Gaston-Gérard Stadium is in Dijon, France, and it’s where the local soccer team, Dijon FCO, plays. It’s been around since 1934 and can hold up to 18,000 fans.
The stadium has been updated over the years, so it’s pretty comfy now with good seats and places to grab food. What’s cool about it is the friendly feeling from everyone. When you’re there, you’re not just seeing a game; you’re with a big group, all having a good time together.
The history of Gaston-Gérard Stadium
Gaston-Gérard Stadium in Dijon got its name from a former deputy mayor, Gaston Gérard, who was also a tourism minister. Initially, they wanted to build the stadium in the Poussots area, but plans changed. They ended up putting it on a 45-hectare piece of land between the Grésilles and Clos Montmuzard neighborhoods. The big opening was in May 1934, and the President of France at the time, Albert Lebrun, was there for it.
At first, this place wasn’t only for soccer. It also had space for rugby, track events, and bike races. They decided to name it Stade Gaston-Gérard in 1969 after Gaston Gérard died. As time went by, the stadium got some nice improvements. They got the okay to have soccer and track events, and in 1990 they added better lights and a place for reporters.
Renovation of Gaston-Gérard Stadium
The stadium was pretty shabby and not that comfy, so they started a big makeover on September 26, 2007. Architect Michel Rémon’s studio had the idea to make the stands look all uniform, connecting them at the corners.
They put in more seats and added some nice areas up high that circle the field.This was all to make it a better place for anyone who comes to watch a game.
A new stadium
The Parc des Sports Gaston-Gérard is the home field for Dijon Football Côte d’Or (DFCO). To keep up with the team’s ambitions, the stadium got a big makeover starting in September 2007. The North Stand, now called IPS, opened in May 2009, and the South Stand, now known as Delin, opened on October 29, 2010.
Another big change happened in the summer of 2015 when they tore down the East Stand. The first stone for its replacement, called the Caisse d’Epargne Bourgogne Franche-Comté stand, was laid on December 1, 2015. This event happened during a match against AJ Auxerre and had some VIPs like François Rebsamen, François Patriat, and architect Jean Guervilly.
On September 18, 2014, the city of Dijon announced some more changes to the stadium. They decided to tear down the old Marathon stand and build a brand-new one. The Jean Guervilly firm took charge of this, and it was a bit different from earlier plans by another architect. The new stand cost about 20 million euros and was ready by September 16, 2017.
Called the Caisse d’Épargne platform, this new section can hold 4,753 people and has different levels of seating. The lower part of this new stand opened up during a game against Paris SG on February 4, 2017. With this addition and another section called the West stand, the whole stadium can now fit 15,459 people. So, it’s a pretty cool spot for catching a game!
North and South stands
The first big change in the stadium’s renovation was a new north stand that opened on May 29, 2009. It has room for 5,530 people, with 1,600 standing spots and the rest as seats. Then, on October 29, 2010, they tore down the old south side, which was just open-air concrete stands, and replaced it with a covered area that has 5,332 seats. This part also has standing spots and different levels of seating.
Building these two new sections cost around 21.7 million euros. Later on, they even got special names: the north stand became the IPS stand, and the south one is now called the Delin stand. Before that, they were known as the Dijon Céréales stand and the Rougeot stand.
On January 17, 2014, the DFCO training center was officially opened. Local officials and financial backers were there to celebrate. The center is located at the Poussots stadium and started off with 22 young players from all around France in its first season.
The new training center is really important for DFCO. It means they can start building a group of talented young players who could join their pro team later on. It’s a good move to make the team better for the future.
Most Memorable Events in Gaston-Gérard Stadium
1. Soccer matches
On March 5, 1961, the stadium had a record crowd for the Reims – Alès soccer match, selling 15,869 out of 16,099 seats. On April 22, 2009, the French women’s soccer team played a warm-up game against the Swiss team for the European Championship and won with a score of 2-0.
More recently, the place hosted a charity match for Alzheimer’s research on September 5, 2015, featuring soccer legends like Robert Pires and Lilian Thuram. On October 16, 2018, the French junior soccer team played there for the first time, tying with Slovenia in a match leading up to the 2019 junior Euro qualifiers.
On June 4, 1980, Bob Marley had a concert at the venue. Then, on April 1, 2012, the local newspaper Le Bien Public pulled a prank, saying Madonna was going to perform there on August 15. They revealed it was a joke the very next day with a cheeky headline: “Madonna’s concert ends in a mess.”
The Gaston-Gérard Stadium in Dijon is really important to the people who live there. It’s an old place, built in 1934, but they’ve updated it a lot. Now it can hold 18,000 fans and has a spot to train young soccer players. When you’re there, you feel like you’re in a big group of excited people.
This place has had all kinds of events, from full soccer games to fundraisers. They’ve even had concerts, like one from Bob Marley. It’s not only for soccer; they’ve had other sports like rugby and track too. So it’s not just a spot for sports; it’s a place where people from the community hang out and enjoy themselves.