What are the biggest football stadiums in France, the Ligue 1 and the Ligue 2? Which Stadium is the best in France?
France is a big football country not just in Europe, according to numerous rankings released in the last few years. And this could be attributed to the level of competition, infrastructure and organisation.
That been said, France houses some of the best and biggest football stadiums, from the Parc des Princes home to Paris Saint-Germain to the Stade de France.
Over the years, French football clubs have spent heavily on various Stadium infrastructure upgrades and redevelopment like floodlights, playing turf, sitting arrangements, etc.
This makes some of the stadiums in the country rank amongst the best and most famous on the European football scene.
Best stadiums in France ranked by capacity – smallest to largest
15. Stade de la Meinau
Team: RC Strasbourg
The Stade de la Meinau is a football stadium in Strasbourg. Opened in 1914, it is one of the oldest football stadiums in France and has a seating capacity of 26,109.
Since 1984, the Stade de la Meinau has undergone renovations, including an expansion on five occasions. It is the home ground of RC Strasbourg.
It has hosted major football competitions, including the 1938 World Cup. Apart from football, it is has served as a venue for other social gatherings like concerts, anniversaries, etc.
14. Roazhon Park
Team: Stade Rennais
The Roazhon Park is a football stadium in Rennes, Brittany and home to French top-flight club Stade Rennais.
Opened in 1912, the Roazhon Park is one of the oldest football stadiums in France and is situated in the historic province of Brittany. It can hold 29,778 people.
It has hosted the French senior national teams and was one of the venues of the 2019 Women’s World Cup.
13. Stade de la Mosson
Team: Montpellier HSC
The Stade de la Mosson is a football stadium in Montpellier. It has a capacity of 32,900.
The Stade de la Mosson is the home of Ligue 1 club Montpellier HSC.
Apart from football, it also served as a venue for Rugby Union matches. It was also a venue for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
12. Stadium de Toulouse
Team: Toulouse FC
The Stadium de Toulouse is a multi-purpose stadium and home to French division club Toulouse Football Club.
It was built for rugby union and football matches. Mairie de Toulouse owns it.
Opened in 1937, the Stadium de Toulouse is one of the oldest multipurpose stadiums in France, along with the Stade de France.
It was one of the few stadiums in France specifically built for the 1938 FIFA World Cup. As per the design, buses and shuttles are stationed in various areas to convey fans to other locations in the city.
11. Stade Chaban-Delmas
Team: Union Bordeaux Bègles (Rugby Union)
The Stade Chaban-Delmas is a sporting stadium located in Bordeaux. It serves as a venue for football and rugby union matches.
It was the home ground of FC Girondins de Bordeaux until 2011. Currently, it is occupied by the Union Bordeaux Bègles Rugby Union team.
The Stade Chaban-Delmas was opened in 1938 and is one of the oldest football stadiums in France. It has also hosted major football competitions, including the 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cups and the 2007 Rugby World Cup.
The seating capacity of the stadium is 34,462. It was ideally located and suitable for a transport system that helps fans and supporters during matchdays.
10. Allianz Riviera
Team: OGC Nice
The Allianz Riviera, also known as the Stade de Nice, is a multi-use stadium in Rue Jules Bianchi, Saint-Isidore, Nice.
The stadium is one of the standouts in the French top flight. It is home to French Ligue 1 side OGC Nice and occasional home matches of rugby union club Toulon.
It has hosted several high profile football competitions, including the UEFA European Football Championship in 2016 and the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2019.
The stadium is also used to host musical concerts and could accommodate over 44,624 people, more than the capacity for football and rugby union matches.
9. Stade de la Beaujoire
Team: FC Nantes
The Stade de la Beaujoire, mostly known as Stade de la Beaujoire, is a Nantes, France.
The stadium was officially opened in 1984 with a seating capacity of 35,322. It is the home of the French football club FC Nantes.
The Stade de la Beaujoire was selected as one of the venues for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. Apart from football, it has been the venue for Rugby Union matches.
8. Stade Bollaert-Delelis
Team: RC Lens
The Stade Bollaert-Delelis, formerly known as Félix Bollaert, is a football stadium in Lens, France. Built in 1933, It is one of the oldest football stadiums in France.
The stadium’s capacity is 38,058 and is home to French football club RC Lens. It features four stands known as Henri Trannin, Tony Marek, Élie Delacourt and Max Lepagnot.
Stade Bollaert-Delelis has been used for international football competitions like the UEFA Euro 1984, 1998 FIFA World Cup, 1999 Rugby World Cup, UEFA Euro 2016, etc.
Apart from its primary purpose as a football stadium, the Stade Bollaert-Delelis has been a venue for Rugby Union matches.
Other French football teams like the Men’s National Team have also played some selected matches at the venue.
7. Stade Geoffroy-Guichard
Team: AS Saint-Étienne
The Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, nicknamed “Le Chaudron”, is a multi-purpose stadium in Saint-Étienne.
It is one of the most preferred destinations for football matches. It is home to the famous French football club AS Saint-Étienne.
Opened in 1931, the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard is one of the oldest football stadiums in France and has consistently hosted top-flight matches and other fixtures.
