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The European Stadium & Safety Managers Association (ESSMA) has organised a stadium tour to some of the EURO 2016 host venues in France, from 2-4 June 2015.

The focus of the tour will be on the specific topics relating to the strengths of the different stadiums. Attendees will visit the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux (home to Girondins de Bordeaux), Grand Stade Lyonnais (Olympique Lyonnais), Stade Vélodrome (Olympique Marseille) and Allianz Riviera (OGC Nice).

Tour Schedule

Day 1 – June 2: Visit to Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux – Girondins de Bordeaux

The New Bordeaux Stadium is a new generation multi-function venue dedicated to sports and culture. With a modular capacity of 42,000-seats, it is conceived to welcome a rich and diversified programming, from sports competitions, spectacles, concerts and corporate events. This mixed-use stadium includes a 9,500sqm VIP and media area and will host high-level sporting and cultural events, including 3,000 business seats and another 1,000 seats in VIP lodges.

The project includes retail and hospitality outlets and the commercial operation will be shared with Girondins de Bordeaux stadium. A true centre for social life, the stadium offers the spectator a complete experience centered on a spirit of conviviality and enjoyment for all. The only stadium of its size in the larger south west, it inscribes itself as a structuring element in the region, a unique venue for gatherings, sharing and partaking of emotions for all generations.

The first stone was laid in April 2013 and the stadium will be inaugurated this year. It will host the first match of FC Girondins de Bordeaux on May 23 and the semi-finals of the TOP 14 on June 5 and 6 June. As an official stadium of the EURO 2016 event, it will host 5 competition matches in June 2016.


ESSMA presentation on the Stadium Construction Database highlighting the stadium tour venues by showing the construction phases following UEFA standards:
  • Conception: Stade Bordeaux Atlantique (Girondins de Bordeaux)
  • Definition: Allianz Riviera Nice (OGC Nice)
  • Design: Parc des Princes/Paris Saint-Germain
  • Preparation: Stade Vélodrome (Olympique de Marseille)
  • Realisation: Stades des Lumières (Olympique Lyon)
The Bordeaux stadium visit will be focused on:
  • General facts & figures such as construction & investment, structure and operational management
  • Sustainability of the implementation of the stadium in a green environment in Bordeaux
  • The hospitality approach of the new stadium
  • Integration of rugby games in the stadium, having the finals of the French Rugby taking place 

Bordeaux Training Centre (Château du Haillan)

Château du Haillan is located in the heart of the exceptional site of Plaine du Haillan and is the administrative headquarters of FC Girondins de Bordeaux. As the club’s International Centre, the facility includes 9 football pitches, 2 synthetic football pitches, a training centre and a football school on a total area of 11 hectares. In 1986, the proposed creation of a football centre was adopted by the Municipal Council and FC Girondins de Bordeaux became the supervisor.

The sports facilities are among the best in France: it’s a beautiful setting, surrounded by numerous football pitches and thus a real tool for optimisation. The presence of the administrative and commercial part of the club, as well as other departments, help maintain an excellent club spirit.

Finally, the centre is divided into several areas: for care and weight training, coaching and video sector. The care and training sector is designed in 3 parts. It includes a large weight room with direct access to the land and 30 machines of the last generation. The second room is devoted exclusively to stretching while the third is destined to physiotherapists care. These rooms communicate together and are largely glazed and equipped with a video circuit that can broadcast football images. Everything has been done for the welfare of the players to perfect preparation. Essential in the preparation of games, the club enjoys advanced equipment with a fully equipped screening room and complete digital video management.

Day 2 – June 3: Grand Stade – Olympique Lyonnais

Olympique Lyonnais’s Grand Stade is a multi-purpose stadium with 60,000-seats. It consists of three teers with seats no further than 15m from the pitch, designed by architecture firm Populous. The stadium will not only be used for football and rugby matches, but also for non-sportive events, such as concerts and expositions. The stadium will contain 46,865 regular seats, 6,000 VIP seats, 3,000 for the away team fans and also about 350 for disabled fans. The stadium will have an adaptable concert capacity, catering facilities, concessions, suites, corporate lounges and a new state-of-the-art training centre, for which the aim is to create a virtually carbon neutral building.

The club’s aim is to create financial stability by funding the development itself, so as to gain maximum benefit from the revenue generated.

