French Ligue 1 football club Montpellier has revealed plans for a new stadium that will be named after former president Louis Nicollin.
The Stade Louis Nicollin will be a 30,000-seat facility and is being developed as part of wider project in the Cambaceres district of the city.
The stadium itself is expected to cost €150m (£132.7m/$175.7m) with groundbreaking set for June 2019, ahead of France’s staging of the Fifa Women’s World Cup. The stadium is set to open ahead of the 2022-23 season.
The project will have a total cost of €200m, with an arena also being developed on the site to host the city’s handball and basketball clubs. A 20,000-square metre space will also be utilised for restaurants, shops and accommodation. Olivier Nicollin, chief executive of Montpellier’s parent company the Nicollin Group, said an application will also be filed to house a casino within the complex.
The City of Montpellier and the wider region will account for 30 per cent of the project costs, with the Nicollin Group and the club contributing the remaining sum. June 29 marked the one-year anniversary of the death of Louis Nicollin, who had owned the club since 1974.
Mayor of Montpellier, Philippe Saurel, said the project represents an “unprecedented collaboration” between public and private entities for controlled funding.
Laurent Nicollin, president of the football club, added, according to the France Infos website: “We are proud to participate in and invest in such a great project, and it is certain that this site will give us the desire and the will to remain in the top 10, and to participate in European competition.”
Montpellier currently plays at the 32,900-capacity Stade de la Mosson (pictured), which opened in 1972 and was redeveloped for France’s staging of the 1998 World Cup.