Anything but ‘nice’ for Nice Eco Stadium


OGC Nice stadium operator placed under protection Image: VINCI

With COVID-19 decimating the sports venue sector the world over, many venue operators are facing the financial heat.

The operator of the Allianz Riviera, home of French Ligue 1 football club OGC Nice, has been placed under a safeguard procedure amid financial difficulties caused by the virulent virus.

France is one of the European countries to be hit hard by coronavirus with the fatal respiratory disease killing 108,658 people in the country till date.

The ‘SportBusiness’ stated that the Nice Eco Stadium, a subsidiary of the Vinci group which operates the Allianz Riviera, is in financial dire straits due to the pandemic, with Nice having been forced to play matches behind closed doors thus resulting in nil gate-related earnings.

OGC Nice or simply Nice is a French professional football club based in Nice, France. The club was founded in 1904 and currently plays in Ligue 1, the top tier of French football. Nice plays its home matches at the Allianz Riviera. Nice is captained by Brazilian defender Dante.

The Allianz Riviera is a multiuse stadium in Nice, France, used mostly for football matches of its primary tenant OGC Nice and also for occasional home matches of rugby union club – Rugby Club Toulonnais. The stadium has a capacity of 36,178 people and replaces the City’s former stadium Stade Municipal du Ray.

The ‘SportBusiness’ further stated that the company was placed under a safeguard procedure on May 6th, 2021. SCP Pellier and SELARL Thevenot have been appointed as the company’s judicial representative and judicial administrator, respectively.

The Nice Eco Stadium, while confirming the above news, said that it is a result of the “complicated health situation of the last 15 months”. The situation is not giving sleepless nights to the owners of Nice, which rents the stadium from the City.

France’s safeguard procedure is designed to facilitate the reorganization of companies so they can maintain their economic activity. The observation period for Nice Eco Stadium is set to last six months.

The Allianz Riviera opened in September 2013. Nice Eco Stadium has a 30-year contract to operate the venue.

The stadium served as a host venue during the Union of European Football Association (UEFA) Euro 2016, as well as the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ in 2019. The venue will also be used when France hosts the Rugby World Cup in 2023.

Nice is owned by British petrochemicals company Ineos, which completed its takeover of the club in August 2019. Ineos is owned by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who is ranked 25th on the Sunday Times Rich List 2021, a list of the 1,000 wealthiest people or families resident in the United Kingdom ranked by net wealth. The list was published on May 21st.

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