Stade Brestois firm on moving to new stadium in France


Brest new stadium update Jan 2020 Image: François de La Serre

The French football club based in Brest, France – Stade Brestois 29 – will soon get a new facility. Stade Brestois President Denis Le Saint asserted that the French Ligue 1 football club is firm on delivering a new stadium.

In a club meeting held recently, Le Saint provided an update on the progress of the project. There was no news on the development since it was initially announced way back in March 2018.

He further stated that the need of the hour was to leave the ancient stadium Francis Le Blé. However, Ronan Pichon, member of the city council of France, and the ecologist political party – The Greens – hinted that they wanted to revisit the entire issue of the requirement of a new stadium in Brest.

A press release published by Stade Brestois explained the reasons why it was no longer possible to stay at Francis Le Blé and the danger which looms over the club if the new stadium does not come up.

The press release from Stade Brestois 29 read, “If the project of the new stadium on the Froutven site was discussed by President Denis Le Saint, the club management would like to shed some light on the need to leave the Stade Francis-Wheat. Thus, it is no longer possible to imagine, in the short or long term, a future for the club at the Francis-Le Blé Stadium. Currently, there is not a single parameter that meets the requirements of reception, comfort, security and accessibility. Despite multiple projects to renovate the current enclosure, the issues would remain the same regarding traffic, parking and noise pollution difficulties.”

The press communiqué further read, “We also regularly receive complaints from the neighborhood about the security perimeters set up before the meetings (route de Quimper and rue de Douarnenez). Geographically, Francis-Le Blé is surrounded by three schools (École du Petit Paris, Groupe scolaire de l’Estran / Foucauld et l’Iroise) with whom you have to deal with during week days meetings with all the inconveniences and risks entailed.”

The press release further mentioned, “The city center had to face the consequences during the 2010 renovations of having to adapt to the constraints of the local urban planning plan and to create a platform, in Brest (!), without a roof. As far as the stands are concerned, we are far from matching up to the standards required by the Professional Football League. The stadium is made up of three tubular stands, including the very aging Route de Quimper, and a dilapidated Foucauld grandstand which dates back to 1981. In summary, the reception conditions for our supporters are far below what they deserve. The accessibility of PRMs (people with reduced mobility) is also a black spot on which we must take initiative.”

“Of the 40 stadiums in professional football clubs, Francis-Le Blé is the one with the most temporary exceptions. A tense situation for SB29 and a permanent Sword of Damocles hanging over us. This is why the project of a new stadium in the Froutven area, on land intended for major development by the Métropole Brestoise, is the solution to our current problems. It is also the future of Stade Brestois which involves the creation of a new enclosure. A renovation of the Francis-Le Blé Stadium, which would cost a minimum of €50 million (7 to 10 M € for the Quimper grandstand, 15 to 20 M € for the Foucauld grandstand, 7 to 10 M € for the Brittany Ferries grandstand and 15 to 20 M € for the Arkea grandstand plus lighting and fitting out TV area), without business and naming solutions, would be the responsibility of the municipality and, therefore, of Brest residents,” the release maintained.

The release concluded by stating, “Funded entirely by private funds, the Froutven project aims to enhance our territory by providing it with economic dynamism and allowing it to generate numerous jobs.”

Stade Brestois, which was promoted from Ligue 2 last season, is aiming to deliver a venue which can fit in 13,000 spectators by the end of the 2021-22 seasons. The whole development’s price tag will be between €70m (£59.3m/$77.8m). The club’s fans have been promised a new home ground for a long time and Le Saint reiterated that the project remains on track.

Remarked Le Saint, “We are moving forward, we are working on it with Brest Métropole, because the future of the club depends on it. After the environmental and compensation studies, which are still in progress, the archaeological excavations will continue.”

He further remarked, “We are keen to complete this project on the Froutven site in Guipavas, which is perfectly suited. It is at the entrance to the city, directly connected to the two motorways, and accessible for all with the tram connection.”

Stade Francis-Le Blé is the current home ground of Stade Brestois. The arena first opened its doors in 1922 and its current capacity is 16,000.

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