Financial services group Crédit Mutuel Arkéa has stepped up its support of Stade Brestois 29 by acquiring naming rights to Projet Espace Froutven, the venture to deliver a new stadium for the French Ligue 1 football club.
The contract, financial terms of which were undisclosed, will run for eight years, with Arkéa set to choose the name of the stadium in the coming months.
The company has strong ties to the local region and has sponsored Stade Brestois for more than 50 years. This backing has included naming rights since 2010 to one of the stands at the club’s current home, Stade Francis-Le Blé.
Julien Carmona, chairman of Crédit Mutuel Arkéa, said: “With our regional roots, our headquarters in Relecq-Kerhuon, and our historic commitment to sponsorship and sports patronage, it was natural for Crédit Mutuel Arkéa to support this project, to enable all Stade Brestois 29 supporters to live their passion in a space designed and scaled in line with our territory and the ambitions of the club.
“Stade Brestois 29 and its management carry out a sporting and educational project, particularly through its training centre, which makes sense with our societal and economic vision of a cooperative and mutual bank.
“This partnership is the expression of our desire to support and encourage local initiatives that act in favour of the dynamism and development of our territory, and are the pride of our region.”
Gérard and Denis Le Saint, co-owners of Stade Brestois 29, added: “Arkéa is a major player in our region; it was obvious for us to associate it with this project that we want to serve the territory, carried by the actors of the territory.
“Arkéa is also a long-time companion of Stade Brestois 29, a name that resonates with the history of the club and that of its historic stadium. By baptising the future stadium around the name of Arkéa, it’s a bit like transporting a little piece of (Stade) Francis Le Blé to Froutven.”
It emerged last month that Projet Espace Froutven’s timeline had slipped by a year amid rising costs, with both the club and Brest Métropole officially discounting the possibility of instead redeveloping the team’s current home.
A little over a year ago, Stade Brestois and Brest Métropole unveiled eye-catching plans for a new 15,000-seat stadium for the club. Designed by the architecture firm Groupe François de La Serre, the Espace Froutven project aims to deliver a stadium that has a multi-use remit, with plans for a new home having first emerged in March 2018.
In January 2020, Stade Brestois president Denis Le Saint maintained that the club was firmly committed to delivering a new stadium, with plans at the time revolving around a 13,000-seat stadium ready by the end of the 2021-22 season.
The new plans call for a 15,000-seat stadium, intended to meet the Ligue de Football Professionnel’s (LFP) requirements for Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, of which 11,800 seats will be reserved for the general public and the remainder dedicated to commercial partners.
The original financing plan, carried mainly by the private sector, estimated a price tag of €85m (£72.7m/$95.3m). Brest Métropole had set out that work could start in 2024, with delivery scheduled for 2026.
Under the revised plans, work is now expected to commence in 2025, with a view to Stade Brestois being able to move into the new stadium in 2027. The project, carried mainly by the private sector (54.5%), is still awaiting contributions of funds from the public sector, to complete a budget which is now estimated at €106.5m.