Stade Félix-Houphouët-Boigny (Le Félicia)
|Other names||Stade Géo André (1952-1964)|
|Address||Boulevard de le Republique, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire|
Description: Stade Félix-Houphouët-Boigny
Abidjan’s main stadium was built in the central district of Le Plateau in 1952. In 1964 it went through serious reconstruction, which gave it today’s shape. It’s located on a naturally-sloped land and the eastern part is significantly lower than the west.
In terms of land height the difference is roughly 6-7 meters, while height of stands is also restricted by proximity of the Boulevard de Gaulle. As a result the western side offers 40 rows of terracing, while the eastern only 15.
Current capacity is estimated to be only 35,000, though in the exact same configuration the stadium played host to crowds of over 50,000. However, severe problems with crowd management led to disasters in 2009 and 2013, both of which saw panic take 19 and 61 lives, respectively.
The stadium currently bears the name of Ivory Coast’s first and longest-reigning president, though the first person to be honoured by naming was French sportsman Georges André.
Currently the stadium is used primarily by the national team of Ivory Coast as the only internationally recognized venue in the country. On occasions it’s also used by local team ASEC Mimoses as well as for religious and cultural events, like concerts.
New stadium: Ivory Coast's very own Arc de Triomphe
There was no capacity cap or social distancing last week in Ivory Coast, when crowds flocked to the newly built national stadium. It's nearly twice the capacity of its predecessor and it was built, of course, by the Chinese.