Modernization of Lens stadium ahead of Euro 2016

Lens - Stade Bollaert-DelelisLens - Stade Bollaert-Delelis 17.05.2016: In the eighty years of its history the Stade Bollaert-Delelis, which has been the home ground of RC Lens since its opening in 1933, has undergone several transformations. The last three major renovations were each carried out on the occasion of a major football tournament. The first one was the 1984 European Championship and the second one was the 1998 World Cup - during the second renovation the stadium was rebuilt in the English style, with four separate stands, made of reinforced concrete.

The most recent renovation was carried out in 2015 prior to the 2016 European Championship. The stadium got new facilities, new seats and a new roof. According to the initial plans the stadium should have had a capacity of over 44,000 seats, however, for financial reasons (the budget was between 70 million EUR and 1.9 billion EUR) the capacity was decreased to 38,223 seats. The town of Lens, situated in the north of France, near Lille, has a population of about 6,000 people less than that.

 
The Stade Bollaert-Deleis currently provides venue for Ligue 2 matches. The local team RC Lens were the Ligue 1 champions only once - in 1997/1998, and three years later, they were relegated to Ligue 2 and in the following years they alternately played in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2. The record for attendance at the stadium was set in February 1992, when 48,912 spectators came to see RC Lens play against Marseille (2-1).

Stade Bollaert-Delelis after reconstruction 2015 (capacity: 38,233):

Foto: Liondartois (CC BY-SA 4.0)
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The old name - Stade Félix-Bollaert:
The stadium in Lens was officially opened in June 1933 and had a patron - it was Félix Bollaert, the commercial director of the Lens mining company, a major investor in the construction. Three years after the stadium had been opened, Bollaert died and the stadium was named after him. The name of the stadium was changed again in 2012 to Stade Bollaert-Delelis, in honour of André Delelis, a former mayor of the city, and an ardent supporter of the local team.


Stade Bollaert-Delelis before reconstruction 2014 (capacity: 41,229):

Foto: gtanicko (CC BY)
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Jiri Vojkovsky |

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