Orange Vélodrome (Stade Vélodrome)

Capacity67 394
1,263 (in 80 skyboxes) (VIP seats)
371 (Disabled seats)
18,851 (Tribune Jean Bouin)
22,321 (Tribune Ganay)
12,937 (Virage Sud)
12,947 (Virage Nord)
Country France
CityMarseille
ClubsOlympique de Marseille
Inauguration 13/06/1937 (Olympique Marseille - FC Torino, 2-1)
Construction 25/04/1935 - 05/1937
Renovations 1971, 1983, 1997-1998, 2011-2014
Record attendance 61,846 (Olympique Marseille - FC Toulouse, 19/10/2014)
Cost €268 million (2011-2014)
Design Henri Ploquin (1935), Jean-Pierre Buffi (1997), SCAU (2011)
Address 3, Boulevard Michelet, 13008 Marseille

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Description: Orange Vélodrome

Plans of building a new stadium in Marseille were approved in 1934. The project running along key street (Boulevard Michelet) south of the centre was located on a former garrison site.

Its name was derived from the football-athletic-cycling layout it had upon opening. But despite using it for football since its first day in June 1937, Olympique was reluctant to play all games there, owning a private stadium partly funded by fans, Stade Huveaune. Situation changed after WWII, when the club settled to play nearly every game here.

Gradually, the stadium had its cycling function removed, seeing the last piece of the track dismantled in 1985. This concluded a previous redevelopment ahead of Euro 1984. Another major revamp came as France was preparing to host the 1998 World Cup. This is when three stands were rebuilt to have three tiers in a nearly elliptic layout. While unique in global scale, the new layout wasn’t unanimously popular among locals for the lack of protection from sun, rain and wind combined with poor sightlines and miserable acoustics.

For those reasons plans of further works were presented already 5 years after the tournament, most importantly proposing a roof over the stands. With little success in implementing them, the city waited until 2011, when the perspective of hosting Euro 2016 forced changes in the stadium. Redesigned by SCAU, the building received vastly expanded stands on both ends (main one built from scratch), new infrastructure under all sections and the stunning new roof that rose into Marseille’s skyline.

It took three years to complete with Olympique playing all games during reconstruction. The scheme proved very expensive at €268, but didn’t overload public budget as it was ran in PPP mode, seeing the city repay €12m annually for 30 years to the contractor and stadium operator, Bouygues.

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