The Stade des Lumières is a new stadium currently under constructed for French football team Olympique Lyonnais. Used as part of the country’s bid for the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament, the 58,000 capacity stadium will replace the club’s current home of Stade de Gerland.
Plans to relocate Olympique Lyonnais away from Stade de Gerland were formulated back in 2008 when president Jean-Michel Aulas publicly announced the club’s intention to create a brand new 60,000 capacity stadium under the working title of OL Land. With the Décines-Charpieu suburb of Lyon earmarked as a potential location, the club assessed the the potential size of the site and drew up their plans based on a site of around 50 hectares.
A month later on the 13th October, the project was formally agreed upon by the French Government with the General Council of Rhône and other publicly funded institutions working out the financial details with Olympique Lyon who would be investing the remainder of the equity in the joint venture. With over €180 million coming from public funded sources, the remainder of the cost, estimated to be around €200 million would have to be put up by the former French Champions.
After the initial enthusiasm surrounding the OL Land project, excessive administrative procedures and bureaucratic decision making zapped the positive feeling at the club with the estimated date of completion constantly facing the possibility of being pushed back. Thankfully in 2010 France were awarded the right to Host the UEFA 2016 tournament with the French Football Federation including Lyon’s stadium as part of the bid.
This gave bickering local councils and the various stakeholders the impetus needed to push through the project and fully unite behind the stadium. Set to be named Stade des Lumières which translates as The Stadium of Light (Similar to Sunderland and Benfica’s stadiums), Lyon’s ground is said to be named after Auguste and Louis Lumière who were instrumental in the development of cinema through their patented cinematograph which captured the “first motion picture”.