Less than a year ago, France witnessed a string of horrific terrorist attacks with the Stade de France being one of the targets. However the country is gearing up to host the European Championships which is well a sign that the nation is not afraid of extremists willing to divide the world.
As the whole world tunes in to the Euro 2016, now would be a good time to explore the different stadia where the games will be played.
#1 Saint Denis
Name- Stade de France
Home to the French national team, the Stade de France will be hosting the inaugural and the final matches of the tournament. Built between 1995 and 1998, the stadium was the centerpiece of the 1998 FIFA World Cup and had hosted the final of the tournament back then. Apart from that, the stadium has also hosted the Champions League Finals on two different occasions.
In 2015, the stadium was the site of a terrorist attack when three suicide bombers blew themselves up outside a stadium during a France vs Germany match. An attempt to enter the stadium was foiled.
Emotions are expected to run high when France host Romania in the first game of the tournament this Friday.
Name- Stade Velodrome
The Stade Velodrome will be hosting its first game when England face Russia on the 11th June. Apart from that, the stadium is scheduled to host four group stage games, one quarter final and of the two semi-finals.
Built in 1937, the stadium is home to French side Olympique Marseille and had hosted two games in the 1938 FIFA World Cup. It was rebuilt prior to the 1998 showpiece event. Previously it had a cycling track circling the pitch but now that has been done away with. This is one of the oldest stadiums which will be used in this year’s tourney.
Name- Parc Olympique Lyonnais
The construction of this stadium ended in January 2016 and was officially opened with a league game between Olympique Lyon and Troyes. It is currently the stadium of local side Olympique Lyon.
The Parc Olympique Lyonnais will be hosting the group stage games, one quarter final and one of the two semi-finals. Provided they top the group, the French national team will be playing its quarter final here and perhaps even the semi final. With some state of the art facilities, this is going to be one of venues to look forward to for both fans and players.
Name- Stade Pierre-Mauroy
Home to LOSC Lille, the Stade Pierre-Mauroy was built in 2012 and is one of the relatively new stadiums that will be used in this year’s European Championships. With a capacity of 50,000, that stadium is expected to have a full house when the national side faces Switzerland in the group stages.
The stadium possesses a retractable roof which can be opened and closed in 30 minutes. It is also used to host concerts. Named after the former Lille mayor and former French Prime Minister, Pierre Mauroy, the stadium will be hosting four group stage games, a pre quarter final and a quarter final.
Name- Parc des Princes
Home to the reigning champions of French football, Paris Saint Germain, the Parc des Princes will be hosting four group stage games and a round of 16 clash. Built in 1973, the stadium has witnessed some historic matches which include the 1975 European Cup final and the 1984 European Championship final between France and the Netherlands.
The stadium is one of France’s most modern sporting venues but is expected to undergo a massive redevelopment post the tournament with PSG’s Qatari owners willing to pump in large sums of cash.
Name- Stade Matmut Atlantique(Stade de Bodeaux)
The Stade Matmut Atantique very recently replaced the Stade Chaban-Delmas as the home ground of former French champions Giordinis de Bordeaux. The stadium hosted its first international game in 2015 when the national side beat Serbia 2-1.
It will be hosting four first round group matches and one of the four quarter finals. The stadium was built by architecture firm Herzof & de Meuron earlier associated with projects like the Allianz Arena and St. Jakob’s Park. The stadium is known for the elegance in its structure and will be hosting the former world champions Spain on the 21st of June.
#7 Saint Etienne
Name- Stade Geoffroy-Guichard
Home to French side AS Saint Etienne, the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard is the oldest stadium that will be used in this summer’s competition. Built in 1931, the stadium has hosted some memorable matches including the 1998 World Cup pre quarter final between England and Argentina.
The stadium underwent renovation in 1956 when the tracks surrounding the pitch were removed and the stands were remodelled in a rectangular shape. It will be hosting three group stage matches and a round of 16 clash. Portugal take on Iceland in their first game of the tournament in this venue.
Name- Allianz Riviera (Grand Stade de Nice)
The Allianz Riviera is the new stadium of French Ligue 1 side OGC Nice. The stadium opened its doors in 2013 and was built for an estimated €245 Million, part publicly and part privately funded.
The stadium will host four matches which include three group stage encounters and a round of 16 game. These matches will include the likes of former world champions Spain as well as high flying Belgium. The stadium is located in the suburbs of the city and was built by famous firm Wilmotte & Associates.
Name- Stade Bollaert-Delelis
Previously known as Felix Bollaert, the stadium is one of the oldest in France having been built in 1934. Initially it had only one grand stand and a few terraces and could accommodate only 12,000 spectators.
Subsequent changes were made prior to the 1984 European Championships and then before the 1998 World Cup. It is home to club side RC Lens and will be hosting three group stage and one round of 16 match. The stadium was renamed in 2012 after the death of long time mayor of the city – Andre Delelis.
Name- Stadium de Toulouse
This stadium was built in the same year as the Stade Velodrome but has witnessed very little change since then. It hosted one match in the 1938 World Cup but was not a venue for the 1984 European Championships.
It hosted four games in the 1998 World Cup including the famous pre quarter final featuring the Netherlands and Yugoslavia which the former went on to win 2-1. It is home to Ligue 1 side Toulouse FC and will be hosting four games this time which include three group stage games and a round of 16 clash.