The Palais des Sports de Gerland, an association of sports and culture in Lyon
Inaugurated on October 5th, 1962, the Palais des Sports de Gerland is an indoor sporting venue located in the neighborhood of Gerland, in the southern part of Lyon’s 7th arrondissement.
It presents two halls : the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais attached to its side.
Lyon’s professional volleyball team competing in the French Ligue B, the ASUL Lyon Volleyball, is the resident team of the Palais des Sports.
The Palais des Sports divided between the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais
An indoor sporting arena built in Gerland
It was built in the vicinity of the Stade de Gerland, within the same sporting complex.
The Palais des Sports is divided into two distinct halls : the 6,500-seat Grand Palais and the 800-seat Petit Palais.
The smaller room, a contiguous extension of the main room, is the home of the city’s professional volleyball squad, the ASUL Lyon Volleyball.
A sports hall, a performance hall or an exhibition hall in the Palais des Sports
The flexible configuration of the Grand Palais des Sports allows the occurence of a wide range of events. It can be organized as a sports hall, a performance hall or an exhibition hall.
The Grand Palais des Sports takes the form of a 3-level building that contains, among other things, an indoor athletics track, a climbing wall, an indoor football pitch and as much as 12 tennis fields, all interchangeable.
The Petit Palais des Sports is more of a small gym dedicated primarily to the ASUL Lyon Volleyball.
Basketball, handball and volleyball are played regularly
Major sporting competitions happens in the Palais des Sports on a regular basis, involving sports such as basketball, handball, volleyball, tennis, boxing, martial arts, gymastics, dancing, etc.
The Grand Prix de Tennis de Lyon, men’s tennis event on the ATP Tour, used to be held inside the Palais des Sports between 1987 and 2009. The final series of the 1991 Davis Cup, won by the French National Team, was played on the same court.
Team sports like basketball, handball and volleyball are still played regularly in the Palais des Sports, notably the Lyon ASVEL Féminin which now plays a couple games a year.
The SuperCross, indoor motocross trial event, also stops in Lyon to put on a real show in the Grand Palais. Click here for more informations about the event.
Many concerts were held in the Palais des Sports during the 1970s and 1980s
Famous artists like Led Zeppelin (1973), Queen (1979 and 1982), Genesis (1978 and 1981), Kiss (1980), Iron Maiden (1980), AC-DC (1982), The Cure (1987), or Mylène Farmer (1999 and 2000) stopped by the Grand Palais des Sports.
Local dancing spectacles and international dancing competitions occur frequently, such as the Rock & Roll Acrobatics World Cup in 2017.
Finally, political meetings are sometimes set up in the Palais des Sports.
The main figures of the Palais des Sports
Louis Pradel and the city of Lyon
The Palais des Sports de Gerland belongs to the city of Lyon. The construction request was actually formulated by Lyon’s mayor at the start of the 1960s, Louis Pradel.
He attended the inauguration of the Palais des Sports on October 5th, 1962 along with Maurice Herzog, French alpinist and High Commissioner to the Youth and Sports of the President Charles de Gaulle.
Louis Pradel was very active in Lyon’s urbanism and initiated the development of public transportation as well as the new neighborhood of Part-Dieu in the 3rd arrondissement, including the shopping mall, the Auditorium concert hall and the Municipal Library of Lyon.
Lyon’s architects topped the Palais des Sports with a massive concrete dome
The Grand Palais des Sports is topped with a massive concrete dome, which was an architectural prowess in Europe at the time of the construction.
It was realized by a group of architects from Lyon, led by Louis Weckerlin, the city’s architect in chief.
The ASUL Lyon Volleyball, the Palais des Sports resident team
Even though the Palais des Sports happens to be a sporadic arena for sporting and cultural events, the ASUL Lyon Volleyball elected residence in the Petit Palais.
Lyon’s professional volleyball team, which competes in the Ligue B (second-tier league in France), plays approximately 10 home games every year in the sporting complex of Gerland.
Where is the Palais des Sports?
Across the street from the Stade de Gerland
The Palais des Sports was erected in the center of the sporting complex of Gerland, in the southern part of Lyon’s 7th arrondissement. Right across the street from the Stade de Gerland, the structures are facing each other at the very end of the Jean Jaurès avenue.
Lyon’s largest sporting complex also features one of the city’s biggest parks, the city’s skatepark and many playgrounds.
How to get to the Palais des Sports by car?
In the same way as you would go to the Stade de Gerland, you can reach the Palais des Sports by car, using two different routes.
Coming from the north and west, the stadium can be reached from Lyon’s highway, exiting at the « Musée des Confluences » interchange and then driving towards the Tony Garnier concert hall and the Tony Garnier avenue.
Beware, there is only a small parking structure near the Palais des Sports. You would have to park in the streets for large events at the sporting complex.
How to get to the Palais des Sports by public transportation?
The easiest way to reach the Palais des Sports is through public transportation.
The metro line B stops at Stade de Gerland, less than 100 meters away from the arena’s entry. The same metro line goes through the Part-Dieu train station and it takes you 10 minutes to reach the stadium’s gates.
The Presqu’île is only 10 minutes away from the stadium, by taking the metro line D from Bellecour and switching to the metro line B in Saxe-Gambetta.
It also takes you 15 minutes from the Grange Blanche station if you take the metro line D and hop on the metro line B at the Saxe-Gambetta station.