Stade de France is the largest sta­di­um in France, the pride of Paris. The sta­di­um was opened by 1998, built specif­i­cal­ly for the World Cup. The capac­i­ty of the Stade de France is 80,000 spec­ta­tors.


Entry relat­ed to loca­tion: Paris

After France won the bid to host the 1998 World Cup, it was decid­ed to build a new sta­di­um in Paris. Ini­tial­ly, the Stade de France was designed in the south of Paris, but there were many com­plaints about the remote­ness of this place from the city cen­ter, and the sta­di­um project was moved to the north of Paris, in Saint-Denis. The first nation­al sta­di­um in France was the Colombes, which host­ed match­es of the 1938 World Cup.

Lat­er, the Parc des Princes became the main are­na of France. But even after the recon­struc­tion of 1975, the “Park” was not suit­able for this role. First­ly, it is locat­ed in a res­i­den­tial area in the south-west of Paris, and besides, its capac­i­ty — 50,000 — was not enough to host a World Cup final. Stade de France fit per­fect­ly for this role, it has become one of the most majes­tic sta­di­ums in Europe. The sta­di­um was built on the site of an aban­doned gas mine and has a capac­i­ty of 80,000 spec­ta­tors. The sta­di­um, built by Bouygues, Dumez and SGE, has a mov­able sur­face with ath­let­ics tracks under­neath.
The name of this nation­al sta­di­um, the Stade de France (Sta­di­um of France), was pro­posed by Michel Pla­ti­ni, who at the time served as Co-Chair­man of the 1998 FIFA World Cup Orga­niz­ing Com­mit­tee. Switzer­land’s new nation­al sta­di­um was named after the French Stade de Suisse. The sta­di­um is owned and oper­at­ed by the Con­sor­tium Stade de France, which owns all rights to the reg­is­tered trade­mark of the Stade de France. How­ev­er, it was not with­out prob­lems. The sta­di­um opened in Jan­u­ary 1998 with a friend­ly match between France and Spain. Until the last minute, it was not clear whether the game would take place. The builders spared no mon­ey for heat­ing the field, and it was frozen. The lack of heat­ing is unac­cept­able for a mod­ern sta­di­um, so this short­com­ing was urgent­ly cor­rect­ed
But still, the Stade de France did its job per­fect­ly at the World Cup. It host­ed the Brazil-Scot­land open­ing game and eight more match­es of the tour­na­ment. At the same sta­di­um, the French team for the first time became the world cham­pi­on, beat­ing the Brazil­ians with a score of 3: 0
Two years lat­er, the final match of the Cham­pi­ons League took place at the Stade de France, in which Real Madrid and Valen­cia met. Real Madrid won with a con­vinc­ing 3–0 score — more than forty years after the Span­ish Roy­al Club won the first Euro­pean Cup on the ground of the old Parc des Princes. But despite all its grandeur, no reg­u­lar events are held at the Stade de France. For some time, the issue of hold­ing Paris Saint-Ger­main home match­es here was open, but the club decid­ed to stay at the Parc des Princes with­out pulling the rent

See also
Places for the most dangerous cliff jumps

In Sep­tem­ber-Octo­ber 2007, France hosts the 6th Rug­by World Cup. The Stade de France became the main are­na of the tour­na­ment. It host­ed 7 match­es: the open­ing match, two more games of the group stage, the quar­ter-finals, both semi-finals and the final. On Sep­tem­ber 11 and 12, 2009, con­certs by Mylène Farmer were held at the sta­di­um. Madon­na, Rolling Stones (1998, 2003, 2006, 2007) (4 per­for­mances) U2 (U2) (2006) (2 per­for­mances) Celine Dion per­formed at the Stade de France in 2008 ) (1999) (2 per­for­mances). Every year, the Stade de France hosts the finals of three major nation­al tour­na­ments: the Top 14 Cup (Top 14) (French nation­al rug­by cham­pi­onship), the French Cup (Coupe de France) and the French League Cup (Coupe de la Ligue). In 2000 and 2006, match­es of the UEFA Cham­pi­ons League were held here. In 2004, 2005 and 2006 it was the site of the annu­al Race of Cham­pi­ons motocross now held at Wem­b­ley Sta­di­um in Lon­don. In 2007, the Stade de France host­ed the main match­es of the Rug­by World Cup (cur­rent­ly the only sta­di­um in the world that host­ed the final match­es of the World Cup and Rug­by). The sta­di­um is eas­i­ly con­vert­ed for ath­let­ics com­pe­ti­tions (it host­ed the 2003 World Cham­pi­onships in Ath­let­ics).


French Sports Min­is­ter Jean-Fran­cois Lam­our recent­ly announced the renam­ing of the Stade de France. The offi­cial name of the sta­di­um has been changed to “Stade de France Paris 2012” in order to prove the seri­ous­ness of the claims of the French cap­i­tal to the right to host the 2012 Sum­mer Olympics, accord­ing to the press ser­vice of the Paris Bid Com­mit­tee. Togeth­er with the updat­ed name, the are­na has a new logo with Olympic sym­bols. The sta­di­um was renamed for the first time in French his­to­ry.

See also
The strangest cricket match in the world