Roazhon Park (Stade de la Route de Lorient)
|1,831 (VIP seats)|
|Clubs||Stade Rennais FC|
|Inauguration||15.09.1912 (Stade Rennais - SA du Lycée de Rennes, 6-1)|
|Renovations||1939, 1955-1956, 1967, 1987, 1999-2004, 2015, 2018|
|Cost||€37.3 million (1999-2004)|
|Record attendance||29,490 (Stade Rennais – Olympique Marseille, 20.08.2005)|
|Design||Bruno Gaudin (1999-2004)|
|Address||111 route de Lorient, 35000 Rennes, France|
Roazhon Park – stadium description
The ground is located in the Bourg-l'Évesque - la Touche - Moulin du Comte district , in the western part of the Rennes metropolitan area. Its surroundings are dominated by River Vilaine to the south, Lorient Road to the north and ring road to the west.
Although it stands on the bank of River Vilaine since 1912, it wasn’t Stade Rennais’s first stadium. The team moved here since their previous pitch was being flooded every winter. Due to location along the road leading to Lorient, stadium name has historically been set as Stade de la Route de Lorient.
First venue here had one wooden stand accommodating some 3,000 people. For decades its shape hasn’t seen major changes, until just before WWII, when the municipality dedicated some of its resources to expand sections that were heavily overcrowded by then. But ironically, first users were American soldiers stationed here after liberation.
As crowds started growing again after war ended (exceeding 20,000 first time in 1952), wooden structures were replaced by concrete by 1956. But with official capacity of 12,000, the stadium still had to take crowds of nearly 30,000.
Floodlights came in 1967 and soon after stands were to grow to 30,000. But plans ended up scrapped for lack of money. Similar scenario repeated in 1980s as the club advanced to Ligue 1 and started growing again. But again plans didn’t come to fruition. Success was reached in late 1990s as redevelopment plan by architect Bruno Gaudin was launched in 1999, rebuilding one stand at a time until 2004. The scheme cost €37.3 million, significantly more than expected at the beginning of works.
Similar amount was to be spent to expand the venue to 35,000 for Euro 2016, but was scrapped as one more plan for the venue. Interestingly, despite being close from 1960s, Stade Rennais have never exceeded the 30,000 mark with their attendance.
In 2008, two screens with an area of 48 square metres each were installed behind both goals. Before the start of the 2015/16 season, nearly 30,000 blue and green seats were removed and replaced with red ones.
On June 12, 2015, the facility was renamed Roazhon Park, which is much closer to the club tradition and refers to name of the city of Rennes in Breton language. The change was made in a public vote. In summer 2018, the lighting system was replaced with 2,300 lux LED floodlights. This investment was made with the intention of hosting the 2019 Women's World Cup.
Since last general renovation (1999-2004), the arena has four stands connected with each other with built-up corners. Each of the tribunes is covered with a flat roof. Names of the stands depend on current advertising contracts, although their historical names are used simultaneously with their commercial ones.
The tribunes behind the goals, Mordelles (west) and Rennes (east), are similar to each other. In both cases, the domination of the upper tier over the lower one is clearly visible. The two-story Vilaine stand is located to the south and serves as the main stand.
It is the lowest of all four tribunes. This is where VIP lounges, press areas and changing rooms for players can be found. The Lorient (north) stand also houses lounges, as well as a club shop and restaurant. It is divided into three levels.
The stadium hosted matches of the French national football team, both women and men. On June 19-20, 2016, the semi-finals of the Top 14 rugby union tournament took place at the facility. It was also selected as an arena of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup (six games in total).
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