Paris (AFP) – French racing’s flagship track Longchamp reopened for business Sunday after a two year 150 million euros ($185mn) makeover.
The historic home of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe to the west of the French capital now boasts a futuristic streamlined grandstand to replace two dated 1960s structures.
The refit was undertaken by Dominique Perrault, the architect who designed the Francois Mitterrand National Library.
To go with its new look the racecourse has a new name too, ParisLongchamp.
“It’s more welcoming than before,” said Criquette Head-Maarek, the recently retired three-time Arc winning trainer.
But another French trainer was unmoved by the changes.
“I don’t care at all about the design, I come here to work,” said French training legend Andre Fabre.
As well as racing, the venue in the Bois de Boulogne will branch out from racing to hold events like concerts and open air cinema evenings.
With an increased capacity of 70,000 ParisLongchamp will once again be the home of the Arc, on the first Sunday in October, with Europe’s top all aged contest staged at Chantilly for the past two years.