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Design & Development

Populous reveals designs for Lyon’s LDLC Arena

Featured image credit: Populous

Featured image credit: Populous

Populous has revealed designs for Lyon’s new 16,000-capacity LDLC Arena, which will be the largest indoor arena in France outside of Paris.

Work on the arena commenced in January and the project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2023. LDLC Arena is expected to host between 100 to 120 events per year, including basketball games played by LDLC ASVEL, as well as futsal, tennis, esports and music concerts.

Its capacity will be 12,000 for sporting events and 16,000 for concerts. The venue will be owned by OL Groupe, which operates Ligue 1 football club Olympique Lyonnais.

OL Groupe announced a financing plan for the arena back in May. The project will be 100% financed by OL Groupe and is expected to cost €141m (£123m/$139m).

Populous was awarded the contract to design the arena in July last year, with Citinea, a subsidiary of Vinci Construction, overseeing the build. OL Groupe has also signed a long-term commercial agreement with Live Nation for the arena.

Populous also designed Lyon’s 59,000-capacity Groupama Stadium and training centre. The new arena will form the latest stage of the OL Valley venture, which saw a leisure and entertainment centre open next to the stadium in 2021.

LDLC Arena will feature three stands facing the stage, and a fourth removable one for use during sporting events. Populous said the design of the arena will feature a skin or ‘veil’, which will create depth and break down the volume of the acoustic box.

The arena will also feature a seating bowl designed to bring fans as close to the performance area as possible. The hospitality experience at the facility will look to encourage fans to arrive earlier and stay later.

Populous has also worked to minimise the environmental footprint of the arena and reduce the volume of building materials needed. The shell of the arena features a double skin, which will help to regulate the temperature and minimise the need for climate control systems.

The arena will also generate its own energy through photovoltaic panels on the main roof. Thirty per cent of the total area will be green space, with the scheme to include hundreds of mature trees and a large bird reservation to the north of the site.

Christopher Lee, Populous’ managing director in the EMEA region, said: “Our work with Olympique Lyonnais to create and deliver the world-class Groupama Stadium is something Populous is immensely proud of, so we are naturally very excited to be able to team up again to deliver the LDLC Arena.

“The focus again is on providing a great atmosphere and exceptional, best-in-class hospitality facilities that ensure the arena is a destination venue for the whole region and maintains the momentum of the ambitious and sustainable vision Olympique Lyonnais is delivering for the regeneration of this area of the city.”

Francois Clement, senior principal and leader of Populous’ business operations in France, added: “We are proud to once again be working alongside the Olympique Lyonnais Groupe on the design and delivery of a world-class sports and entertainment venue for Lyon.

“LDLC Arena will be a huge asset to the city as the focus of the Groupe’s ambitious OL Valley venture, which will provide the local community and wider region with a new centre for cultural activity. The arena will attract the best global talent in live entertainment and provide a new home for LDLC ASVEL befitting of one of French basketball’s most successful teams.”

LDLC, the computer and technology stores owner, acquired naming rights to the arena in December 2021 as part of an eight-year deal. LDLC is an existing sponsor of ASVEL Basket and esports outfit Team LDLC OL.