During the off-season it’s not just the players that need a touch-up as they aim to return to fitness but also the stadiums and one Super League side have found themselves caught out with two of the stadium’s stands to be taken down.
Catalans Dragons received the news and have released the information via their Twitter and website that both the South and North stands will be dismantled following an inspection by the city council.
The last game at the Gilbert Brutus Stadium saw crowd trouble as the French side lost out to Leeds Rhinos in the playoffs, something for which Catalans have already been punished for but this simply adds to their problems.
A statement shared on their website read as follows.
“The Catalan Dragons club has been informed by the Perpignan City Hall of the dismantling of the two stands of the Gilbert Brutus stadium.
“Indeed, following the annual visit of the inspection body, the South and North bleachers were declared non-compliant.
“The latter no longer meet the requirements required by the decree of 25 July 2022 setting the safety rules and technical provisions applicable to this type of structure.
“The City of Perpignan has therefore taken the decision to proceed with their removal before the start of the 2023 season.”
𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐪𝐮𝐞́ 𝐝𝐮 𝐜𝐥𝐮𝐛 – 𝐆𝐫𝐚𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐬
Le club a été informé par la Mairie de Perpignan du démontage des deux Gradins du stade Gilbert Brutus.
— Dragons Catalans (@DragonsOfficiel) January 12, 2023
This follows as other sides such as Wakefield and Castleford continue to develop their stadiums in a bid to impress the sport’s new shareholders IMG.
Catalans’ Commercial Director, Christophe Levy, said: “We take note of this decision. These two stands will not be replaced, as the project to build the future stand is progressing. But, despite the loss of these seats, we will take advantage of this space to enlarge the fan zone between the Puig-Aubert stand and the Guasch Laborde stand.
“We are already working on new projects that will improve the reception and experience of fans at the stadium as soon as the Super League returns to Perpignan on February 25th.”
As expressed by Levy, the French side will utilise the renewed and empty footprint of where the two stands used to be in an attempt to create a fan zone which should further engage supporters of the Dragons.
All in all though this rounds off a bad week for the Perpignan side following the announcement of injury news to three of their star players, Sam Tomkins, Mike McMeeken and Fouad Yaha with the first two having undergone surgery whilst Yaha will await an MRI on Tuesday to determine the best route to heal his shoulder.