Olympique Lyonnais reveals arena plans

Olympique Lyonnais owner and chairman, Jean-Michel Aulas, has revealed that the French Ligue 1 football club is planning to develop a new arena.

Aulas, speaking as OL Groupe presented its financial results for the first half of the 2018-19 year, said the arena would accommodate 10,000 to 15,000 people and would be part of Lyon’s OL City venture.

Lyon opened its Groupama Stadium (pictured) in January 2016 and is seeking to engage in a five-year strategic plan to diversify its revenue streams. Aulas said: “The multifunction arena project is moving forward. This new venue can accommodate between 10,000 and 15,000 people, depending on sporting and cultural events.

“We’re giving ourselves between two to three years for it to be operational. OL has the know-how and the financial means, so we would like to be able to present the project before next summer. We’ll also determine the site’s location and for this we’re meeting with elected officials from Décines and Meyzieu.”

Aulas also said talks have been held with NBA basketball star Tony Parker, owner of local LNB Pro A team ASVEL, about the prospect of the club playing its games at the new arena. ASVEL currently plays at L’Astroballe, an arena in Villeurbanne, a suburb of Lyon. However, the club has been seeking a new home.

Lyon’s strategic plan is being developed under the banner of ‘full entertainment’. Aulas added: “This should enable us to generate €400m (£351.9m/$451.3m) of turnover and thus join the ranks of the top 20 most successful European clubs. With the arrival of the leisure centre at OL City, we’re aiming for an on-site annual attendance of two to three million people.”

Image: Groupama Stadium