An artistic impression of the Athletes' Village site in Saint Denis ©Paris 2024

French officials have again warned that their proposed site for the Athletes' Village will not be available beyond 2024 if Paris is not awarded the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

This factor is a major reason why Paris' bid claims it must be awarded the 2024 edition.

Aside from the fact they have agreed that construction work will start in September, the bid's deputy chief executive Michael Aloïsio believes that it would be impossible to delay planned legacy projects any longer.

Paris 2024 have nevertheless claimed that the Village at Saint Denis is one of the "strongest points" of their Olympic and Paralympic bid, even though rivals Los Angeles 2024 have consistently tried to identify it as a major weakness. 

It is envisaged that the two Villages to be built for Paris 2024 will create 4,500 new dwellings for local people, with 100,000 square metres dedicated to "economic activity" and 23,000 square metres to "facilities and services".

"We are well advanced with the Village plans," Aloïsio said on the opening day of the International Olympic Committee Evaluation Commission visit to the French capital. 

"We have final details with the layout and in the space for officers, for student housing and other facilities.

"It would be very complicated to freeze this project. 

"We cannot freeze and sideline this for four years. 

"Things have started and everything is in motion, so we really want to stick to that timeline."

Paris, unlike Los Angeles, do not have the advantage of existing facilities ©Paris 2024
Paris, unlike Los Angeles, do not have the advantage of existing facilities ©Paris 2024

An IOC Working Group is currently considering awarding both the 2024 and 2028 editions of the Summer Games to Paris and Los Angeles at this year's Session in Lima. 

Paris claim they would not be able to use the proposed Village site after 2024 has been considered by some critics as an attempt to influence the IOC. 

Co-bid leader Tony Estanguet claimed they have not discussed or looked at any alternative sites for 2028.

"We have been very clear our project is only for 2024 and we continue in this way for 2024," he said.

Unlike the French capital, Los Angeles have proposed using an existing site at the UCLA campus in Westwood Hills, although additional rooms are due to be built before 2024.

They showcased the facility as a major strength of their bid during last week's IOC Evaluation Commission inspection, claiming that using largely existing student accommodation will save money and create a new model for the Games.

Paris 2024 have hit back by claiming that developing a site from scratch is an advantage because they can customise it more to the needs of athletes and, consequently, create a stronger legacy. 

A total of 3,000 apartments are expected to be built in a 51 hectare site estimated to cost €1.8 billion (£1.5 billion/$2 billion), financed by between 70 and 80 per cent private money and the rest from public sources.

Around 2,100 apartments would be converted into houses after the Games, with another 900 to be converted into student accommodation.

"We chose a site which is most meaningful for our project, two kilometres from the Stade de France," said Aloïsio.

"It is the best site for our Village, with the best layout.

"Building a new site means we can do exactly what we want. 

"We think the fact we have designed our Village is key as we didn’t make our compromises.

"It will match the exact need of athletes and local people."

The Cité du Cinéma would be the site of the main dining hall in the Athletes' Village ©ITG
The Cité du Cinéma would be the site of the main dining hall in the Athletes' Village ©ITG

One proposed innovation involves a special zone in a closed section of the River Seine in which athletes will be able to swim and relax. 

A total of 60 per cent of competitors will also have training sites within the Village itself, with all athletes to have training facilities within a 20 minute journey, Paris 2024 claim.

A total of 85 per cent will be accommodated within 30 minutes of their competition venue.

Bid officials also hailed the flat nature of the site as a particular benefit for the Paralympic Games, another apparent dig at the hillier nature of the UCLA campus.

Both the IOC inspectors and members of the media are due to visit the Paris 2024 Athletes' Village site tomorrow.