Stade Louis II
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|Stade Louis II|
|Built||early 1980s (current)|
11 May 1985 (current)
Monaco national football team
The Stade Louis II (French pronunciation: [stad(ə) lwi ˈdø]) is a stadium located in the Fontvieille district of Monaco. It serves primarily as a venue for football, being the home of AS Monaco and the Monaco national football team. From 1998-2012 this was the location of the annual UEFA Super Cup match. It is also used for track and field, where it formerly hosted the IAAF World Athletics Final (though certain events, such as the hammer, had to be held elsewhere, due to the stadium's relatively small capacity).
The original Stade Louis II was opened in 1939 as the home of AS Monaco. The new stadium was built in the early 1980s, close to the site of the old stadium on land reclaimed from the sea, opening fully in 1985. It presently has a capacity of approximately 18,500 all seated, which is quite large relative to the population of Monaco (about 36,371); it can seat almost two-thirds of the country's population, a feat no other stadium can boast. The vast majority of the stadium's facilities are located underground, with a large car park directly under the pitch (something that has caused some degree of criticism from managers of AS Monaco's opponents in the past over the state of the pitch).
The stadium is named after Louis II, Prince of Monaco, who was the Sovereign Prince of Monaco when the original stadium was built. It features prominently in the early versions of Pro Evolution Soccer and Adidas Power Soccer 98.
On 31 May 2004, an explosion, apparently deliberate, caused damage to the Stade Louis II and a neighbouring building, La Ruche, Fontvieille. No injuries were reported and responsibility for the attack remained unclear. The damage, while relatively extensive to portions of the fabric of the buildings, was verified as not having affected the buildings' respective structures. On 1 June the Government of Monaco announced that it would assume responsibility for repairs to the damage caused by the explosion, without preempting the results of expert investigations, which continued. This explosion constituted a rare exception to Monaco's long-established reputation for safety and absence of violence.
Stade Louis II, containing a large office complex, also houses the International University of Monaco (IUM), which specializes in business education.