Stade Laurent Pokou

Capacity20 000
Country Ivory Coast
Other names Stade de San-Pédro
Inauguration 08/09/2023
Construction 2018–2023
Cost XOF 41.716 B ($67 M)
Contractor China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, Omni Travaux


Stade Laurent Pokou – stadium description

How did the new stadium in San-Pédro come about?

In 2014, Côte d'Ivoire was awarded the right to host the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (after subsequent reshuffling of the hosts of several consecutive editions, Côte d'Ivoire will eventually host the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, which, contrary to its name, will be held in January and February 2024).

In 2016, construction of the national stadium on the outskirts of Abidjan got underway, and in September 2017, the government issued five further tenders for the upgrading and/or construction of new stadiums being prepared for the tournament. Of the three stadiums that were to be built completely from scratch, one was planned in San-Pédro, located in the western part of the country on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.

When was the new stadium in San-Pédro built?

The construction of the new stadium in San-Pédro began in September 2018. According to the initial plan, the facility was to be ready after two years of construction, but the work was extended until 2023, influenced by, among other things, the COVID-19 pandemic; the lack of haste also caused the postponement of the organization of the African Cup of Nations by two years.

The stadium was built in partnership with the People's Republic of China and construction was carried out by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) in partnership with local company Omni Travaux. At its peak, nearly 1,000 workers were employed on site. The cost of the investment was 41.716 billion CFA francs.

After whom was the new stadium in San-Pédro named?

The venue was named after Laurent Pokou, the Ivorian striker who died in 2016 and scored a total of 14 goals at two African Cup of Nations tournaments (in 1968 and 1970), thus setting an unbeaten record until 2008.

When was Stade Laurent Pokou inaugurated?

The official opening of the new stadium took place on September 8, 2023, with the inauguration by Minister of Sport Claude Paulin Danho, accompanied by the Chinese ambassador, representatives of construction companies, the Laurent Pokou family, the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations organizing committee and senior officials.

A day later, the first official game took place at the stadium. In a match played as part of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, Côte d'Ivoire beat Lesotho 1:0. It was the first-ever match of the national teams played in San-Pédro.

What are the characteristics of Stade Laurent Pokou?

The new stadium in San-Pédro was built in the northern suburbs, about 8 km from the center, on the main exit road leading east towards Abidjan. The area around the stadium was very sparsely developed before its construction, and a section of forest had to be cleared before the actual work could begin.

The facility has a multi-purpose character and was equipped with a tartan athletics track and a natural turf pitch. On either side, along the pitch, are two single-level covered stands, with a total capacity of 20,000 spectators. Two gaps in the auditorium are left at the curves where the video screens are located.

The two stands are similar, but the stand on the west side (main stand) has VIP boxes and extensive backup facilities. Behind the stands, in the corners, stand four floodlighting masts. Regional motifs have been integrated into the architecture of the stadium, with elements intended to symbolize oil palms, and the seats in the stands have the colors of the national flag.

Numerous parking spaces have been created around the stadium. The entire plot of land on which the facility stands covers an area of 22 ha.



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