Montpellier stadium site set for relocation

French Ligue 1 football club Montpellier HSC is expected to be hit with delays over the development of a new stadium, with local officials set to confirm that the original plan for the project has been abandoned.

Montpellier revealed plans for a new stadium that will be named after former president Louis Nicollin in July 2018. The Stade Louis Nicollin will be a 30,000-seat facility and was set to be developed as part of wider project in the Cambaceres district of the city.

However, according to local newspaper Midi Libre concerns over how the development of a stadium at the planned site would impact on the noise exposure plan of Montpellier Méditerranée airport has led to a change in strategy.

Instead, a site located between the Pierre Mendes France school and the Odysseum shopping centre has now reportedly been targeted. Through his Twitter account, Mayor of Montpellier, Philippe Saurel, yesterday (Tuesday) confirmed that a press conference concerning the stadium has been scheduled for June 11.

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. The Stade de la Mosson will serve as one of the venues for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and a ceremony planned to tie in with the opening of the tournament had been scheduled for Friday to lay the foundation stone for the new stadium.

When the plans were announced last year, it was revealed that the new stadium itself was expected to cost €150m (£133m/$169.3m). The stadium was set to open ahead of the 2022-23 season.

The project was to 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 was also to be utilised for restaurants, shops and accommodation.

Image: FIFA