Olympique Lyonnais setting the stone

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Olympique Lyonnais setting the stone

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The cornerstone of the first privately-owned stadium in French football was laid during a ceremony to celebrate construction of Olympique Lyonnais’ new home on Tuesday.

The foundation stone or in this case a reinforced glass stone contained a parchment with club president Jean-Michel Aulas’s inauguration speech written on it.

Lyon’s new stadium will be a 58 thousand seater stadium and will replace the 40 thousand seater Stade Gerland.

Not only is it a change of stadium but also a change of location moving from the south of the city to the eastern suburbs in Decines.

Euronews’ Julien Huet was at the ceremony and said: ‘‘This ultra-modern stadium will cost 405 million euros and will be the first privately-owned stadium in France. Construction will be completed at the end of 2015 or beginning of 2016, a few months before France host the 2016 European Championships.’‘

Lyon’s Mayor Gérard Collomb was also present at the ceremony where Aulas told euronews that when the stadium is completed Lyon would no longer be a burden on the taxpayer.

He said: ‘‘We want to be like everywhere else in Europe and we were particularly inspired by what Germany did for the 2006 World Cup as well as what happens in England. In other words, to have a development model of the club which includes having your own stadium. That’s a new thing here because traditionally Stadia have been built and developed by public authorities. Europe is more and more against investing public money in such infrastructures.

Once completed the seven-times former French champions will not only be the proud owners of the high-tech stadium but also of two hotels, a 30 acre training centre with six pitches as well as a community centre that are all part of the complex.

The build is part of France’s preparations to host Euro2016, with new stadia also being built in Lille, Nice and Bordeaux.