And so one of the most innovative stadiums is open after 3-year construction. With retractable pitch, retractable roof and impressive illumination of the exterior it surely catches the eye! Also, caught Euro 2016 already and is hunting for more events…
This time yesterday Lille was playing against Nancy, first time ever at the new venue. Planned every year are 22 games of the club, though so far the stadium still needs some work with cleaning to be named first. But despite some dirt on the seats, Lille had a tremendous night yesterday, seeing a crowd of 47,750 people for the first time (with over 30,000 of them having season-tickets). Just like the operator has tremendous revenues from the national record of 4,000 business seats sold for upcoming events. How it all began?
In 2009-2012 a public-private partnership project in Lille brought a new stadium to the city. The 50,000-seater was partly financed by its contractor, Eiffage, which in return will receive partial revenues until 2043. Initially called Grand Stade Lille Métropole, the arena is due to receive a sponsored name as part of revenue streams.
Along with design by leading French architects of Valode&Pistre and Atelier Farret the massive ellipse is covered in LED-lit tubes that allow it to glow at night. One of the facades is indeed a giant screen with two smaller ones installed within it to give a more detailed view of the large projection.
Inside there are stands divided into three tiers of which middle one is dedicated solely to corporate supporters. The ground is very innovative thanks to half-retractable pitch that has not been used in any stadium before. The system provides one part of the field covering the other on massive railings and revealing yet another tier of seating, this time around a smaller field for basketball/volleyball/tennis. Along with curtain dividing the stadium into halves and first French retractable roof it may thus become a indoor arena for concerts and sports events, with the playing field remaining untouched in the ‘closed’ part of the stadium.
The stadium cost €282m to build with further €42m for surrounding parkings, conference and hotel parts of the complex. Furthermore, Lille spent almost €300m on communication to the venue.
Major tenant is Lille OSC, largest football club in the city. However, due to multi-use features of this stadium it is planned to host far more events, also non-sporting ones. In 2016 games of the European Championships are to be played here, when France holds the tournament.