Design & Development

Redevelopment plans presented for Bastia’s Stade Armand-Cesari

The Communauté d’Agglomération de Bastia (CAB) has unveiled plans for the final phase of redevelopment work for the home of French Ligue 2 football club SC Bastia, a project which aims to create a new chapter in the chequered history of the stadium.

The Stade Armand-Cesari first opened in 1932, but had been at the centre of a redevelopment scheme that had stalled having first commenced 32 years ago. However, the final phase of work, which will cost €12m (£10.36m/$12.42m), was given the green light in July bringing the total project cost up to €52m.

The CAB, which owns the 16,000-capacity stadium, has appointed A+ Architecte and D+ Architecture to complete the project. Work is due to start in the first half of 2024, and is expected to take two years to complete.

The project will include a new roof for the east and west stands, the creation of a 300 square metre museum, a restaurant in the north stand, extension of the roof for the north and south stands, the creation of a fan zone, modernisation of media facilities and the creation of conference rooms in the south stand.

While football will remain the main focus at the Armand-Cesari, the CAB hopes the redevelopment will allow the stadium to become more multi-purpose by hosting the likes of rugby, tennis and concerts.

“We know that the expectations are high, and we have designed this project with respect for the existing situation and our history,” Georges Dion-Delobre, representative of A+ Architecte, said, according to French newspaper Corse-Matin.

“We carried out acoustic studies in order to preserve and reinforce the ‘cauldron’ effect. This is what we want to translate through the circular structures that will cover the stands.”

Some €40m has been invested in the Armand-Cesari since 1992 which, Corse-Matin notes, makes it by far the most expensive stadium in France when compared to structures of similar size. The investment to date also comes following a dark chapter in the stadium’s history.

Eighteen people died at the stadium on May 5, 1992 after a stand collapsed during the Coupe de France semi-final game between Bastia and Olympique de Marseille.

“As everyone knows, this place is both that of the happiest epics and of the pains that have marked us deep in our flesh,” said Gilles Simeoni, president of the executive council of Corsica. 

“This project is one more step in the history of this stadium, of Sporting Club de Bastia and of these people, but also a way to heal this wound, without forgetting anything about this tragedy.”