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Lyon’s LDLC Arena gets up and running

France’s biggest indoor arena outside of Paris is set to host up to 120 events per year, including concerts, after opening last month.

The Populous-designed LDLC Arena in Lyon, which has an adjustable capacity ranging from 6,000 to 16,000, opened to the public on the 23 November with a Euroleague basketball game between LDLC ASVEL and FC Bayern Munich.

It has gigs lined up by artists including Sting, Eric Clapton, Calogero, Jonas Brothers, Grand Corps Malade, Slimane and Green Day. Populous previously designed Lyon’s 60,000-cap Groupama Stadium, home of football club Olympique Lyonnais.

“We’re excited to deliver our second venue for Lyon alongside Olympique Lyonnais Groupe,” says Francois Clement, senior principal and leader of Populous’ business operations in France. “Leading on the arena and interior design with our interiors practice, Jump Studios, Populous was able to extend the Groupe’s ambitious OL Valley venture by providing a venue that responds to the local community.”

Lyon – the second largest metropolitan area in France, and the focal point of the south-eastern region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes – has long had a claim to be France’s second most important market.

“Set to attract some of the best talent in live entertainment, LDLC Arena will become a cultural hub and a significant asset to the city.” adds Clement.

“Arenas are attracting more and more attention when it comes to sustainability”

Sustainability has been “at the heart” of the design process according to Populous, which optimised the layout of the internal spaces to minimise the footprint of the building, thus reducing the volume of building materials needed. The shell of the venue comprises an innovative double skin, which helps regulate the temperature within the arena and minimise the need for climate control systems.

The arena generates its energy with 5,500 sqm of photovoltaic panels on the main roof. In the public area surrounding the venue, 30% of the total area will be green space, with the scheme to include hundreds of mature trees and a large bird reservation to the north of the site.

“Arenas are attracting more and more attention when it comes to sustainability,” adds Elizabeth Miglierina, LDLC project lead at Populous. “Designing LDLC Arena, a large-scale, ambitious building in one of the biggest French cities, demonstrates Populous’ commitment to delivering best-in-class venues with a reduced impact on our environment. As designers, we are sharing our vision of creating spaces for people and the planet.”

Olympique Lyonnais Groupe (OL Groupe) signed a deal with Live Nation in 2021 to develop the Lyon arena, extending the pact that began in 2016 with the opening of the Groupama Stadium. The partnership has brought artists such as Rihanna, Coldplay and Ed Sheeran to the stadium.

Elsewhere, Live Nation France has announced that DJ Snake has sold out his headline concert at the 80,000-cap Stade de France in Saint-Denis in a matter of minutes. The Paris-born DJ and music producer, who previously sold out the 60,000-cap Parc des Princes in the French capital in 2022, will perform at the stadium on 10 May 2025.

Click here to read IQ‘s recent City Focus on Lyon.


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