France: Metz preparing for new stand's launch

source: StadiumDB.com

France: Metz preparing for new stand's launch FC Metz are one of just two major clubs in France to own their home grounds. Now they're getting ready to launch the new grandstand, which will raise capacity to some 30,000. All of the stadium revamp should last until 2023.

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Since 2018 FC Metz have been the sole owners of Stade Saint Symphorien. The club have thus joined Olympique Lyonnais in becoming one of just two major sides in French football to own their grounds. Usually venues are municipally-owned, often managed by private third parties, as part of now widely scrutinised public-private partnerships.

In the case of Metz taking over of the stadium was a way of developing the club and boosting its profile, as well as regular revenue. In May of last year construction of the new main stand along the south side began. As of today the stand is nearly complete structurally and workers are moving towards two southern corners, which are also to be filled.

All of the stadium is planned to be upgraded, though the three existing stands will not be significantly alrered in structural terms. They will, however, be covered by new outer cladding. Its latest iteration was revealed in these renderings in recent days:

Stade St. Symphorien© FC Metz

Stade St. Symphorien© FC Metz

Although the main stand is almost complete, its furnishing and installation phase will take some time and the launch will be gradual. From January 2021 the stand will house its expo-conference centre, able to host events between 20 and 1,000 people across 5,000 m2.

In February, the new business circle, with its own bar and restaurant, will be launched. It will become the most exclusive element of the stadium, key element of its hospitality offer. First offices are to be added in the summer, while in September of 2021 further 1,500 m2 of co-working space should be launched.

Stade St. Symphorien© FC Metz

All of the stadium will be delivered slightly later than expected, in 2022. By then St. Symphorien will be able to realise all of its commercial potential, including the hosting of large concerts.

For less than two weeks now the stadium has been under the management of FC Metz Stadium, a new subsidiary of the club, responsible solely for the sports and commercial facilities (including the training centre and tennis club, also owned by FC Metz). One of the first new amenities opened under the new subsidiary is an Italian restaurant in the north stand, allowing fans to dine at the stadium every day.

All of the building's redevelopment was initially expected to consume €60 million, all financed privately. However, today the official estimate is closer to €70 million.

Stade St. Symphorien© FC Metz

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