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Design & Development

New stadium seeks to boost VRDR’s Top 14 vision

Images: Ferrier Marchetti Studio & Naska

Plans have been presented for a new stadium for Valence Romans Drôme Rugby (VRDR), along with the redevelopment of its existing home, amid the ambitious Pro D2 club’s plans to establish itself in the top tier of French rugby union.

The project is set to be made possible through financial backing from local entrepreneur Pieric Brenier, with his digital services company, Koesio, set to assume naming rights to the new stadium. Located in Rovaltain, a business park near the city of Valence’s TGV railway station, Koesio Stadium is being designed as an English-style multi-purpose stadium.

It will have an initial capacity of 7,000 seats and as well as VRDR, is being designed by the Ferrier Marchetti Studio to accommodate cultural activities and corporate events. It will feature more than 2,000 hospitality seats, with the potential to expand to a capacity of 10,500 depending on VRDR’s progress as a club.

A general public bodega on matchdays will operate as a restaurant during the week, while the new stadium will feature an event square and include a synthetic pitch to enhance its event hosting ability. The facility aims to be a reference point for sustainable stadium construction in both France and Europe.

It is projected to cost €44m (£37.5m/$46.9m), with Brenier contributing €32m for the stadium and associated infrastructure. Government body Valence Romans Agglo will put up €9m for the development of exterior space, while VRDR will add €3m for the development of VIP areas.

Officials hope that work can begin in early 2026, with delivery of the stadium two years later. At the same time, VRDR’s current home, Stade Georges Pompidou, will undergo a €10m renovation to ensure it is fit for purpose until the new stadium is delivered.

“This new stadium is a major investment which will further accelerate the local dynamic and the influence of our magnificent territory,” said Nicolas Daragon, president of Valence Romans Agglo and Mayor of Valence.

“How lucky to be among our inhabitants a personality like Pieric Brenier who has the capacity, but above all the desire, to help his territory. I obviously want to thank him very much.”

Brenier added: “A stadium is a place of shared passion and joy. I am proud and happy to be able to invest in this project and give a little back to this territory which has given me so much.

“With this new stadium and the mobilisation of companies and partners, with the support of local communities and thanks to the talent of the players, I am sure that VRDR can reach the Top 14.”

Through its Damiers 2029 project, the club aims to reach the Top 14 within five years.