Nantes owner committed to stadium project

FC Nantes owner Waldemar Kita has insisted that the French Ligue 1 football club remains committed to building a new stadium after the project was put on hold by local authorities.

Last week, Nantes’ plans for a new stadium were blocked by the local authorities following the launch of a fraud probe into Kita.

The club is hoping to build a 40,000-seat stadium next to its current home, the Stade de la Beaujoire, and the local Metropolitan Council gave the plans the go-ahead back in December.

The €200m (£172m/$225m) project has been dubbed ‘YelloPark’ and the stadium is set to feature a retractable roof and a giant 360-degree screen. It had been hoped that the stadium would open by 2023 in time for it to serve as one of the host venues for that year’s Rugby World Cup in France.

Despite last week’s setback, Kita has expressed his determination to deliver the project and has sent a letter to Johanna Rolland, the Mayor of Nantes and President of Nantes Métropole, following her announcement.

“The future stadium is important to football fans in Nantes,” Kita said in a statement. “Beyond our personal commitments for this project, this stage will be, for the decades to come and for the benefit of several generations, in the continuity of more than half a century of Nantes’ love for football. Nantes and its supporters deserve this ambition and this vision of the future. And I repeat: FC Nantes is not for sale!”

Image: FC Nantes