French club’s hunt for stadium site ends



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France Montpellier new stadium site Image: leisuremanagement

French Ligue 1 football club Montpellier has confirmed that a brand-new stadium – Stade Louis-Nicollin – which will be able to hold 25,000 spectators will come up on the southern outskirts of Montpellier (France) on the Ode à la Mer site in Pérols.

Montpellier has targeted the end of 2024 as the opening date for the Stade Louis-Nicollin, which will be named after the club’s former owner – Louis Nicollin – who passed away in 2017. The opening of the stadium will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the creation of the club.

Montpellier currently plays in Ligue 1, the top level of French football, and plays its home matches at the Stade de la Mosson, located within Montpellier.

The stadium project price tag will come to circa €180m (£163m/$222m) and will be 100 percent privately funded by the club, Groupe Nicollin and local partners. The stadium site will also boast virtual reality (VR) and esports areas, sports medicine and cryotherapy facilities and office spaces, as well as a hotel, restaurants, a nursery, an official club shop and a museum.

Montpellier hopes the stadium will become a year-round destination with enhanced accessibility through a new parking offer and tram stop, as well as close proximity to the motorway, train station and airport.

Nicollin’s son Laurent, who succeeded his father as the club President, stated, “It’s an important day, but I’ll be even happier when the first stone is laid for the inauguration. We hope that we will go to the end. The new stadium is an essential tool for the future of the club, otherwise we will disappear.”

Montpellier first unveiled plans for a new venue back in July 2018 and the club has since been hunting for a suitable site for the project.

In July 2019, Philippe Saurel, the then-Mayor of Montpellier, confirmed that the new stadium would be delayed by at least a year due to difficulties involving the previously planned site in the Zac Cambaceres district of the City. It was announced at the time that a new site would need to be found and Montpellier has now set sights on Ode à la Mer, which had originally been due to lodge a new shopping center.

Montpellier presently plays at the Stade de la Mosson which can pack in a crowd of around 32,900 and opened in 1972.

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