Stade de Gerland
|Full name||Stade de Gerland|
|Location||353, Avenue Jean-Jaurès, 69007 VIIè Arrondissement, Lyon, France|
|Owner||City of Lyon|
|Field size||105 x 68 m|
|Expanded||1960, 1980, 1998|
|Construction cost||32.7m €
René Gagis (renovation)
|Olympique Lyonnais (Ligue 1)
The Stade de Gerland (otherwise known as Municipal de Gerland or Stade Gerland [stad ʒɛʁˈlɑ̃]) is a stadium, in the city of Lyon, France and home to Ligue 1 football club Olympique Lyonnais. It has a seating capacity of 48,078 people.
The Stade de Gerland is listed as a Category three stadium by UEFA's standards and has hosted matches for the 1972 Rugby League World Cup, UEFA Euro 1984, the 1998 FIFA World Cup, and the 2007 Rugby World Cup.
In 1910, the mayor of Lyon, Édouard Herriot, came up with the idea to develop and build a sports stadium with an athletics track and a velodrome in the city. In 1912, the stadium was officially mandated and local architect Tony Garnier was given the reins to designing and constructing it. Construction began in 1914 with hopes that the stadium would be completed before the International Exhibition of 1914. However, due to World War I, construction was temporarily halted, but resumed following the wars conclusion in 1919 with the assistance of a large number of German POWs. By 1920, the stadium was completely functional. In 1926, the Stade de Gerland was inaugurated by Herriot.
The stadium originally had a cycling track, but it was removed in order to increase the seating capacity to 50,000. In 1984, minor renovations were made to the stadium by architect Rene Gagis in order to bring the stadium up to standards for UEFA Euro 1984. This included construction of the Jean Bouin and Jean Jaurès stands. Further renovations were needed to prepare the stadium for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, as by that time FIFA had mandated that all stadiums used for international matches, including the World Cup, had to be all-seated. The north and south stands were completely dismantled and rebuilt, the Jean Jaurès and Jean Bouin side stands were untouched and the athletics track that had remained, even after the cycling track had been removed, was taken out. The renovations were done by architect Albert Constantin. The new incarnation of Gerland had a maximum capacity of 40,500.
Since 1950 the stadium has been home to French professional football club Olympique Lyonnais Olympique Lyonnais who play in Ligue 1, France's highest football division. Lyon moved into the stadium as a result of splitting from the Lyon Olympique Universitaire sport club, which played at the Stade des Iris. The record attendance for a Ligue 1 match is 48,552 for a derby match between Olympique Lyonnais and AS Saint-Étienne in 1982.
During the 2003 Confederations Cup semi-final at the stadium between Cameroon and Colombia, Cameroon midfielder Marc-Vivien Foé collapsed on the pitch and died shortly afterwards in hospital.
1998 FIFA World Cup
During the 1998 World Cup, the stadium hosted five group matches:
plus the quarter-final fixture between:
2007 Rugby World Cup
Stade de Gerland played host to the 1972 Rugby League World Cup Final between Great Britain and Australia. The French public seemed uninterested in a final that did not involve the French team, as only 4,231 spectators turned up. The game will always be remembered by the British for their captain Clive Sullivan's wonderful long distance try, and by the Australians for perhaps "The greatest try never scored", later shown on TV to be legitimately scored by Australian fullback Graeme Langlands, but disallowed by French referee Georges Jameau who believed him to be offside (TV footage indicated Langlands had been approximately one metre behind halfback Dennis Ward as he put up his kick). Lions hooker Mike Stephenson scored the 73rd-minute try that helped Great Britain level the scores and secure the World Cup. Had Aussie winger Ray Branighan succeeded with a 79th minute penalty, or Bob Fulton landed one of three drop goal attempts in the last five minutes, the cup could easily have gone to Australia. But for the first time in the competition's history the scores were level at full time. An additional twenty minutes extra time was played, but no further score resulted, and Great Britain were awarded the cup by virtue of a better W-L record and due to having defeated Australia earlier in the tournament.
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