Clermont Foot 63 has been officially cleared for its home Ligue 1 debut this weekend after a short-term project to bring its stadium up to standard for the top tier of French football.
Clermont welcomes Troyes to the Stade Gabriel-Montpied on Sunday to play its first-ever home Ligue 1 game, having won promotion from Ligue 2 last season.
Indeed, the club and Clermont Auvergne Métropole have faced a race against time with work on the stadium having only commenced in early June. The project has been headlined by the development of a new 3,000-seat stand, taking capacity at the Gabriel-Montpied up to nearly 13,000.
The stadium lighting has been upgraded to Ligue 1 standards, which has required the masts supporting the floodlights to be moved by nearly eight metres. A new pitch has also been installed, along with Goal Line Technology and VAR systems, while the press and media areas of the stadium have been completely overhauled.
The Infrastructure and Stadia Commission of the French Football League (LFP) authorised the Gabriel-Montpied to host Ligue 1 fixtures last week, while the stadium received its official safety certificate from local authorities yesterday (Thursday).
“It was a great and beautiful mission,” Romuald Lambert, director of the Stade Gabriel-Montpied, told France Bleu. “When the metropolitan council voted for the budget of €3m (£2.55m/$3.53m)… we said to ourselves that we had to put in (the work and) we kept (to) the deadlines.”