Velodrome Stadium

The Stade Vélodrome ( French pronunciation: [stad velɔdʁom] ) Known for sponsorship Reasons as the Orange Velodrome , is a multi-purpose stadium in Marseille , France . It is home to the Olympique de Marseille football club of Ligue 1 since it opened in 1937, and was a venue in the 1998 FIFA World Cup , the 2007 Rugby World Cup and the UEFA Euro 2016 . It sometimes hosts RC Toulon rugby club of the Top 14. It is the largest club in France, with a capacity of 67,344 spectators. The stadium is also used by the French rugby union team .

The Velodrome Stadium was 58.897 (for a UEFA Cup semi-final against Newcastle United in 2004). Since expansion to 67,394, the record was at 65,252 for the match vs. PSG rivals that occurred on February 26, 2017. The stadium was also featured in the FIFA World Cup when the 1938 finals were held in France. The first-ever match was played between Marseille and Torino in 1937.

The French rugby union team began an impressive run of victories at the stadium in the early 2000s. They defeated the All Blacks 42-33 in November 2000, and in 2001 defeated Australia by one point. They beat the Springboks in 2002, followed by a win over England in 2003. However, their run of luck was broken in 2004 when they lost 14-24 to Argentina. The coming was used by France in November 2009 when the French played the New Zealand All Blacks. [2]

The Velodrome in recent years. On April 18, 2009, Toulon took their home fixture in the Top 14 against Toulouse to the Velodrome, drawing 57,039 spectators [3] to see a 14-6 Toulon, which played a key role in the Toulonnais’ successful fight against relegation in the 2008 -09 season . [4] Toulon has taken two home matches to the Velodrome in each of the succeeding two seasons. The Velodrome was also introduced for the semi-finals in the 2010-11 Top 14 season , and was used for Toulon v Munstersemi-final of the 2013-14 Heineken Cup .


In 1935, the architectural firm Pollack Ploquin was chosen to build a stadium in Marseille. Henry Ploquin (who designed the Gingham Municipal Stadium for the Olympics three years earlier) designed the stadium. For economic reasons, only the Stade Velodrome was built. On April 28, 1935, the foundation stone was laid for the Velodrome by Marseille Mayor Ribot, it is located between downtown and the suburban areas of St. Giniez and Sainte-Marguerite on military grounds belonging to the city. The Stade Velodrome opened on June 13, 1937, when a friendly match was played between Olympique Marseille and Italian Torino FC (which ended 2-1 to Olympique Marseille). On 29 August 1937 the match took place between OM and Cannes. This was the first official match at the stadium.

As its name suggests, Stade Vélodrome was used for cycling competitions but these races became less common, which was replaced by the stadium. The Vélodrome remains famous for OM fans (Olympique Marseille) since the sloped track which was under the extended seating.

OM was long hostile to the Velodrome Stadium, calling it the “Stage of the City Council”. For fans of the Olympians between the wars, the real home of OM was Huveaune Stadium , owned by OM and partly financed by fans in the early 1920s. After World War II, however, OM no longer owned the Stadium Huveaune. Seeking support from the city, Chairman Marcel Leclerc had OM play at Huveaune from 1945 to 1960. The City Council then relented, and OM moved to the Velodrome. During the 1970s, OM shared the Stade with the Marseille XIII Rugby League.

First renovations

1970 marked the first modifications to the Velodrome, with the replacement of the floodlights on the Ganay and Jean Bouin tribune by oven 60 meter towers for nighttime events. In March 1971, the capacity of the stadium was increased by nearly 6000 seats, with the reduction of the cycling and the removal of the cinder running track. This brings the total capacity of the 55,000 people, including the standing area.

Olympic returned to the Huveaune Stadium for the 1982-1983 season as Velodrome Stadium was under construction in preparation for the 1984 European Football Championship. The playing surface was completely replaced during this time. The semifinal between the France and Portugal had an international record with 54,848 spectators. The capacity of the stadium was later reduced to 42,000 with the construction of lodges.

