Adidas chosen to give his name to future Arena of Porte de la Chapelle

The decision taken by the town hall of Paris arouses the anger of elected communists and environmentalists, who campaign so that the equipment receives the name of a sportswoman.


After the renowned Bercy room Accor Arena in 2015, another major Parisian equipment is about to receive a business name. The new Arena under construction carries the chapel, in the north of the capital, will indeed be baptized “Adidas – the district chapel”, except in the final turnaround. The decision was made on Thursday, May 12, during the council of the mixed economy company which already operates the Accor Arena de Bercy and the Bataclan, announced the elected communists of Paris, very hostile to this measure.

During the Council, two elected members of the Council – Communist Nicolas Bonlaldj and the ecologist Alice Coffin – voted against the project. But the other participants, members of the municipal council or representatives of the US minority shareholder AEG, spoke in favor of this “naming”, and the deliberation was therefore adopted. It must still be validated by the Paris Council, probably in June or July.

For the proponents of the project, his interest is clear. Adidas should pay around 2.8 million euros for its name to be associated with this new equipment, intended to accommodate certain competitions of the Olympic Games planned in Paris in 2024. The German manufacturer of sports items will thus contribute Significantly at the financial equilibrium of the future room. However, this naming practice bristles a whole part of the left. “It pushes the logic of commodification to the point of privatizing the name of establishments belonging to the public domain”, plague Fatoumata Koné, the president of elected environmentalists of Paris.

opponents do not let go

Instead, the opponents had been pushing for a long time so that this Arena bears the name of Alice Milliat (1884-1957), a swimmer, hockey and French rowing who was also feminist activist and organized the first world female games in Paris , in August 1922. “The Arena de la Porte de la Chapelle would have been the first Olympic equipment in history bearing the name of a woman,” said Nicolas Bonlaldj.

In July 2020, a wish had been voted by the Paris Council to study the possibility of giving the name of Alice Milliat to the Arena. Since then, discussions have taken place to find a compromise. For example, the Adidas logo could have been associated exclusively with the name Arena Alice Milliat. But the German group, it seems, refused such a solution.

Opponents do not let go. Friday, May 13, they launched a petition addressed to the mayor of Paris. “Do not sacrifice our values, our commitment to sport and for feminism, on the altar of a multinational!”, Plean the signatories, among which the former Minister of Sports Marie-George Buffet and the sprinter Ayodelé Ikuesan. Not sure that it is enough to change her mind Anne Hidalgo.

/Media reports.