A host of dignitaries were in attendance on Monday as the city mayor and former French Prime Minister Alain Juppé laid the foundation stone at the new Stade de Bordeaux.
City mayor and former French Prime Minister Alain Juppé laid the foundation stone at the new Stade de Bordeaux on Monday.
Also present in Bordeaux were French Football Federation (FFF) president Noël Le Graet, FC Girondins de Bordeaux director Nicolas de Tavernost and captain Jaroslav Plašil, president of EURO 2016 SAS Jacques Lambert, and president of the regional council of Aquitaine, Alain Rousset. Raphaël Ibanez, manager of the city's rugby team Union Bordeaux-Bègles, was on hand too.
The Stade de Bordeaux, which will play host to both rugby and football matches, is set to have a capacity of 42,000 and will replace the Stade Chaban-Delmas. It has been designed by Swiss architects Herzog & De Meuron and will be opened in April 2015. Built with UEFA EURO 2016 in mind, it will cater for all the sporting and cultural needs of south-west France.
"Nowadays, there is no big city without a big stadium," said Juppé. "Chaban-Delmas is not small, it's just dated. Two-thirds of the supporters are uncomfortable when it rains, there are few or no hospitality lounges and it is not up to modern standards."
De Tavernost added: "We as shareholders have made some significant efforts, but we think it's worth it because for EURO 2016 the country and local powers committed to a ten-stadium plan. Bordeaux had to be part of it."