The official kick-off of the renovation and extension works on the Stade Meinau, culminating in the symbolic laying of the first stone, was given on Thursday October 26 in the presence of the Minister of Energy and Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, the President of the Strasbourg Eurometropolis, Pia Imbs, representatives of the local and territorial authorities who are financing the project and the President of Racing Club de Strasbourg Alsace, Marc Keller, who welcomed the minister to this emblematic place, a strong marker of the territory’s identity, often referred to as “the other cathedral” of the city.
It’s a stadium which symbolizes a popular, friendly and festive brand of football, with the highest percentage of female fans in France and one of the youngest on average but also, as Marc Keller remarked, a stadium which is integrated into its neighbourhood, respectful of its environment and major sustainable development issues: “Racing is a big name in French football but also a key player in its territory and it sets an example. Your presence, Madam Minister, testifies to the attention you have paid to our work and the importance it has in your eyes. We are very honoured, and rest assured that we will continue on this virtuous path, attentive to the world around us and the issues of it.”
In turn, Owusu Tufuor (City of Strasbourg), Régine Aloird (Grand-Est) and Nathalie Marajo-Guthmuller (European Community of Alsace) remarked on the eco-responsible nature of the project, supported by Pia Imbs, the President of the Eurométropole de Strasbourg: “The new Meinau will be exemplary in terms of renewable energy production, with the installation of 900m² of solar panels on the roof of the extension of the south stand. It will also be exemplary in terms of renewable energy consumption by being connected to the city’s heating network, powered by a biomass plant and recovered heat, via an extension of the network, which will benefit the entire district.”
Energy efficiency constitutes one of the essential challenges of the renovation of the stadium which will be more ecologically sound, more welcoming, and more spectacular. Thus, the new Meinau will practically reduce its consumption by a factor of three and its greenhouse gas emissions and its climate impact by half. The stadium will also be innovative in terms of recovery and reuse of materials with, in particular, the use for the south facade of portions of the fuselage of 30 Airbus A340s to create sunshades (in total, 10% of the total volume materials will be of eco-responsible origin), will also promote multimodal accessibility and carbon-free travel and will give pride of place to vegetation, including the planting of 650 trees.
A year after the implementation of its energy reduction plan, which saw national gas and electricity consumption drop by 12%, Agnès Pannier-Runacher praised the efforts made in the field of sport. Impressed by the quality of the Stade Meinau renovation project, the minister stressed that professional football is today engaged in more ecological approaches, in particular by reducing lighting before and after matches, as well as using light therapy on its grass pitches. “We need to bring the supporters with us in this, the fight of the century. To achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, we will need to reduce our energy consumption by 40%. This figure seems enormous but ultimately, we see that in a football stadium, we are able to reduce energy consumption by two-thirds. It shows that it’s possible and within reach.”
The total cost of the Stade Meinau works, which will continue until the summer of 2026, amounts to €160M, the financing of which is distributed as follows: Eurométropole de Strasbourg (€75.8M), Grand-Est Region (€37.5M), City of Strasbourg (€18.8M), European Community of Alsace (€18.8M) and Racing Club de Strasbourg Alsace (€9.1M).
Racing Club de Strasbourg Alsace will also finance various developments for an additional amount of €14M.