French Ligue 1 football club Montpellier has confirmed that its new 25,000-seat stadium will be built on the southern outskirts of the city on the Ode à la Mer site in Pérols.
Montpellier has targeted the end of 2024 as the opening date for the Stade Louis-Nicollin, which will be named after the club’s former owner who passed away in 2017. The opening of the stadium will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the creation of the club.
The stadium project will cost around €180m (£163m/$222m) and will be 100% privately funded by the club, Groupe Nicollin and local partners. The stadium site will also include virtual reality and esports areas, sports medicine and cryotherapy facilities and office spaces, as well as a hotel, restaurants, a nursery, an official club shop and a museum.
Montpellier hopes the stadium will become a year-round destination with enhanced accessibility through a new parking offer and tram stop, as well as close proximity to the motorway, train station and airport.
Nicollin’s son Laurent, who succeeded his father as club president, said: “It’s an important day, but I’ll be even happier when the first stone is laid for the inauguration. We hope that we will go to the end.
“The new stadium is an essential tool for the future of the club, otherwise we will disappear.”
Montpellier first revealed plans for a new stadium back in July 2018 and the club has since been seeking a suitable site for the project.
In July 2019, Philippe Saurel, the then-Mayor of Montpellier, confirmed that the new stadium would be delayed by at least a year due to difficulties involving the previously planned site in the Zac Cambaceres district of the city. It was announced at the time that a new site would need to be found and Montpellier has now decided on Ode à la Mer, which had originally been due to house a new shopping centre.
Montpellier currently plays at the Stade de la Mosson (pictured), which has a capacity of around 32,900 and opened in 1972.