Situated on the north bank of the River Seine, the AccorHotels Arena in Bercy, Paris, reopened on October 14, 2015, following an 18-month, complete refurbishment.
One of Europe’s largest concert halls and sports arenas, the AccorHotels Arena (formerly Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy or simply Bercy Arena) will now offer the very latest in visitor facilities, technology offerings, and a fantastic live experience for performers and spectators alike.
As part of the design team lead by DVVD architects and engineers, Populous, in a consulting role, drew on their international arena-design experience, including the 50,000-capacity Philippine Arena in Manila, to design a bowl that would suit multiple configurations, including the ATP Masters Series Paris tennis tournament.
The seating formation of the AccorHotels Arena is designed to be able to attract the biggest names from around the world for 20,300-capacity sellout gigs, as well as suiting smaller, more intimate events of around 7,000 spectators. This versatility will support the arena and local community throughout the year.
Populous Principal, Francois Clement, said:
It is great to be a part of the redevelopment of an arena with such a rich history. The new AccorHotels Arena is going to play a really important part in the story of entertainment in Paris and in Europe, and we can’t wait to see it in action in the coming weeks and months.
Reuters – AccorHotels landed the naming rights to Paris’ indoor concert hall and sports arena, Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy (POPB), as part of its strategy to boost brand awareness and thus revenue.
The deal also paves the way for future cooperation between AccorHotels and Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), one of the world’s largest music entertainment promoter and co-operator of the Paris arena, AccorHotels CEO Sebastien Bazin told Reuters.
Under the plan, which was cleared by the Paris City Council late September/early October, France’s biggest concert hall – with a capacity of 20,000-seats built 30 years ago on the eastern edge of the city – is now the AccorHotels Arena POPB.
AccorHotels is spending €4.15m per year for the 10-year naming rights deal, with an option to extend it for another 10 years.
The world’s fourth-largest hotel group changed its own name from Accor to AccorHotels back in June and has been accelerating its digital business to fight back against online rivals.
The naming rights deal was awarded by a consortium controlled the City of Paris and by Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), owned by Denver billionaire, Philip Anschutz.
Future cooperation between AccorHotels and AEG could focus on offering packages coupling AEG entertainment tickets with reservations in AccorHotels and with AccorHotels loyalty cards.
Rock bands U2 and the Foo Fighters will be among the first acts to play the revamped arena, which now boasts an increased capacity of 20,300-seats (it previously offered 17,000) following the makeover, which was said to cost around €150m.
Naming rights are a relatively new concept in France, where most sports venues are owned by the local authority/municipality. Recent initiatives in the sector have included the new Bordeaux stadium, which was named Matmut Atlantique under a ten-year contract with French insurer Matmut Group worth around €20m, and the Nice stadium, renamed Allianz Riviera Stadium, for roughly the same amount.