why is the match between Racing 92 and La Rochelle relocated to Lens?

The President of Racing 92, Jacky Lorenzetti, has always been very clear about Paris La Défense Arena: the lair of the Ciel et Blancs since October 2017, is above all a performance hall, the largest in Europe, more than a sports field. Because as he points out,the Rolling Stones or Celine Dion will always make more money than any rugby match“. And after two years of health crisis, the bailout of the coffers goes through the organization of concerts, which generate nearly 80% of the turnover of the enclosure.

This is therefore the case for this weekend of the European Rugby Cup: the second semi-final of the Champions Cup, the great European Rugby Cup, which pits Racing 92 against La Rochelle on Sunday May 15, is exceptionally relocated to Lens and its legendary Bollaert stadium, temple of Blood and Gold football. The Arena, the usual Racing ground, has been reserved for a double concert by the hip-hop group Sexion d’Assaut.

A choice that did not please the Rochelais at all, with a trip deemed too far for the supporters. But a relocation that responds to an economic logic for the Ile-de-France residents. It is indeed the shows that allow the Hauts-de-Seine rugby club to live, and not only the ticketing of the matches which attract an average of 15,000 people.

Racing 92 manager Laurent Travers prefers to be positive: “We would have preferred to play at Paris La Défense Arena, but we know the situation and it was important that we could have a balance on the financial side. So for everyone to get together, there will be people who will sing in Paris and others who will play rugby in Lens. Afterwards, promoting rugby in the North of France, I think it’s very positive. Of course for our supporters, it can be difficult, for those of La Rochelle too, but we must not forget that there will be other supporters, those from the North!” he pleaded. 15,000 spectators out of 38,000 possible are expected at the Bollaert stadium.

For his part, the 3rd line of La Rochelle, Victor Vito, double world champion with the All Blacks, is however impatient to discover the lair of the Bloods and Gold: “I heard it was a mythical stadium for football. I’m from New Zealand and, sorry, I don’t really know because we suck at football! But I heard about this stadium, and I can’t wait to discover it and play there!”

“The atmosphere is going to be pretty cool. I can’t wait to go there and as long as there is a lawn with rugby lines, it’s comfortable for us”

Vito Vito

at franceinfo

Moreover, if Racing 92 qualifies for the final stages of the Top 14, the weekend of the play-offs, the players will once again leave their place on the Arena stage to Elton John.

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