Bernard Tapie was appointed president of OM in 1985. He was able to remove it and rearrange the corners of the stadium, bringing the capacity up to 48,000. This renovation marked the end of the Vélodrome as a multi-use facility. The area around the stadium was also transformed with the creation of the second line of the metro which served as the venue for the construction of the Palais des Sports nearby.

1998 World Cup and beyond

The Velodrome Stadium was completely renovated for the 1998 World Cup; its capacity increased from 42,000 to 60,031 seats (or 32 miles of seats). The Velodrome hosted the final draw, which took place on 4 December 1997 (the first time the final draw was held in an outdoor coming) and seven matches, including France’s first match against South Africa, the quarterfinal between Argentina and the Netherlands and the semifinal between Braziland the Netherlands. As of 2011, the record for the game (58,897 spectators) was the Newcastle United UEFA Cup semifinal on 6 May 2004 (2-0). During the 2007 Rugby World Cup the Velodrome hosted six games, including two quarter-finals: Australia versus England (which holds the overall attendance record with 59,120 spectators) and South Africa versus Fiji. On July 16, 2009, during the preparations for a Madonna concert, one of four winches used to hoist the structure failed; the 60-ton roof fell (leaving two dead, eight wounded and crushing a skull).

Widely Criticized and unloved by the Marseillais for ict architecture (no roof, exposure to strong mistral winds and poor acoustics), the Stade Velodrome since 2003 HAS-been the subject of several projects to Modernize and enlarge it. In July 2009, following an extraordinary council of the City of Marseille concerning the City Hall renovation project, a motion was passed to public-private partnership (PPP). On June 21, 2010, following France’s winning bid for UEFA Euro 2016 , Marseille announced that the stadium would receive another renovation (a roof and increase in capacity from 60,031 to 67,000), making it a UEFA Elite Stadium . Works began in the spring of 2011 and was completed in summer 2014.


In 2002, Division 1 was renamed Ligue 1 . Olympique de Marseille’s average attendance for each season since 2000-01 is listed below:

Season Average Division
2000-01 50.755 Division 1
2001-02 50.030
2002-03 48.233 League 1
2003-04 51.785
2004-05 52.996
2005-06 49.731
2006-07 49.005
2007-08 52.601
2008-09 52.276
2009-10 50.045
2010-11 51.081
2011-12 40.445
2012-13 33.473
2013-14 38.129
2014-15 53.130

1938 FIFA World Cup matches

Dated Time (CET) Team # 1 result Team # 2 Round Spectators
June 5, 1938 5:00 p.m.  italy 2-1 ( aet )  norway First 18,000
June 16, 1938 6:00 p.m.  italy 2-1  brazil semifinal 30,000

1960 European Nations’ Cup matches

Dated Time (CET) Team # 1 result Team # 2 Round Spectators
6 July 1960 9:30 p.m.  Czechoslovakia 0-3  Soviet Union semifinal 25.184
9 July 1960 6:00 p.m.  Czechoslovakia 2-0  la France Third place 9,438

UEFA Euro 1984 matches

Dated Time (CET) Team # 1 result Team # 2 Round Spectators
17 June 1984 8:30 p.m.  Portugal 1-1  Spain Group B 24.364
23 June 1984 8:00 p.m.  la France 3-2 ( aet )  Portugal semifinal 54.848

1998 FIFA World Cup matches

Dated Time (CET) Team # 1 result Team # 2 Round Attendance
12 June 1998 9:00 p.m.  la France 3-0  South Africa Group C 55.077
June 15, 1998 2:30 p.m.  England 2-0  tunisia Group G 54.587
20 June 1998 9:00 p.m.  Netherlands 5-0  South Korea Group E 55,000
23 June 1998 9:00 p.m.  brazil 1-2  norway Group A 55,000
27 June 1998 4:00 p.m.  italy 1-0  norway Round of 16 55,000
4 July 1998 4:00 p.m.  Netherlands 2-1  Argentina quarterfinal 55,000
7 July 1998 9:00 p.m.  brazil 1-1 (4-2 pen. )  Netherlands semifinal 54,000

2007 Rugby World Cup matches

The Vélodrome hosted 6 games of the 2007 Rugby World Cup which was hosted by France.

