Today's Stade Vélodrome Talking Points
The Stade Vélodrome (French pronunciation: [stad velɔdʁom]), known for sponsorship reasons as the Orange Vélodrome, 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 occasionally hosts RC Toulon rugby club of the Top 14. It is the largest club football ground in France, with a capacity of 67,344 spectators. The stadium is also used regularly by the French rugby union team.
The record attendance for a club game before renovation at the Stade Vélodrome was 58,897 (for a UEFA Cup semi-final against Newcastle United in 2004). Since expansion to 67,394, the record attendance at the ground now stands at 65 252 for the match vs rivals PSG that occurred on February 26, 2017. The stadium was also featured as a FIFA World Cup venue when the 1938 finals were held in France. The first-ever match to be played was 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 venue was used by France in November 2009 when the French played the New Zealand All Blacks.
France is not the only rugby team to have used the Vélodrome in recent years. On 18 April 2009, Toulon took their home fixture in the Top 14 against Toulouse to the Vélodrome, drawing 57,039 spectators to see a 14–6 Toulon win which played a key role in the Toulonnais' successful fight against relegation in the 2008–09 season. Toulon has taken two home matches to the Vélodrome in each of the succeeding two seasons. The Vélodrome was also the venue for both semi-finals in the 2010–11 Top 14 season, and was used for the Toulon v Munster semi-final of the 2013–14 Heineken Cup.Close