1983.
BERNARD GIUDICELLI: Nothing much to add.
MARC MIMRAM: Regarding the opening, it will be an esplanade that will be open to the city, there will be some night sessions, and the stadium will be offered. It's a gift to the city, so it's a way of liaising with the Court des Serres.
Q. I have been coming here for the past 42 years, and there have been lots of improvements. You have talked about 350 million Euros. Is it as of now or February 2014? You mentioned 350 million Euros. Second question: There are lots of security issues at stake, so you had to recruit police officers or agents or security agents.
BERNARD GIUDICELLI: So you have to make a difference between investment and the modus operandi.
So I mentioned a budget earlier. I was talking about the investment, so we started to spend money. We started to invest as part of our project. So we completed the first phase of the project.
Of course, we had to invest in security matters, but more than that, we need to invest in people's security, illegal gambling, combating doping practices. So our business model mean we need to invest in the event. So this event is pivotal in international sports, so we need it to manage the event very well, and I think that our treasurer is looking into the investments and we need to release some funds in order to invest in people's security, but we need to make sure that the event is safe and secure.
Q. In terms of the budget, for PSG, 500 million Euros this is the budget of PSG, and they defeated Angers by a whisker, and the Angers' budget is 25 million Euros. I come from Angers, by the way. That's why I put the question. But regarding culture, so symbolically, you could give names to some squares, Gilles Deleuze or Serge Daney, who was a founder of tennis, it just is more comment that I wanted to make.
BERNARD GIUDICELLI: No, I don't think so, but if we were to give a name to the Court des Serres, we will have to respect the culture of the site, I mean, somebody who has made an impact in the history of the game, so this is something that we cannot shun.
So we are there, but we won't go down in history. There are lots of people who have made their names in the history of tennis. Mr. Chatrier, for example.
But we can be a little bit British when it comes to taking this kind of decision.
Q. I'd like to know something about the botanic gardens. They have their own surface. We're going to have another tennis court, a tennis court that's going to replace part of the botanic gardens. What about the physical difference between these two areas? Who's going to manage the Serres, et cetera, et cetera?
GILLES JOURDAN: Well, of course there is a limit, but the ownership of the land will change during and after the tournament. During the tournament, it will be extended around the Meuliere buildings and around the greenhouses and the courts, and when the tournament is finished, then the garden will be back to a normal life.
We'll use the courts, just the courts, and the Batiments Meuliere Building made of millstone grit. We will be able to practice on the tennis courts, and people will be able to go there in summer, not in November. You know, it's clay. You can't play in November.
MARC MIMRAM: But otherwise, you see, the surface of the land will change and the greenhouses will be accessible all year round to the general public. And there is part of the buildings where there was storage not accessible to the general public. It was a maintenance building. So working to have greater access to botanic gardens.
BERNARD GIUDICELLI: I don't know the exact figures, but I think that people will be able to walk greater distances. For the time being there is not much walking, but now it will reach Porte d'Auteuil and it will be seamless. People will be able to walk around the jardin des serres. I was in the town of Lyon, and this splendid park I didn't know, the Parc de la Tete D'or, I didn't know before. I was about to say we're going to have the same all year round. We will have people who will be running there, a population of people there. And the people who live nearby will be going there, as well. And now they are starting to understand the value that we are going to give to this space.
Today we have two steering committees. We have the steering committee with the dwellers, the local dwellers, the people who live in the neighborhood, and also a steering committee for the organization. With the first committee, and Gilles knows that, as well as I do, we have had discussions with the people who live in the area, and these discussions are positive and they have thanked the construction company, Vinci, for their construction works. It's an eco type of construction work to limit nuisances for the people who live in the area.
Q. A question about safety and security. Now, there are constant threats, and these threats will probably last. This being the case, have you had to change your project in terms of architecture and town planning? I was thinking about the Jussieu University that's open to the city and now it's closed all the time. It's fenced, more or less. Or the Eiffel Tower project that aims at protecting the Eiffel Tower even from bullets. How about you? Have you factored in this threat? Have you been thinking about the crowds that come here and the number of tickets that you sell here and people who walk in and out all the time?
