Stade Louis II in Monaco

Stade Louis II MonacoSet upon the Mediterranean coast in the glamorous district of Fontvieille in Monaco is the Stade Louis II, one of the most spectacular and iconic stadiums in world football and sports.

The stadium, the official home of AS Monaco FC and the Monaco national team, has existed since 1924 but not as it stands today. Indeed the original stadium was replaced by a new one nearby under the same name.

Stade Louis II derives its name from the Prince of Monaco who was responsible for commissioning the stadium’s construction in 1936. Local architect Jean-Baptiste Pastor and his company J.B. Pastor & Fils duly completed the multi-use stadium three years later.

After land was reclaimed from the Mediterranean in the early 1980’s, Prince Rainier III announced plans for a new 18,525 capacity stadium near the site of the former venue. A consortium of top Parisian architects began construction on the new stadium in 1981. Using 120,000m² of concrete and 9,000 tons of steel, Stade Louis II, as we know it today, was finally opened in 1985.

True to the original designs, the new Monaco property was built as a multi-sport complex, incorporating a 400m athletics track as well as a heated lawn football pitch. The track and field are just the tip of the iceberg however. Below is the Prince Albert II aquatic centre; the Gaston-Médécin multi-sports centre; the International University of Monaco; public offices and a 4 storey car park. An impressive addition to Monaco real estate. The facilities are available to professional and amateur athletes throughout the year across a 150,000m² complex.

Panoramio_-_V&A_Dudush_-_stade_Louis_II Considering the size of the stadium relative to the country, the Stade Louis II is a vast complex with the potential to seat almost two-thirds of the country’s population, a unique achievement among stadiums internationally. Another of the Stade Louis II’s unique features is its open-air track and field which is necessarily located at the top of the stadium’s super structure, 8 metres above road level. This design has drawn criticism from visiting football managers in the past, who claim that the stadium’s large roof and moreover the elevated concrete platform upon which the pitch is built has affected the quality of the playing surface. Indeed, the pitch requires artificial lighting for optimum maintenance conditions.

This hasn’t prevented the Stade Louis II from hosting some of world sport’s most impressive spectacles however. The stadium hosted its first European Cup game in 1986, and since then has become the longest-serving venue for UEFA Supercup games, having hosted the annual event from 1998 to 2012. Besides football however, the Stade Louis II has also seen concerts and important athletics tournaments such as the IAAF World Athletics Final during which Yelena Isinbayeva achieved a world record in the women’s pole vault in July 2008.

There could hardly have been a more fitting venue for such big occasions on the world sporting stage. Set upon the beautiful Côte d’Azur, at the base of the Monegasque Pré-Alps, the looping arches of the stadium’s visitor stand cut a symbolic figure for sport in the Principality.

For further information on the Stade Louis II and AS Monaco’s upcoming fixtures, do not hesitate to visit the AS Monaco website.

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