Adidas Arena, one of only two new permanent venues being developed for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the only one located in inner Paris, has opened its doors with officials stating it will “go down in the history of sports entertainment”.
Paris Basketball will be the permanent tenant of the arena, which seats 8,000 for sports events and 9,000 for concerts. The club commenced operations there with a 87-65 LNB Pro A win over Saint-Quentin yesterday (Sunday).
The arena is located in the Porte de la Chapelle area of the city and will host badminton and rhythmic gymnastics events during the Olympics. It will also be used for para badminton and para powerlifting during the Paralympics. It will be known as Porte de La Chapelle Arena during the Games.
Yesterday’s basketball game was preceded by an open day for locals, who were able to sample a range of activities at the new arena. Aside from the Olympics and Paralympics, and as well as serving as the home of Paris Basketball, the arena will host other national and international sporting events, concerts and conferences.
The arena complex also features public facilities including an events hall and an 11.5-metre-high green terrace. The seats are made from recycled plastic and the arena will be powered by green energy.
Designed to be much more than a simple hall, the 26,000 square metre complex comprises the arena and a 2,400 square metre entertainment and activity space, which will open in 2025. It also features two gymnasiums and an esplanade that opens out onto the city and is accessible to cyclists and pedestrians.
In terms of sport, in addition to Paris Basketball, Adidas Arena is expected to stage the likes of skateboarding, mixed martial arts and esports events, along with being a new addition to the Parisian concert destination portfolio.
Adidas Arena is also looking to shake up the visitor experience and reset the rules of hospitality. The Skybar that overlooks the arena is the only one of its kind in France, while spectators can wander around the large light-filled gallery decorated with artwork or step out onto the wraparound terrace that gives a new view of the city.
The venue was originally due to open in the summer of 2023. However, in December 2022 it was announced that completion had been pushed back.
Speaking at the opening, Nicolas Dupeux, CEO of Adidas Arena, said: “We inaugurated much more than a simple arena yesterday; it is a real social hub and a unique venue in France.
“This is a fiercely innovative arena with a ground-breaking positioning that can be adapted to all dimensions, breaking down the barriers between the different genres, programs, offers and design. It is also an arena that will go down in the history of sports entertainment, with Paris 2024 and beyond, thanks to its hybrid program and unique capacity.
“With both the design of its spaces and the packages it offers, this arena shakes up the client experience and resets the rules of hospitality. Finally, it is committed to, and anchored in, the current day and age by its quest for environmental excellence.”
German sportswear and equipment manufacturer Adidas acquired naming rights to the arena back in July 2022. The initial five-year contract with arena operating company Paris Entertainment Company, the group that brings together Accor Arena, Adidas Arena and Le Bataclan, is renewable for a further seven years.
Mathieu Sidokpohou, managing director of Adidas Europe, said: “At Adidas, we have the belief that, through sport, we have the power to change lives. This naming is a world first for the brand. The Adidas Arena is the quintessence of everything we represent: sport, culture, and a vector for transformation for the whole neighbourhood, an essential part of our approach.
“We will work hand in hand with the 18th arrondissement’s town council to identify which local associations could benefit from using our facilities. Two gymnasiums will be made available to them, to give people access to sport 365 days a year.”
The Paris Olympics will take place from July 26 to August 11, with the Paralympics to follow from August 28 to September 8.