BERNARD GIUDICELLI: Well, that's a tricky question, because we know that anything we can say, any drawings or designs that we show could be an open door for people to know where the weaknesses are. What I can tell you is that this stadium that we are building is a stadium that will be totally safe for people, but more important than that will be our ability to change cultures for the fans, the spectators, those who love sports. Look at the countries where the threats are the highest. That is threats of attacks. I was thinking about India, Pakistan, et cetera. Their strength is their intelligence services, secret services, and what we must do therefore is to have police forces and law enforcement groups that we have and with whom we work in close cooperation.
We have ongoing links with them throughout the year, and this, so that we have a good event that works well so that we develop and everybody will do their own job and their work.
GILLES JOURDAN: There are norms and standards, safety standards that we have added for safety purposes, the number of cameras, CCTV, things against people who'd like to throw their lorries at the building, and we factored in these things. We have done that for two years already. This is a recent project that we have, so we have factored in new things.
BERNARD GIUDICELLI: Madame, I was not really answering with all the details, because we're not allowed to share all the details.
Q. A question about the roof that will be delivered in 2020. Last year in Wimbledon we saw that the roof was not good for all of the players. It rained a lot during the first week, and it was always the same playing with the roof on and others on the contrary had to stop three or four times. So now that we're going to have only one roof in the year 2020, don't you think there will be an unfair system between the players, unfair system between the players at Roland Garros?
BERNARD GIUDICELLI: Well, what's bound to happen is that people will feel there will be differences. There is a major difference between the Roland Garros roof and the Wimbledon roof. Roland Garros is like a cover. This is what we are going to have, with a space of more or less one meter, I think, or one-and-a-half meters between the top of the building and the wings, the 11 wings that we are going to have to cover the roof.
Therefore, the stadium will be able to breathe as well as this surface that will breathe in and out, and there will be no major changes in hygrometry between the stadium and what's outside of the stadium. What's also very important is that the roof is not a key element for the organization of the tournament. The Roland Garros tournament will still be outdoors and on surfaces that we hope will be in the sun. Of course the objective for us is broadcasting and to continue the tournament should it rain heavily.
Q. This is for Marc Mimram. Court des Serres, you said it will be a few meters below ground surface. What about the stands? Will we have a funneling in type of system or not?
MARC MIMRAM: Well, there are two parts. The lower part of the stands, first, people, there's going to be a walkway for people to have access to the natural ground. Of course, a walkway, people will be able to reach the greenhouses that will be visible from inside and from outside.
Then, we will go a level down to the courts, to the lower part of the stands and the tennis courts. All will be walking up to the upper stands. Two parts: The lower parts, half buried, and the upper part, limited to maximum of seven meters in height, which is within the greenhouses, the Serres.
Q. (Off microphone.)
MARC MIMRAM: I'm ad-libbing. The greenhouses are here. This is the Serres. This is where the plants are, plants and trees go one level down on the tennis court, down there, or you will be going up in the stands there in the upper part.
Q. So how deep will the courts be?
MARC MIMRAM: Five meters deep, I think.
BERNARD GIUDICELLI: They will not be underground.
MARC MIMRAM: It's still in the open air. Still in the open air.
GILLES JOURDAN: But no slabs behind the court. Yes, on the land itself.
MARC MIMRAM: And here we will have everything we need for the gardens and for sports people.
Q. Which is the case in Rome, I think? In Rome?
MARC MIMRAM: Yes. Half buried, half buried.
GILLES JOURDAN: Almost like Suzanne Lenglen Court. Suzanne Lenglen is on a slab, because there is a car park below.
MARC MIMRAM: Correct, we want it to be on the earth, on land.
THE MODERATOR: Very last question.
Q. (In English) Expecting a decision in December from the high court, from the supreme...
BERNARD GIUDICELLI: (In English) Not in December. The last one was in December.
Q. (In English) So you have no more appeals? The opponents...
BERNARD GIUDICELLI: (In English) They put the appeal, but we have not the date of the judgment.
Q. (In English) What if the judgment goes against Roland Garros? What would you do with the Court des Serres?
BERNARD GIUDICELLI: (In English) I can't imagine that.
Q. (In English) You can't imagine it, but...
BERNARD GIUDICELLI: (In English) No, not at all. You know why? Because we are contesting for the Olympic Games, and the Olympics is the most important for France today and for our president, new president, not me.
Q. (In English) You think the court would never go against the attempt to gain the Olympics?
BERNARD GIUDICELLI: No, I can't say that. I'm saying today that the judgments, the ruling from the appeals administrative court and the council of state, which is the highest jurisdiction, they consider that this project is of general interest.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports