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Jay-Z, Beyonce force top French rugby club to relocate
One of France’s top rugby clubs, Racing 92, had to play the semifinal qualification match on Saturday more than 450km away from their home stadium because it has been rented out to Jay Z and Beyonce.
The owner of U Arena, Jacky Lorenzetti, who is also the president of the rugby club, chose to rent the 32,000-seater stadium in Nanterre, near Paris, to the two American artists for rehearsals for their upcoming tour, according to French newspaper Le Monde,
As a result, Racing 92 had to play Saturday's match against Agen in a 9,000-capacity stadium in Vannes in Brittany.
The relocation didn’t have any negative impact on Racing as they cruised to a 42-13 to qualify for the semifinals of the French rugby championship known as Top 14.
Earlier, in an interview with the news agency AFP, Lorenzetti said that the team will miss just one home game when the artists will use the stadium.
He added this was an economic scheme he had constructed around the club. “I have always been surprised that we can host only 16 matches a year on huge land with such big investments,” he explained.
Such “trade-offs between shows and rugby” will allow the club to be “independent of subsidies for years and even become profitable”, Lorenzetti said.