Stade Bollaert-Delelis

Capacity35 200
CountryFrance
CityLens
ClubsRC Lens
Inauguration 18/06/1933
Construction 1932-1933
Renovations 1954, 1976, 1977, 1983, 1995-1997, 2014-2015
Cost €70 million
Design Cardete & Huet, Atelier Ferret Architectures (2014-2015)
Address Avenue Alfred-Maes, BP 236, 62304 Lens Cedex

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Description: Stade Bollaert-Delelis

Euro 2016 games:

GameAttendanceTime (local)Stage
  Albania 0–1 Switzerland   33,805 11/06/2016 15:00 Group A
  England – Wales   34,033 16/06/2016 15:00 Group B
  Czech Rep. 0–2 Turkey   32,836 21/06/2016 21:00 Group D
  Croatia 0-1 Portugal   33,523 25/06/2016 21:00 Round of 16

Average attendance: 33,549

 

Before the tournament

Opened back in 1933 it’s one of the oldest stadiums used during Euro 2016 and yet it’s one of the best football grounds across France one could think of. Still with its location on the east-west axis, still with corners left empty, it might be considered as “football specific” as it was in 1998, when it hosted the World Cup.

Euro 2016 investment

Initial plans were more impressive than those eventually implemented. One thing that remained almost untouched was the entire concrete structure of the stands. With facades, roof, seats and installations ripped out, it underwent a comprehensive change worth over €70 million, though one of over €110 million was planned earlier.

Location

Lens is of course larger as an urban area than the 30,000+ population they have listed. Still, the stadium is just 1km (under 1 mile) west of the strict city centre and reachable on foot for everyone. In fact, one might think the most significant landmark location not within walking distance is… the city of Lille (derby rivals) lying 40km north-east.

Architecture

Wirth only the bare concrete structure left intact in 2014, the stadium received basically brand new equipment throughout. This considers the roof, seats, and all spectator areas beneath the seating bowl. And, to considerable dissatisfaction of local supporters, architects chose to create a whitish, clear and simple spatial layout of all of these areas. White composite and metal-mesh facades, white steel and white-grey seats create a very neutral, almost sterile environment that received some criticism. Still, it all comes to live with fans inside and/or nighttime illumination.

Stands

The seating bowl remained virtually untouched. Minor changes included removal of the first row of seating and greater roof over all seats (first time in the stadium’s history). Early plans called for expansion to 44,000 seats, but eventually the size remained almost unchanged.

Legacy use

RC Lens may be a second-league club for the duration of the UEFA tournament, but they also remain among the most popular teams in France. In case you need a statement regarding sustainability for a stadium of this size in the long run, the 2015/16 season of Ligue 2 saw crowds of 26,393 people every game!

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Tournament pictures

Non-tournament pictures

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