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.
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
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.