Dated Competition Home team Away team Attendance
September 8, 2007 2007 Rugby World Cup Pool C  New Zealand 76  italy 14 58.612
12 September 2007 2007 Rugby World Cup Pool C  italy 24  romania 18 44.241
22 September 2007 2007 Rugby World Cup Pool D  Argentina 63  namibia 3 55,067
30 September 2007 2007 Rugby World Cup Pool D  la France 64  georgia 7 58.695
6 October 2007 2007 Rugby World Cup Quarter-finals  australia 10  England 12 59.102
7 October 2007 2007 Rugby World Cup Quarter-finals  South Africa 37  fiji 20 55.943

UEFA Euro 2016 matches

The Velodrome hosted six games at UEFA Euro 2016 , including a semi-final. In 2016, the stadium became the first in Europe to have hosted three European Championship semi-finals after France’s previous hosting of the tournament in 1960 and 1984.

Dated Time (CET) Team # 1 result Team # 2 Round Attendance
11 June 2016 9:00 p.m.  England 1-1  russia Group B 62.343
15 June 2016 9:00 p.m.  la France 2-0  albania Group A 63.670
18 June 2016 6:00 p.m.  iceland 1-1  hungary Group F 60.842
21 June 2016 9:00 p.m.  Ukraine 0-1  poland Group C 58.874
June 30, 2016 9:00 p.m.  poland 1-1 (3-5 pen. )  Portugal Quarter-final 62.940
July 7, 2016 9:00 p.m.  germany 0-2  la France Semi-final 64.078


1 Jean Bouin Tribune
2 Virage Sud Chevalier Roze
3 Ganay Tribune
4 Peretti’s North Turn
5 Disabled seating (258 seats)
6 Press gallery
7 Loges
8 rostrum
9 VIP lobby
10 Projectors
11 Local
12 closets
13 offices
14 TV studio
15 Big screens

The oven stands in the stadium are named after athletes (runner Jean Bouin and 1920s cyclist Gustave Ganay), a historical figure of the 1720 plague epidemic (Chevalier Roze) and a popular Olympique de Marseille supporter (Patrice De Peretti, nicknamed “Depe”, who died suddenly in July 2000).

Rugby League

Other than the Rugby League World Cup games in 1954 , 1972 and 1975 , 14 other test matches were played between 1938 and 1985. The French national team played in 16 of the internationals played at Stade Vélodrome.

Rugby League World Cup

Over three separate tournaments, the Velodrome also hosted games of the Rugby League World Cup .

Dated Competition Home team Away team Attendance
November 7, 1954 1954 Rugby league World Cup group stage  australia 34  New Zealand 15 20,000
October 28, 1972 1972 Rugby League World Cup group stage  la France 20  New Zealand 9 20.748
17 October 1975 1975 Rugby League World Cup group stage  la France 12  New Zealand 12 10,000

Rugby League Test matches

List of rugby league test matches played at Stade Velodrome. [5]

Test# Dated result Attendance Notes
1 January 16, 1938  Australia def. France 16-11 23,100 1938 France vs Australia series
2 18 January 1947  France def. Wales 14-5 24,500 1946-47 European Rugby League Championship
3 April 11, 1948  England def. France 25-10 32,000 1947-48 European Rugby League Championship
4 9 January 1949  Australia def. France 29-10 15.796 1949 France vs Australia series
5 April 10, 1949  France def. Wales 11-0 30,000 1948-49 European Rugby League Championship
6 January 15, 1950  France def. Other Nationalities 8-3 30,000 1949-50 European Rugby League Championship
7 15 April 1950  France def. Wales 28-13 16.860 1950-51 European Rugby League Championship
8 November 25, 1951  France def. England 42-13 31.810 1951-52 European Rugby League Championship
9 November 23, 1952  France def. Other Nationalities 29-10 17.611 1949-50 European Rugby League Championship
10 December 13, 1953  France def. Wales 23-22 25,000 1953-54 European Rugby League Championship
11 November 15, 1965  France def. New Zealand 14-3 30.431 1965 France vs New Zealand series
12 December 17, 1967  France drew with Australia 7-7 5.193 1967-68 France vs Australia series
13 20 December 1981  France def. Great Britain 19-2 6,500
14 24 November 1985  New Zealand def. France 22-0 1,492 1985 France vs New Zealand series

