Design & Development

Work set to start on Strasbourg’s Stade de la Meinau

Featured image credit: RC Strasbourg

French Ligue 1 football club RC Strasbourg has officially launched the redevelopment project for its Stade de la Meinau, with the cost of the venture having increased significantly.

The project, now worth a total of €160m (£141.3m/$176.5m) excluding tax, is being co-financed by the Eurométropole de Strasbourg (up to €75.8m), Région Grand-Est (up to €37.5m), the City of Strasbourg (up to €18.8m), Collectivité Européenne d’Alsace (up to €18.8m) and RC Strasbourg (up to €9.1m). In addition, Racing will also finance the development of commercial spaces for an amount of €14m.

Work will begin in June, with the extension of the South Stand. It will then continue with the restructuring of the South and West Stands and the development of a Fan Zone (from summer 2024 to summer 2025) and the restructuring of the North and East Stands and the end of the development of the Fan Zone (from the summer of 2025 to the end of 2025). Completion of the East Stand, plus the laying of a new pitch from the start of 2026 will see completion targeted for the summer of that year.

The redevelopment will increase capacity from the current 26,000 to 32,000, with the Meinau to remain at a minimum 19,000 capacity whilst work is taking place. Jeanne Barseghian, Mayor of Strasbourg, said: “This stadium has been an integral part of Strasbourg life for a century. Renovating the Meinau makes full sense.

“We are keeping the stadium in the heart of the city and making it a facility that will improve the lives of the inhabitants of the Meinau district. It will be an exemplary project from an environmental and social point of view.”

The project has been six years in the making with Populous having been selected to deliver the redevelopment in January 2021. At that point it was projected to cost €100m, with inflation being blamed for the increase.

Speaking yesterday, RC Strasbourg president, Marc Keller, said the Meinau has fallen behind other stadiums in France having not been renovated since 1984 for the country’s staging of that year’s UEFA European Championship.

He continued: “We wanted the stadium of tomorrow with the atmosphere of today. We have moved forward hand in hand with local authorities, driven by a common ambition: that of a project that is both useful and realistic. 

“Firstly a useful project. Useful for Racing, to perpetuate its economic model, to allow it to be more ambitious on the national and international scene and to improve its income to be more competitive in the face of competition that has become very tough. 

“Also useful for fans, by considerably improving the fan experience with better accessibility conditions, better comfort, better services, an optimised hospitality area while remaining faithful to the culture and unique atmosphere of La Meinau, which reflects the identity and values ​​of a warm family club. 

“Useful, of course, for the territory. As I often say, Racing is a major player in the region, a driver of economic dynamism, a vector of attractiveness and notoriety and a creator of social ties. The choice was also made to stay in La Meinau and continue to contribute fully to the life of the neighbourhood and its development. Useful, finally, for the future. Because the new Meinau is an eco-responsible and sustainable project, which aims to limit its impact on the environment.”

Commenting on what he believes are the most interesting elements of the project, Keller added: “First of all, a Fan Zone unique in France, accessible to all because it is open to the neighbourhood during the week, secure on match nights and able to host the broadcast of major sporting events, thanks to a vast forecourt equipped with a stage and a giant screen. 

“But also a sheltered passageway that will allow all spectators to move around the stadium, promoting conviviality and sharing. Finally, the decision to bring together all the hospitality spaces in the same stand will promote economic and political exchanges and will make it possible to use the stadium outside of the matches. The stadium will obviously meet international standards and will be able to host major international events.”