Le Havre’s Stade Océane has been selected as one of the host venues for next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.

The 25,000-seat stadium opened in 2012 and was designed by KSS and SCAU. It is one of nine venues selected to host fixtures during next year’s national team football event.

A FIFA delegation visited Stade Océane last week to inspect the facilities at the ground, which serves as the home of French Ligue 2 club Le Havre AC. The stadium will host seven matches in total at next year’s World Cup.

Tournament director Bertrand Paquette said: “Le Havre is a territory that works a lot for the development of women’s football. This stadium is simply beautiful, and the perfect venue to host matches.”

KSS director Andy Simons feels the exposure provided for Stade Océane during the tournament will prove invaluable.

“We are very excited and look forward to a fantastic tournament in France next year,” Simons told TheStadiumBusiness.com. “The FIFA Women’s World Cup is watched by millions of fans around the world, so it’s great that our Stade Océane will be part of the event.”

Stade Océane prides itself on being ‘energy-positive’, with an English-style atmosphere set to greet the players at next year’s World Cup.

“Stade Océane is the first stadium in France designed to generate as much electrical energy as it consumes,” Simons said. “It is also the first stadium to use a body coloured version of ETFE as its external skin.

“The excellent atmosphere is achieved by the spectators being really close to the pitch and acoustic containment. The single skin ETFE wrap is acoustically transparent, therefore the terraces and acoustic roof lining are required to be highly effective. From all the concourses, you will hear a remarkably muted sound from the bowl, which develops into an impressive roar as you walk up through the vomitory.”

The other host venues for the tournament are Stade des Alpes in Grenoble, Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Stade de la Mosson in Montpellier, Allianz Riviera in Nice, Parc des Princes in Paris, Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims, Roazhon Park in Rennes and Stade du Hainaut in Valenciennes.

Stade Océane will host the joint-most matches at the World Cup, along with the Parc des Princes and Roazhan Park. The opening match will be held in Paris, with the final to be held in Lyon.

“We are delighted the Stade Océane will host the joint most matches in the tournament,” Simons added. “It certainly isn’t the biggest stadium at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019, but we are confident it will provide the setting for seven memorable matches, and memorable experiences for both fans and players.”

The final draw for the World Cup will take place in Paris on December 8. The US is the defending champion having beaten Japan in the final of the 2015 tournament, which was held in Canada.

Image: Ketounette