The Stade Vélodrome (currently known as the Orange Vélodrome for sponsorship reasons) is predominantly used as a football venue, hosting some of the biggest competitions in the sport in its past as well as being the home of Olympique de Marseille.
Opened in 1937, the stadium hosted its first match on the 13th June 1937 in which Marseille defeated the Italian side Torino 2-1 in a friendly match. The club moved to the Stade Vélodrome after they outgrew their former home of Stade de l’Huveaune, with a capacity of just 15,000.
A year later the stadium hosted two matches at the 1938 FIFA World Cup – two Italian matches on their way to winning the tournament, a 2-1 first round win over Norway and the 2-1 semi-final victory over Brazil.
As per the name, there was a cycling track which circled the pitch, as well as a running track. The stadium remained unchanged throughout the 1940s, 50s and 60s, hosting two matches at the inaugural UEFA European Championship in 1960, then known as the European Nations’ Cup.
The cycle track was first reduced in 1971 when an extra 6,000 seats were added, with further developments ahead of the 1984 UEFA European Championship. There were two matches at the stadium, a 1-1 group match draw between Portugal and Spain, and a 3-2 semi-final win for France over Portugal on their way to winning the tournament. The cycling track was completely removed in 1985.
Ahead of the 1998 FIFA World Cup, the stadium was practically completely rebuilt increasing the capacity to 60,000 but desperately lacking any cover. The Stade Vélodrome hosted the finals draw on the 4th December 1997, as well as seven matches at the tournament. There were four group matches, including France’s first match against South Africa, a Round of 16 match, the quarter-final win for the Netherlands over Argentina and the semi-final in which Brazil defeated the Netherlands on penalties.
The stadium underwent another significant renovation ahead of UEFA Euro 2016 with the addition of a roof and increasing the capacity to 67,000. There were four group matches (including the infamous 1-1 draw between England and Russia), a quarter-final win for Portugal over Poland and the 2-0 semi-final win for France over Germany.
Rugby is also played at Stade Vélodrome, hosting a number of French international test matches and six matches at the 2007 Rugby World Cup, including the 12-10 quarter-final win for England over Australia. Toulon have also played Top 14 and European Rugby Champions Cup matches at the venue.
Tickets at Stade Vélodrome
Tickets for Olympique de Marseille matches are generally available, apart for high profile matches. Prices start at €10 and are available to purchase at the ticket office at the stadium, at the club shop in the city centre or on the official website.
Location & Travel to Stade Vélodrome
The Stade Vélodrome is located in the south of Marseille in the neighbourhoods of Sainte-Marguerite and Saint-Giniez, approximately 3.5 kilometres from the city centre.
Airport – The Marseille Provence Airport is the fifth busiest airport in France and serves over 130 destinations across Europe but also some in Africa. The airport is located 27 kilometres northwest of Marseille city centre and 30 kilometres from the Stade Vélodrome.
You can take a free shuttle bus from the airport’s bus station to Vitrolles Marseille Provence Airport rail station on the TER rail network to reach the city.
Metro – You can reach the Stade Vélodrome on line 2 of the metro. From the Saint-Charles railway station or any of the other stations on the line head southbound to either Rond-Point du Prado (for South stand and the Jean-Bouin stand) or Sainte Marguerite Dromel (for Ganay or North stands).
Train – The Gare de Marseille Saint-Charles is Marseille’s main railway station, located approximately 4.5 kilometres from Stade Vélodrome and reachable via the Metro (see above). The station has direct regional services to Aix-en-Provence, Briançon, Toulon, Avignon, Nice, Montpellier, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Nantes, as well as high speed TGV services to Paris (3 hours) and Lyon (90 minutes). There are also high speed services to Lille, Brussels, Nantes, Geneva, Strasbourg, Frankfurt, Madrid, Barcelona, Milan and summer Eurostar trains to London.
Where to stay in Marseille
Stade Vélodrome Stadium Tour
Stadium tours of Stade Vélodrome last 75 minutes and during Summer 2020 ran every day except Sundays, from 10am-1pm and 1:30pm-6pm. Tickets cost €18 for Adults and €12 for Children (6-12 years), further information and booking is available on the official website.