The main goal of the stadium is to attract more people on a yearly basis. It has to be a venue for big spectacles, which was already shown with a huge light show during the inauguration. Home club Olympique Lyonnais wants to offer the fans a unique and comfortable experience. Therefore the stadium features two big screens, 300 smaller ones and a very strong Wi-Fi connection all around the stadium. One of the most remarkable features for the spectators is the ability to order food without leaving their seats, which allows them not to miss a second of the game.


The brand new Lyon stadium is in final ‘realisation stage’ of the construction process and fully privately invested by Olympique Lyonnais. The tour will mainly focus on the financing & investment approach of the club and how they will operate & manage the stadium as from January 2016. Xavier Pierrot, Stadium Manager and Chef de project Grand Stade, will welcome attendees.

Day 3 – June 4: Stade Vélodrome – Olympique Marseille

The Stade Velodrome has undertaken a three-year renovation that has completely transformed the image of the stadium. The main goal of the newly renovated venue is to increase ticket sales by creating an excellent fan experience. The capacity has been extended to 67,000, with 6,500 VIP seats. Works included the almost complete reconstruction of the two principal stands, minor works on the stands at both ends, and the construction of a roof, increasing capacity with another 7,000 seats. The works began in the spring of 2011 and were completed in the summer of 2014.

Prior to the works, the Stade Vélodrome was completely open and despite the good weather in Marseille, fans were sometimes exposed to harsh wind and rain showers, whereas they are now protected from those elements. Underneath the stadium, a whole new space was created to allow free circulation for TV, players, technicians, etc. Overall facilities have also been upgraded for spectators, media, players and staff. The whole project had a cost of 3,5 million euros.


Cedric Dufoix (Development Director)Vincent Bobin (Stadium Manager) and Martin d’Argenlieu (Directeur General Arema Velodrome) will highlight their challenges in terms of marketing, hospitality, ticketing, safety in combination with the increased ARPU (Average Revenu Per User) in catering & hospitality, and the attraction of new fans across the region.

The visit to Marseille will be focused on:
  • General facts & figures such as construction & investment, structure and operational management
  • The organization of football games during the renovation process of the stadium
  • The actual result in terms of hospitality, marketing, ticketing and progress of the club

Allianz Riviera – OGC Nice

The multi-functional Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice is situated in the plain of the Var, at the heart of the “eco-valley” and a few kilometres from the Nice’s Côte d’Azur international airport. Construction works started August 1st, 2011, and the inauguration happened on September 22nd, 2013.

A real venue for living, participating and sharing, it hosts OGC Nice matches, football but also rugby, lawn tennis and motor sports, concerts, shows and large-scale events. One of the sites welcoming the UEFA EURO 2016, this “connected” stadium accommodates 35,000 to 45,000 spectators, while conforming to the principles of sustainable development. By the summer of 2015, Allianz Riviera will play host to a shopping centre. Offering a wide range of services, the centre will function as real place for living.

Allianz Riviera was born of a Public/Private Partnership (PPP). The public partners are the Town of Nice, the Métropole Côte d’Azur, General Council of the Alpes-Maritimes, Regional Council of Provence Alpes Côtes d’Azur and the State. The private partners are VINCI Concessions, La Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, and South Europe Infrastructure Equity (SEIEF).

Connected Stadium


The aim of Allianz Arena in case of sustainable development is clear: to reduce its impact on the environment. Since its design phase and in its exploitation, the stadium is a model of ecological design and construction, a flagship positive-energy building in an eco-neighbourhood, which is part of the Operation of National Interest for the Plain of the Var.

A venue for other sports and shows

With its 131 x 73m pitch, the stadium is also officially approved to host rugby tournaments. It can also serve as a setting for motor sports and lawn tennis, on a surface faster than clay courts. Allianz Riviera is capable of accommodating up to 45,000 spectators for concerts, operas and large-scale shows.


The visit to Nice will be focused on:
  • General facts & figures such as construction & investment, structure and operational management
  • Sustainable implementation of the stadium in the region
  • Safety & security workshop from ESSMA Stadium Partners
  • Fan entertainment actions & tools from OGC Nice in the stadium

The ESSMA board of directors will join the technical visit to the Allianz Riviera stadium, prior to the ESSMA board meeting on June 5th.



Participation fee is €775, including

  • Stadium visits
  • Hotel nights in Lyon (2-3 June) & Marseille (3-4 June)
  • Internal flight Bordeaux – Lyon
  • Transfers: train & bus
  • Lunches

– Dinners are not included in the participation fee
– The event starts June 2nd at 13h00 in Bordeaux and ends June 4th at 16h30 in Nice

Final subscription date is May 26th.

