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Gaston-Médecin metamorphosis matches AS Monaco’s international ambitions

Direction de la Communication – Manuel Vitali

After a metamorphosis that only took a few weeks, a bigger, brighter Gaston-Médecin sports hall was unveiled to the press on Tuesday. AS Monaco Basket's home now meets Euroleague standards, with nearly 5,000 seats, and will be inaugurated on Sunday 2 October at the championship match against Roanne.

The first impression is striking. It feels so big in contrast to what we remember from the final match of last season against ASVEL, in the fourth French championship finals playoff.

With many additional rows of seating for a total of almost 5,000 seats made of beech wood from French forests, the Gaston-Médecin sports hall has undergone a major facelift in just a few months at an estimated cost of 14 million euros.

An eco-responsible approach...

"We adopted an eco-responsible approach," says Sylvie Bertrand, director of the Louis II stadium. "We now have the only venue in the world to host top-level basketball matches that is made entirely of wood."

A magnificent venue, with an impressive gradient in the rows and curves that will seat the different groups of supporters, and the new AS Monaco Basket kop in the South stands.

"I think it will make for an even warmer atmosphere for the Roca Team fans," said Paul Masseron, vice-president of AS Monaco Basket. "As well as being connoisseurs, our spectators are very family-oriented and their number has grown steadily over the years."

160 tonnes of prefabricated steel were also assembled to support the upper stands, in addition to the 400m3 of timber brought in to renovate the seating. Court-side, the flooring has not been changed, but a brand new playing surface is due to be introduced next season.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPN3sUD2ijU&ab_channel=MonacoTribune

These major improvements were made possible thanks to the support of the Government, which fully funded the venue's renovation. 

"The aim was to go from a hall that was designed in the 1980s, with completely outdated sporting and technical norms, to a venue that meets the demands at Euroleague competition level," said Patrice Cellario, Minister of the Interior.

… and now up to Euroleague standards

"We wanted to move away from the hall's previous image, bringing the public closer to the players, with no barriers between the court and the seating around the hall, giving it an "Arena" atmosphere. I would like to acknowledge and thank everyone involved in this achievement, which took just thirteen weeks."

With a venue that now meets the standards and technical specifications of the Euroleague ,  AS Monaco Basket might soon be granted a permanent wild card into the most prestigious of European competitions. One of the club's ambitions, as Oleksiy Yefimov told us.

"The main objective is to become a shareholder in the Euroleague, but first, we will approach a wild card over several years", stated ASM Basket's CEO. "To do this, we need to demonstrate that Monaco is a solid and sustainable project with a long-term vision of sporting, economic and infrastructure development."  With this refurbished hall, the club has taken a huge first step in that direction.


More developments in store soon at the Louis II?

Almost 20% of the 355 million euros approved for the Louis II rebuild have been disbursed by the Government since 2017, with renovations for the Nautical Centre, the VIP boxes, the pitch, the athletics track, the forecourt and now the Gaston-Médecin sports hall.

Patrice Cellario confirmed to Monaco Matin that efforts will continue in the coming years to renovate other parts of the complex, which was inaugurated in 1985. Work is expected to be spread over a period of about ten years, as the building is constantly in use and "the stadium must continue to operate."