Final stage of the CO’Met Venues (Entertainment & MICE) revealed

The 4-in-1 CO’Met Venues complex in Orléans, France, revealed the final piece in the puzzle on January 7, with the grand opening of the 10,000-seat Arena Du CO’Met.

Arena Du CO’Met, the final part of a major new sports and cultural complex that has been created in the French city of Orléans, located on the banks of the Loire, 75 miles southwest of Paris.

The 10,000-seat arena was opened to the public on Saturday, January 7 2023, with an inaugural men’s handball tournament featuring the French national team before it departs to take part in the World Men’s Handball Championship, to be held in Poland and Sweden from 11 to 29 January 2023.

Working alongside the project architect Ferrier Marchetti Studio, Chaix & Morel and Associates as lead designer of the centre’s conference and exhibition facilities, and Bouygues Construction as the contractor, Populous is the designated sports architect for the seating bowl and interiors of the 10,000-seat arena, working to deliver a first-class fan experience in a modern and sustainable sports and entertainment venue for Orleans and the wider region.

The arena has been designed to host the majority of indoor sports, concerts and large-scale shows, with a 3,000m² platform and modular stands for up to 10,000 seats. With the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics fast approaching, it has also been approved for international competitions in volleyball, handball, badminton, boxing, gymnastics, judo, athletics and basketball, with Orléans Loiret Basket the arena’s resident club.

A ring of 28 boxes, housing between nine and 30 seats, is surmounted by a 360-degree LED banner screen, providing 260 linear metres for advertising, as well as an impressive LED cube, to replay action and enhance the event experience. A large range of premium seats, including courtside seats, are available, as well as a VIP area of over 1,000m², partitionable into several lounges.


Arena Du CO’Met features the first rectangular 360° fully digitalised centre-hung videoboard, as well as first-of-its-kind deck/balcony premium seating options and multiple terraces for both GA/VIP communal areas 


The arena features the following standout functionalities:

  • 3 connected buildings with various purposes shaping a single venue with multiple configurations
  • The first rectangular 360° fully digitalised centre-hung videoboard 
  • An upper concourse opened up over the entire bowl, with a 30m-long bar
  • First-of-its-kind deck/balcony premium seating options
  • Multiple terraces for both GA/VIP communal areas
  • Fully equipped 250m2 culinary laboratory
  • Congress Centre and Club Level merged by a footbridge
  • A 1,500m2 sports performance centre integrated within the arena

Populous was a Presenting Partner Sponsor at ALSD International 2022 alongside DIGISEQ, Forward Associates, Hunden Strategic Partners, Populous and Triple Jump Technologies. Check out what you missed at the industry-leading event here.

The project is the latest completion by Populous France, based out of Paris. Other current projects include La Meinau Stadium in Strasbourg, and the 16,000 capacity Olympique Lyonnais Groupe indoor venue in Lyon.

Francois Clement, Senior Principal at Populous and the General Manager of Populous France, said:

This project represents an important step forward in the continued development of Orleans’ cultural and business offering and will attract visitors from across France. As we continue to expand our business operations in the country, Populous is proud to have delivered an arena that will not only play a central role in the sporting events programme for the region but stands ready to serve as a world-class performance venue for athletes training for a variety of sports at the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Centre Orléans Métropole (CO’Met)

The Centre Orléans Métropole (CO’Met) is the first multifunction facility in France to combine an Arena, Conference Hall, and Exhibition Centre in one location, in addition to the existing and neighbouring Zénith d’Orléans, a 5,000-seat indoor sporting arena and concert hall. It will enable Orleans to host, in a same location and at the same time, national and international sports, cultural and economic events.

Instead of a single, multi-purpose building, Orléans Métropole opted for a modular and complementary set, comprising the ‘The Loiret’ exhibition centre, which can be expanded from 16,000 m² to 33,000 m² and divided into four halls, the convention centre – including a 1,000-seat auditorium with optimised acoustics – and the arena.


As of January 1, 2023, GL events became the first manager and operator of CO’Met, a 15,800sqm exhibition centre, a 1,000-person capacity convention centre and a large 10,000-person capacity event hall – the first of its kind in France, outside of Paris – following a €150 million investment by the Orléans Metropolitan Council.

GL events was selected by the Council to operate a further five event venues in Orléans and will operate three additional venues located in the city centre: the Zenith concert hall (capacity for 6,900 persons), the Chapit’O event venue (37,000 sqm) and the conference centre (capacity for 500). This concession was granted pursuant to the tender bid submitted in partnership with Oak View Group (OVG).

OVG has been working with GL events in operating the Grande Salle Événementielle, marketing, developing partnerships and naming rights for the Zenith concert hall, as well as managing the relationship with the local club, Orléans Loiret Basket.

The operating company for the six venues, a wholly-owned subsidiary of GL events, is responsible for hosting and organising sports, economic and cultural events, as well as for developing a new offering of exhibitions and events.

CO’Met, a concept still unique in France

With its modular spaces, CO’Met is unique in its possibilities of use and its service offer. On the same campus, there are 4 exceptional spaces, all connected to each other:

  • A Sports and Major Events Arena featuring 10,000 seats
  • A Congress Centre with an auditorium of 1,000 seats and 1 to 5 seminar rooms
  • A modular Exhibition Hall of 35,000 square metres

All of this, in the immediate vicinity of the Zenith d’Orléans for even more accommodation possibilities.

Imagery, courtesy: Co’Met / Populous

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