*This event is only open to ESSMA Stadium Members, League/FA Members and Stadium Partners.

Our forthcoming Q2/Summer ’15 edition of PanStadia & Arena Management will include a feature highlighting the EURO 2016 host stadia. PanStadia & Arena Management is the official media partner of ESSMA and its members.

Grande Stade Bordeaux within 10 months of completion

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Work on the Grande Stade Bordeaux – which will host five matches including a quarter-final game during EURO 2016 – is continuing apace, with completion due April 2015.

The new stadium has been designed by renowned architects Herzog and de Meuron, whose previous projects include world-class stadia in Munich and Beijing. This time, the original form uses the stands as the most distinctive accent, with a ‘jungle’ of white columns on the exterior supporting the stadium’s bowl. These columns ensure maximum flexibility and optimal visibility for fans through the use of specially-tailored design principles. Located in the green belt district, the venue will be surrounded by lush green areas and vegetation.

Initially called Stade Bordeaux Atlantique, the ground was later named Grand Stade Bordeaux. However, both names are temporary, as a naming-rights deal is expected to cover around 8% (c.€15m) of the construction cost. The project has been realised through a public-private partnership (PPP), with Girondins football club covering half the budget (€85m) and the remainder to be paid by federal funding (€28m), municipality (€17m), urban community (€15m), and regional authorities (€15m).

© 2014, Herzog & de Meuron Basel

© 2014, Herzog & de Meuron Basel

Nice’s eco stadium hosting its first events

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The Allianz Riviera in the heart of the Var Eco Valley in southern France is opening up for its first athletes. The first international event will be the Jeux de la Francophonie from 7 September. Nice is hosting this festival of sport and culture with 3,000 participating athletes and artists from 40 French-speaking countries. In 2014 Nice will host the Senior Olympics across 24 sporting disciplines.

Designed by Jean‐Michel Wilmotte in association with all of VINCI Construction’s subsidiaries, the Allianz Riviera has a multi-purpose infrastructure for all kinds of sporting events and shows, with a seating capacity ranging from 35,000 to 45,000.

Nice’s Mayor Christian Estrosi said:

In 1998, because of a lack of consistent sports infrastructure, Nice could not host World Cup football. The same happened in 2007 for the Rugby World Cup. It is in this context that we are building the Allianz Riviera for EURO 2016.

Find out more about the Allianz Arena project in the Autumn issue of PanStadia & Arena Management magazine.

02 france 2016 report uefa

Jacques Lambert, Chairman of the UEFA EURO 2016 steering group told the latest meeting of the group in Lille:

We examined the state of progress of the ten stadiums … and globally, we are advancing very well. We also discussed details about various issues, such as the search for team bases. We are working to maximise the social and economic consequences of this EURO tournament in France. Everything is moving forward in the best way.

FFF president Noël Le Graët added:

France was considerably behind as far as stadiums were concerned. I think that in the next two years, we will have partly made up for lost time. This EURO is a wonderful opportunity for France.

UEFA, which holds all the competition rights, and the FFF, which in particular is responsible for the safety and security of the event, have set up a joint venture, EURO 2016 SAS, to which they have delegated responsibility for the operational organisation of the finals. EURO 2016 SAS is a company under French law, with the legal form of a simplified joint stock company, owned 95% by UEFA and 5% by the FFF. Its registered head office is in Paris. Its expenses will be financed entirely by UEFA.

The steering group, which had its inaugural meeting in April 2011, comprises the key stakeholders in the organisation of the event: UEFA, the French Football Federation (FFF), the French government and the host cities.

Michel Platini is also on the steering group, together with UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino, deputy UEFA General Secretary Theodore Theodoridis, UEFA Executive Committee members Borislav Mihaylov (Bulgaria) and Peter Gilliéron (Switzerland), FFF president Noël Le Graët, France’s sports minister Valérie Fourneyron and host city representative Maurice Vincent.

Valérie Fourneyron assured the organisers of full government support, and added: “We have been able to discover this fine stadium [in Lille] – the first new stadium to be built afresh. I would also like to take this opportunity to remind you of France’s great pride in hosting this competition, and the mobilisation taking place at the highest state levels to ensure that we deliver the quality that our country is known for in staging major sports events.”

The mayor of Lille, Martine Aubry, welcomed the steering group’s meeting in the city and described UEFA EURO 2016 as “an extraordinary adventure”. “EURO 2016 is a great opportunity for our country,” she said. “France, and especially the French people, will derive benefit.”