Bordeaux officially open new stadium
Girondins de Bordeaux's new stadium was officially inaugurated on Monday ahead of its opening game against Montpellier Hérault SC on Saturday.
Bordeaux president Jean-Louis Triaud and majority shareholder Nicolas de Tavernost were joined by the city's mayor Alain Juppé and France's Minister of Sport Thierry Braillard as a total of 2,000 guests attended the grand opening, which featured a performance by the National Opera of Bordeaux.
The 42,000-seat stadium, which will host matches at Euro 2016, is situated in Bordeaux Lac, to the north of the city centre, and the move there from the old Stade Chaban-Delmas marks the dawn of a new era for the club.
"It is going to change a lot of things for us. It will be great for the players to play in such an environment, but I think the major change will be for the supporters," said Triaud. "It will be comfortable and it will have a special atmosphere. The stadium is closed and the fans will be near to the pitch. In winter it does sometimes rain in Bordeaux. Here everyone will stay dry, while at Chaban two-thirds of the fans would get soaked. That is important."
More than 31,000 fans watched Les Girondins beat FC Nantes 2-1 on May 9 in their final game at the Stade Chaban-Delmas, which had been their home since 1938. The club are now hoping for a sell-out at their new ground when they entertain Montpellier in their final home game of this season on Saturday. Willy Sagnol's side have already secured sixth place, which will see them qualify for next season's Europa League if Paris Saint-Germain beat AJ Auxerre in the Coupe de France final on May 30.