Location and accessibility

The stadium is four kilometers from the Old Port of Marseille , in the neighborhoods of Sainte-Marguerite and Saint-Giniez in the southern part of Marseille. It is bound to the south by the Huveaune river and to the north by the Chanot Park and the headquarters of the regional public TV station, France 3 Mediterranean. To its west runs the Michelet Boulevard and to the east the Palais des Sports and the Delort stadium.

The Vélodrome is served by the bus and metro networks of the Régie des transports de Marseille . Amongst others, two stations of the Marseille Metro line 2 are close to the stadium. Supporters wishing to reach the Ganay or North stands at the St. Marguerite Dromel station at the Rond-Point du Prado station caters for the South stand and the Jean Bouin stand. This line, which also serves the Marseille Saint-Charles train station, has additional trains on matchdays.

Marseille Provence Airport is thirty kilometers from the Velodrome.

Current Situation

The Stade Velodrome HAS icts Increased seating capacity in 2014 (in prediction of the UEFA Euro 2016 hosted by France), and continuing to host games for Olympique Marseille. Previously it held 60,031 spectators; following its renovation, it is now able to hold 67,000, including 7,000 VIP seats. The cost of the project was € 267 million. [6] Marseilles Mayor Jean-Claude Gaudin’s bid to organize Euro 2016. Marseilles mayor Jean-Claude Gaudin ‘s bid also provides for the creation of a new district.


Marseille has increased the stadium’s capacity and installed a roof, as required by UEFA standards. The project also includes multiple reception areas and media space, better access for disabled and better seating. The new stadium has been officially inaugurated on 16 October 2014.


As seen in the picture above, the esplanade Ganay has been preserved and refurbished. The RTM car park has been replaced with office towers and housing. RTM users benefit from a larger underground car park. Trees and wind turbines contribute to a new-neighborhood HQE (high environmental quality).


The total project estimate is € 267 million, with € 150M for the stadium and the remnant for the surrounding shopping mall, hotel and housing, the private sector to cover the two-thirds of the investment; the remainder will be shared by the region, the department of Bouches-du-Rhone , MPM and the city of Marseille for 20m euros. The French government contributed to upgrade the area’s infrastructure. After several studies, the mayor selected the PPP (public-private partnership).

Olympique Marseille

” Olympique de Marseille will be closely associated with the project,” said Jean-Claude Gaudin . The club remains a holding of the stadium. Elected officials.

Naming rights

The naming rights for the stadium were bought by French multinational telecommunications Orange SA The 10-year-deal was announced on June 3, 2016 by the Mayor of Marseille. The price is undisclosed.


  • OM- Lille OSC 2004

  • Photo of the Virage Sud – OM- Lille OSC 2004

  • OM-OL 2007 – quarterfinal of the Coupe de France


  1. Jump up^
  2. Jump up^ “France v New Zealand All Blacks” . Retrieved 13 May 2009 .
  3. Jump up^ “Top 14, Day 23: Toulon – Toulouse” (in French). The team . 18 April 2009 . Retrieved 4 May 2009 .
  4. Jump up^ “Boudjellal savoure” (in French). The team . 18 April 2009 . Retrieved 4 May 2009 .
  5. Jump up^ Velodrome Stadium @ Rugby League Project
  6. Jump up^ New stadium Velodrome: the bottom of the financing,Provence

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