The heart and the soul of France and often refered to as the "Romance capital of the World", Paris, goes all red albeit beneath the feet when the showpiece clay court event comes to town. The four musketeers- Jacques Brugnon, Jean Borotra, Henri Cochet and Rene Lacoste won the Davis Cup beating the Americans on their home soil in 1927. It was then decided that the French would defend the cup back home. All of 3 hectares at the time, Porte d’Auteuil was the chosen venue on the condition that it be named after the World War I hero pilot, Roland Garros.
From just three courts in 1928 to now 23 courts, the Roland Garros stadium which is also known as Stade de Roland Garros has undergone massive expansions. The centre court is always the sanctum-sanctorum of any tennis stadium and the stunning Court Philippe Chatrier, which has been witness to many historic moments can accommodate close to 15,000 spectators. Its stands are named after the four musketeers named above. Court Suzanne Lenglen also offers a delightful viewing experience and has a capacity of 10,000. Lenglen was a French legend and won a whopping 31 Grand Slam titles.
The modifications and changes have enabled the stadium to fulfill the requirements of modern tennis. Recently, the French Tennis Federation unveiled plans of further expansion. The estimated cost of the ambitious project is 273 million Euros but in terms of expense would cost nearly half of what a new venue would have cost.
In 2010, the French Tennis Federation(FFT) did not get a positive response from the Paris City Council over their proposal of an expansion of the French Open venue at the Porte d’Auteuil. The FFT considered three other sites- Marne-la-Vallée (site of the Euro Disney resort), the northern Paris suburb of Gonesse, and a vacant army base near Versailles as the future replacements to suit their development plans.
Finally, on 13 February 2011, it was decided that the current site would be renovated and developed. It was a move that clearly indicated that history, tradition and prestige would not be compromised. It has been planned to renovate the existing site by making it considerably larger, more attractive and modern. According to the plan, the area will be increased from 21.3 acres to about 33.8 acres.
The new-look Roland Garros will feature 35 outside courts, a new press center and a center court with a retractable roof so that matches could go ahead when it's raining, and where night sessions could be played.
Among the renovation options are a new adjacent stadium with a capacity of 8,000, and the use of other local infrastructure, such as the land at Stade Jean Bouin, where Stade Francais rugby club played its home games until the stadium was knocked down two years ago.