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Dunkirk gives its football club a new practice pitch and stadium

2018-06-26

The northern French football club USL Dunkerque, USLD for the locals, is an ex-professional club with a rich history, passionate supporters and no shortage of ambition. So, that’s why the city of Dunkirk, the owner of the sports complex, likes to treat its local heroes well. In anticipation of the renovation of their legendary Marcel Tribut Stadium, the city already gave the club a new artificial turf pitch: a Lano Sports’ Profoot MXSi TLT 40.

USL Dunkerque, a French football club in the city of Dunkirk in northern France, was a professional club from 1935 to 1939 and from 1966 to 1997. Since 2013, USLD’s first team has played in the French third class. All the home games are held in the Marcel Tribut Stadium, which is at the heart of the Stades de Flandres: a multisport complex run by the city. And they do their best to ensure that the local athletes have everything they could possibly need…

USLD in a new outfit

For USLD, there could not have been a better start to their year. The city officially approved the plans for renovating the Marcel Tribut Stadium: an ambitious project for two architectural firms. By 2020, the stadium will not only have a more modern design, but a capacity of 5,000 seats as well. The project, launched in early 2017, will cost 14 million euros.

But that wasn't all: the football club's practice pitch, which dates from 2004, was in urgent need of an upgrade. “The surface was completely worn out and that made it not only unsuitable for play but also dangerous”, says Anne Cagna, sports director for the city of Dunkirk. “For the replacement, we worked with Plaetevoet company, who recommended that we use artificial turf by Lano Sports.”

The fibre makes the difference

“With their choice for the Profoot MXSi TLT 40, USL Dunkerque is one of the few football clubs in the French third class who gets to play on such an innovative, advanced artificial turf pitch”, added Edouard Gossey, a representative of Plaetevoet. “The fibres are so strong that they can withstand intensive play and extreme weather conditions. At the same time, their high-density ensures a natural look”, Edouard continued. “We have no doubt that these pitches represent the future for every professional sports club.”

When the municipal service saw the advantages offered by artificial turf, they weren't about to let the grass grow under their feet. “The previous pitch was absolutely unusable if there had been freezing weather or heavy rains. Thanks to the artificial turf, that’s a thing of the past: from now on, the players can use it as much as they like all year round, 24/24 and 7/7”, says Anne. “Both the trainers and the players are absolutely thrilled with this cutting-edge pitch. And thanks to the quality, the youth teams can also come in and play and train here to their hearts’ content.”