Club: Olympique de Marseille | Opening: 1937 | Capacity: 67,000 seats
History and description
Stade Vélodrome was built to serve as a playing venue for the 1938 World Cup, and it soon became the new home of Olympique de Marseille after Stade de l’Huveaune had become too small for the club.
Stade Vélodrome officially opened on the 13th of June 1937 with a friendly between Marseille and Italian side Torino. During the 1938 World Cup, the stadium hosted one first round match and the semi-final between Italy and Brazil (2-1).
The stadium initially had a cycling as well as a running track circling the pitch. It was bowl-shaped and both long sides had cover. The stadium remained largely unchanged for the following decades, though the tracks got gradually eaten away by the extension of the stands.
Stade Vélodrome received a first refurbishment in preparation of the Euro 1984 Championships, during which it hosted one first round group match and the semi-final match between France and Portugal (3-2).
The stadium was almost completely rebuilt for the 1998 World Cup, and it was then when the stadium got its characteristic round-shaped stands. Capacity got increased to about 60,000 seats, though the new stadium was also criticised for its lack of cover.
During the World Cup, Stade Vélodrome hosted four first round group matches, a round of 16 match, a quarter-final, and the semi-final between Brazil and Holland (1-1).
New redevelopment plans were presented following France being awarded the Euro 2016 tournament. Works included the almost complete reconstruction of the two principal stands, minor works on the stands at both ends, and the construction of a roof that would cover the complete stadium, hereby increasing capacity with another 7,000 seats. They were completed in the summer of 2014.
During Euro 2016, Stade Vélodrome will host four first round group matches, of which one of the French national team, a quarter-final, and one of the two semi-finals.
(photos of the present Stade Vélodrome below)
Stade Vélodrome is located in the south of the city of Marseille, about 3.5 kilometres from Marseille’s city centre and a kilometre more from central railway station Saint-Charles.
One can get to the stadium with metro line 2. Catch the metro southbound at any of the stops in the city centre (e.g. Jules Guesde, Saint-Charles or Noailles), and get off at either Rond-Point du Prado or Sainte Marguerite Dromel (both located at different sides of Stade Vélodrome).
Address: 3 Boulevard Michelet, 13008 Marseille
Eat, drink, and sleep
Stade Vélodrome is located in a mainly residential area. There are a few eating and drinking options around, most of all on the Avenue du Prado in the direction of the city centre, but in general it is a rather quiet area and it may be a better idea to eat and drink in Marseille’s city centre.
There is a reasonable amount of hotels in the vicinity of Stade Vélodrome. The Mercure Marseille Prado, Inter-Hotel Parc des Expositions, and Citadines Prado Chanot Marseille all get good reviews and are only 5 to 10 minutes walking from the stadium. Hotel Le Huitième is a more budget alternative.
If you wish to stay close to the coast (and beach), the Residence Adagio Prado Plage may be of interest to you. You can also pick a hotel just south of the city centre, e.g. near the Place Castellane, which means both the stadium and city centre are at walking distance.
Tickets for Marseille games can be purchased online, at the ticket office at the stadium, or at the OM official store at 31 Rue St Ferréol in the city centre. They can furthermore be bought at any of the Francebillet, Ticketnet, or Digitick sales outlets.
Ticket prices for a seat at the one of the sides range from €30.00 to €80.00. There is usually limited availability to buy tickets for a seat behind the goal. Expect to pay more for a few high-profile matches.
For more information call +33 (0) 892 700 840.
Marseille organise guided stadium tours that include access to the dressing rooms, the press room, VIP areas, and dugouts. The tours last about 60 minutes.
Tours run every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at different hours, usually in the late morning or early afternoon. More tours may run during the school holidays, however tours may get suspended at times due to the ongoing works on the stadium.
The tour costs €10.00.
Relevant Internet links