Stadiums and arenas

In France, the construction of new stadiums or the renovation of existing stadiums is in the spotlight.

In France, the construction of new stadiums or the renovation of existing stadiums is in the spotlight. With the forthcoming Euro 2016, France is faced with renovating its ageing fleet of stadiums, which have not kept track with developments in professional sport. French stadiums are on average 66 years old, compared to 50 in Germany, 34 in Portugal and 28 in Switzerland.

As the Senate report of 29 April 2009 on professional sport and local authorities reiterated, the stadiums are 'often old, little suited, poorly equipped and our facilities are not up to the standards of the events which they host.Neither the hospitality services (reception spaces, VIP boxes and seats) nor the adjacent facilities (changing rooms, warm up grounds, car parks) allow us to welcome the public and the sportsmen and women to a standard which approaches that of our European neighbours. Attendance at the stadiums and ticket receipts are suffering as a consequence'.

The 1998 football World Cup did not provide many solutions to this ageing of the stadiums. Since then, many football stadium renovation or construction projects have been undertaken (in Lyon, Bordeaux, Nice, Marseille, Lille, etc.). Other projects outside the World Cup have also seen the light of day, involving both rugby and football stadiums (football stadiums in Le Mans and Le Havre, the Jean Bouin and Arena 92 rugby stadiums, etc.). These stadium construction/renovation projects, which are generally initiated by local authorities, still have a future, since France is suffering in particular from a lack of small modern stadiums, with a capacity of 10,000 to 15,000, which can be put to flexible uses and are designed as genuine spaces for community life.

The various recent renovation/construction projects have been conducted according to various and complex contracting arrangements, including partnership contracts (Lille, Nice, Bordeaux, etc.), concession contracts (Le Mans) and private projects (Lyon, Arena 92). The choice of contracting arrangement for a stadium is a complicated subject, linked to: its size, the stability of the club and the local authority, the ownership of the facilities, the expected economic knock-on effects, the available public funding, etc. In the face of the strong deterioration of local public finances, local authorities ought to be led towards different options for future projects: transferral of the ownership of the premises to the clubs through leasing, complete delegation of management to the resident club, etc.


Offre Espelia

In this sector, Espelia deploys its full operational expertise. More specifically, the firm supports local authorities in:

  • analysing the functioning of existing services and facilities
  • developing and implementing a strategy for modernising or creating facilities, according to the needs and the constraints of the region
  • efficiently implementing construction and management projects: contracting, creation of public or public/private operators, monitoring and optimisation of the running of facilities