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Stade Vélodrome project Marseille nears completion

Stade Vélodrome’s impressive renovation is now nearing completion, with the new venue due to open its doors in time for the 2014-15 season.

ESSMA (the European Association of Stadium & Safety Managers) – of which the venue is a member – spoke to two top executives of the tenant club, Olympique Marseille, Vincent Bobin and Julien Di Napoli, to get a summary of the project’s procedures and special features, as will be featured in our forthcoming Summer ’14 issue of PanStadia & Arena Management. To follow is a short excerpt from this piece:

Vincent Bobin has been working at the Club for the last 12 years and is currently responsible for the Stade Vélodrome. He started his career in 2002 in the venue’s Commercial Department before taking over responsibility for Merchandise Services, Marketing and Ticketing. In 2008, he was appointed as Project Manager on the Stade Vélodromes renovation and contributed to the writing of the specifications and the whole renovation project. He is now occupied with managing UEFA relations and takes care of home game operations.

Julien Di Napoli has been the Club’s Operation Manager for the last four years, with responsibilities including setting up the interior design, logistics and prevention planning during home games.

The renovation project of the Stade Vélodrome is a PPP (Public-Private Partnership), which means the venue remains in the ownership of the city of Marseille. The city signed a contract with the company that renovated the stadium, ‘AREMA’, and will be responsible for the operations during the PPP for 35 years.

Olympique Marseille has an agreement with the city of Marseille and will be the main tenant of Stade Vélodrome. When the 35-year contract expires, the City will reclaim the stadium in ‘perfect condition’ with its facilities having been constantly upgraded in line with regulations. This also guarantees Olympique de Marseille a stadium which meets the national and international requirements of governing bodies.

Speaking about his OM role, Di Napoli said:

We were present from the beginning of the renovation project, as we had the desire to build a modern stadium to be considered as one of the biggest European clubs. We handed in functional specifications, which precised the club’s expectations in a renovated stadium. The city, as owner of the stadium, made the legal and financial choices and the club has been integrated in every step of the project.

Project Stats

Club Olympique Marseille  
Stadium Stade Vélodrome
UEFA Status Elite, Category 4
Capacity 67,000 (sports)
60,000 (concerts)
Opening Estimated June 30, 2014
Project cost €267m
(Design, renovation, maintenance,
major upkeep and operations)