Stade de Yamoussoukro
|Cost||CFA 47 billion|
Stade de Yamoussoukro – design description
In September of 2017 the government of Ivory Coast launched a design+build+finance tender for a brand new stadium in Yamoussoukro, the country's administrative capital. It was one of three 20,000-seat venues planned for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (after subsequent changes, Côte d'Ivoire will eventually host the tournament in 2023).
In early March 2018 it was announced that a joint venture of SCAU architecture (known for Stade de France, new Stade Velodrome and Atatürk Olimpiyat Stadyumu) Sogea Satom (Vinci group), Baudin Chateauneuf (steel structure), Alcor (seating specialist) and Egis (engineers) were selected out of impressive 45 (!) bids from around the world.
Situated on the east side of the city, SCAU took an approach to create a stadium that was both monumental and minimalist. Monumental – to create a strong image for Ivory Coast that will be broadcast around the world. Minimalist – to ensure a simple low cost in use building with a long life.
The west stand houses all the programme for the stadium, the other three stands are dug into the ground, taking advantage of a natural slope in the site. This reduces the amount of built infrastructure to be maintained. Also, this adds to the excitement of arrival at a match. The spectator arrives at the top of the stands and has a clear expansive view of the entire stadium, moves down to the seat and approaches the pitch.
A single roof covers all the stands rising and falling to adapt to the volume underneath and focuses the attention towards the pitch. Catering facilities and toilets are elegantly placed around the stadium, outside.
As with all SCAU’s stadiums, they paid particular attention to life of the stadium after the event. The heritage of a stadium is key to its profitability and maintenance and so SCAU consulted with various local sports and education groups to imagine how some of the spaces maybe used on a daily basis after CAN. Building work is due to start on site mid 2018. The arena, worth CFA 47 billion, was originally scheduled to be ready in spring 2020.
The progress of the construction was slowed somewhat by the COVID-19 pandemic. The venue reached a stage of near completion in the summer of 2021, with the national team's World Cup qualifying matches scheduled for the autumn of that year. However, a report by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) found infrastructural shortcomings, mainly in terms of security, and the matches had to be moved elsewhere (due to renovations at other national venues, they were held at the Stade de l'Amitié in Benin's capital, Cotonou).
Conditional approval of the stadium from CAF was finally obtained in May 2022 and on June 3, 2022 the venue was inaugurated on the occasion of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Zambia, won by the hosts 3:1.
Ivory Coast: Stade de Yamoussoukro inaugurated
On June 3, the first official match was held at the new venue with Ivory Coast taking on Zambia. The encounter was staged as a qualifier for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, which will take place on the Ivorian pitches. The inaugurated facility will be one of the arenas of the tournament.