The Port-Neuf Sports Park and the future Marcel Deflandre Stadium became the yellow and black team’s official home field 90 years ago.
At the end of the 1923-1924 season, Aristide Briand Avenue was opened in order to create access to the new Female Teachers’ Training College forcing the Stade Rochelais to leave the Trianon sports field and the sports field leased from the Godet family since 1906. The Stade Rochelais had to look for a new home field.
A large, state-mortgaged area near the Port-Neuf Chateau was suitable. After levelling work, it became a sports park surrounded by a running track. During this levelling work, a temporary site perpendicular to the future sports park was opened on 16 August 1924.
19 September 1926
Official opening of the central area of the new sports park, its steep slope having been levelled and surrounded by a lime running track. The first team invited to play on the grass of the new Port-Neuf Stadium was the Poitevin Rugby Club.
1st January 1932
The City of La Rochelle paid off the mortgage and became the owner of the Port-Neuf Sports Park. Upon taking possession, the municipality intended to allow five registered sports clubs to alternately use the park. However, an agreement with the four other potential users prevented Stade Rochelais from needing to relocate.
21 July 1932
Opening ceremony of the Municipal Sports Park Grandstand, during an annual horse show in La Rochelle.
18 August 1935
Opening ceremony of the cendrée at the Port-Neuf Municipal Stadium.
23 March 1947
The Port-Neuf Municipal Stadium officially became the Marcel Deflandre Stadium, in tribute to the Club President who was shot by Germans.
For the inauguration match, the La Rochelle Railway-Workers Sports Club and the French Army team drew (11-11) in front of 3,000 spectators.
17 Cctober 1948
Official opening of the new Deflandre rugby field and its adjoining sports facilities including an ash running track and hurdles. Only the main grandstand (‘tribune d’honneur’), built in 1932, remains today.
A demotic steel grandstand was built on a south of the main field, on the ocean side.
16 December 1958
A violent storm destroyed the steel grandstand built in 1952.
Renovation of the Marcel Deflandre Stadium. Beginning of the construction of the main grandstand on the ocean side and repair of the main field.
16 March 1963
Opening ceremony of the new facilities : the main grandstand, the changing rooms and the second field.
Building of the demotic gandstand called "The Dockers' Grandstand". Capacity : 2 580 people
16 December 1977
Opening ceremony of the new reception area under the main grandstand.
12 october 1996
Opening ceremony of the new Training Center of the Club, called « Maison René Chevalier ».
Assembly of the first tubular structure. This grandstand was to become the SMAM grandstand.
21 september 2002
Opening ceremony of the new Atlantic Grandstand (an extension of the main grandstand". Capacity : 2980 people.
Disassembly of the Dockers' Grandstand and beginning of the construction of the Port-Neuf Grandstand.
19 september 2009
Opening Ceremony of the lower level of the Port-Neuf Grandstand, just before a game against the Tarbes Rugby Club.
15 may 2010
Opening ceremny of the Port-Neuf grandstand during the Pro D2 semi-final, Stade Rochelais - US Oyonnax. Capacity : 5 152 people.
30 August 2014
Opening of the Jackson Granstand during the game Stade Rochelais - Stade Toulousain. Begun on 20 May 2014, this English-style grandstand only took 100 days to build! Capacity: 2 516 people.
An adjoining reception aera divided in two levels, the Espace Premium was created.
The SMAM Grandstand is extended and called the Apivia Grandstand. Capacity : 3 045.
Texts written by Jean-Michel Blaizeau, Historian
9 septembre 2017
The first time Marcel Deflandre Stadium welcomed 16 000 people after the Apivia Grandstand had been extended and covered during the summer.
This day, the Rochelais beat Clermont, French Champions, 51 to 20.