The Astroballe hosts Lyon’s professional basketball team, the ASVEL, since 1995.
Built in the suburbs of Lyon, in Villeurbanne, the Astroballe is the sporting venue to visit for all basketball activities.
The ASVEL, the most decorated and one of the most famous basketball clubs in France, calls the 5,600-seat arena home and plays in it for about 30 games every year since its opening in 1995.
The Astroballe to improve the basketball pedigree of Villeurbanne
The Astroballe, one of the largest basketball arenas in France
The Astroballe is located in the neighborhood of Cusset in Villeurbanne, second most populated city of the Lyon’s metropolitan area. It was built along the Laurent Bonnevay ring road and close from the Laurent Bonnevay station of the metro line A.
The 5,600-seat arena was inaugurated on April 20, 1995 by the ASVEL, resident team and professional basketball club of Villeurbanne.
The Astroballe is one of the largest basketball arenas in France, standing at the 6th place on the national hierarchy. It is however far from the European and international standards.
The ASVEL is the primary host of the Astroballe
Imagined as an omnisports arena and a way to enhance the basketball pedigree of the city, the Astroballe is primarily used today by the ASVEL for about 30 games every year.
The city of Villeurbanne is the exclusive owner while the ASVEL is the resident team of the arena and has to pay a monthly rent to the city.
The Lyon ASVEL Féminin, professional feminine basketball team in Lyon, relocates few of its games in the Astroballe since Tony Parker’s takeover of the club in 2017.
Where does the name “Astroballe” come from ?
As the construction was just launched in 1994, the city of Villeurbanne asked its constituents to propose their ideas to name the arena.
More than 600 names came in and the name of Astroballe was finally retained.
The main figures of the Astroballe
Gilbert Chabroux, former mayor of Villeurbanne
The project of construction of the Astroballe emerged as a promise made by future Villeurbanne’s mayor in 1989, Gilbert Chabroux, during its electoral campaign.
He wanted a multi-sports arena for its city in order to answer the requirements of high-level basketball and to replace the aging Maison des Sports (renamed Salle Raphael de Barros after the famous ASVEL player), located along Cours Emile Zola in Villeurbanne.
The department, the region, the urban community of Lyon and the city of Villeurbanne all contributed to the 60-million francs project, which corresponds to 12 millions in today’s euros.
The Astroballe was eventually inaugurated on April 20th, 1995.
Everyone is close to the action in the Astroballe
The engineering consultants of Europe Etudes GECTI and a group of architects (Arche, Dugelay and Tarlier) teamed up for the conception of the Astroballe.
They produced steep stands (43%), which gives to any fan seated in the arena a sense of closeness to the action. The Astroballe also features a mezzanine added in 1997 to compensate the popularity of the ASVEL.
An adjacent room for training sessions, a services room containing locker rooms and administrative units, a media room and a large space to greet partners and important figures.
The city of Villeurbanne, owner of the Astroballe
The city of Villeurbanne is the exclusive owner of the Astroballe since the construction and inauguration of the arena.
The sporting scene in Villeurbanne revolves around the ASVEL and the Astroballe, one of the larget indoor arenas in France. The city also features more than 200 sporting clubs such as the Lyon-Villeurbanne Lyon XIII (rugby league with thirteen-player teams).
The ASVEL, resident team of the Astroballe
Resident team since the inauguration in 1995, the ASVEL plays in the Astroballe for about 30 games a year.
The « Green Team » achieved some of its finest chapters of its history in the arena during the 1990s and the 2000s, notably the incredible run in 1997 towards the EuroLeague Final Four.
Only three of the 18 French championships were won in the Astroballe, but the ASVEL cimented its entrance into the professional and European ranks with the arena.
Where is the Astroballe?
The Astroballe, built along the Laurent Bonnevay ring road
The Astroballe was erected along the Laurent Bonnevay ring road in the neighborhood of Cusset in Villeurbanne, in the vincinity of the Canal de Jonage on one side and the Laurent Bonnevay metro station on the other.
It takes approximately 15 minutes by public transportation to reach the Astroballe from the Hôtel de Ville, in Lyon’s 1st arrondissement, and 20 minutes from Place Bellecour, in Lyon’s 2nd arrondissement.
How to get to the Astroballe by car?
You can get to the Astroballe by car, using Lyon’s ring road and exiting at the interchange n°7 « Porte de Cusset », towards Vaulx-en-Velin. Then, take Cours Emile Zola towards the metro station Laurent Bonnevay.
A parking structure will be available between the station and the Astroballe.
How to get to the Astroballe by public transportation?
However, the easiest way to reach the Astroballe remains public transportation.
The metro line A stops at Laurent Bonnevay and offers a direct access by walk from the underground station to the Astroballe.
Thanks to the metro line A, the Presqu’île is only 15-20 minutes away from the Astroballe.
It also takes you 15 minutes from the Part-Dieu train station if you take the metro line B and hop on the metro line A at the Charpennes station.