French Ligue 1 football club RC Strasbourg has announced that the capacity of the Stade de la Meinau will remain stable at its current capacity this season despite the start of a three-year renovation programme at the stadium.
Work began in June on a €160m (£141.3m/$176.5m) project that will feature an expansion and remodelling of the venue, as well as a new Fan Zone.
The South Stand is being expanded over the 2023-24 season, before further redevelopment work takes place on the South and West Stands over the 2024-25 campaign. The restructuring of the North and East Stands, the conclusion of work on the Fan Zone, and the laying of a new pitch will happen during the 2025-26 season.
When the timeline for the project was confirmed three months ago, the club said that capacity would drop from 26,000 to 19,000 during the work.
However, Strasbourg’s deputy general manager, Alain Plet, has now confirmed that the capacity will drop in season two of the project.
“This season, which will be the first season of the works, will see a stable capacity… like last year,” said Plet, who said that the work over the coming months will focus on the back of the South Stand, rather than in the seating area.
“The big impact will be next season when we go down to a capacity of between 19,000 and 20,000 before the capacity goes up again gradually to 32,000.”
The project, now valued 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.
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.