The Le Chaudron is a 41,965 seater Stadium and consist of four stands known as Charles Paret, Jean Snella, Pierre Faurand and Henri Point.
Tenants AS Saint-Étienne is one of the biggest football clubs in France historically. The club currently holds many top-flight titles, which stood at ten, followed by Paris Saint-Germain and Olympique Marseille.
6. Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux
Team: FC Girondins de Bordeaux
The Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux is one of the biggest football stadiums in France, located in Cours Jules-Ladoumègue, Bordeaux.
Currently also known as the Matmut Atlantique for sponsorship purposes, it is the home of FC Girondins de Bordeaux in the French top flight.
The stadium was opened in 2015, has a capacity of 42,115 and is owned by the City of Bordeaux and controlled by Stade Bordeaux-Atlantique.
Apart from football, it has hosted music concerts and rugby union matches. At some point, the French Men’s National Team adopted it as their home ground.
Tenants FC Girondins de Bordeaux is one of the biggest football clubs in France historically. The club has won the National Championship and Coupe de France.
5. Parc des Princes
Capacity: Paris Saint-Germain
The Parc des Princes is an all-seater football stadium in the French capital, Paris. Since 1972, Parc des Princes has been home to French heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain.
The Parc des Princes is a UEFA Category 4, with a seating capacity of 47,929 spectators and one of the best stadiums in France by design.
The all-seater stadium has four stands known as the Tribune Borelli, Tribune Auteuil, Tribune Paris, and Tribune Boulogne.
Indeed, the Parc des Princes is a beautiful Stadium from the exterior to the interior. Home to PSG, fans and supporters visit them during matches and stadium tours.
It was a venue for major football competitions, including the 1938 FIFA World Cup. Others include the 1972 Rugby League World Cup, the UEFA Euros in 1984, and the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2019.
4. Stade Pierre-Mauroy
Team: LOSC Lille
The Stade Pierre-Mauroy is a multi-use retractable roof stadium. It is a UEFA Category 4 stadium and is also used for selected matches of the French Men’s National Team.
In the French top flight, the Stade Pierre-Mauroy is home to LOSC Lille. Opened in 2012, it has a seating capacity of 50,186.
Interestingly, the Stade Pierre-Mauroy has a unique design. It has two floors or primary levels. The stadium features business seats, luxury-box seats, protocol seats, etc
Apart from football, it has been a venue for Basketball and music concerts. Tenants, LOSC Lille, won the 2020/2021 French Ligue 1 title amid pressure from Paris Saint-Germain to end a 10-year wait for the National Championship.
3. Parc Olympique Lyonnais
Team: Olympique Lyonnais
The Parc Olympique Lyonnais, known for sponsorship reasons as Groupama Stadium, is one of the newest football stadiums in France.
The Parc Olympique Lyonnais was opened in 2016 and replaced the Stade de Gerland, which served as the clubs home ground from 1950 to 2015.
The Parc Olympique Lyonnais has a seating capacity of 59,186. It is located in Décines-Charpieu, in the Lyon Metropolis.
It has played host to several football finals like the UEFA Euro 2016, the Coupe de la Ligue and the UEFA Europa League finals in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
Apart from football, the Parc Olympique Lyonnais has been a venue for Rugby Union matches and music concerts.
Owners Olympique Lyonnais is one of the biggest football clubs in France. Lyon won the French Ligue 1 title in 2002, starting a national record-setting streak of seven successive titles.
2. Stade Vélodrome
Team: Olympique de Marseille
The Stade Vélodrome, known as the Orange Vélodrome for sponsorship reasons, is a multi-purpose stadium and one of the finest owned and controlled by the City of Marseille.
The Stade Vélodrome was opened in 1937, making it one of the oldest football stadiums in France. It is home to Olympique Marseille of the French Ligue 1.
Since its establishment, it has been a venue for major football competitions, including the 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cup hosted by France. Marseille have also played their matches at the stadium.
The Stade Vélodrome was also used for Rugby Union matches like the Six Nations and the Heineken Cup.
The Stadium has some unique features, including a VIP hall, Projectors, Offices, Big screens, Loges, a Press gallery, etc. It has four stands.
Tenants Marseille is one of the top two biggest football clubs in France and Paris Saint-Germain. To date, Marseille is the only French club with a UEFA Champions League trophy.
1. Stade de France
Team: France Men’s National Team
The Stade de France or Stadium of France is the biggest football stadium in France. It serves as the country national stadium for international competitions such as France men’s national team World Cup, Nations League and European Championship qualifiers.
The Stade de France is also used to host national football finals like the Coupe de France and sometimes the Trophée des Champions. Previously, it used to host the finals of the Coupe de la Ligue until the competition was formally scrapped in 2020.
The French national Stadium is located just north of Paris, which is the capital city of France. The Stade de France has a seating capacity of 80,698.
Apart from football, it is used for other sporting activities like Rugby Union by the France rugby union team. It was also made suitable for Track and Field events.
Interestingly, it has a movable stand that can be retracted to uncover part of the athletics track. Also, it has a unique roofing style made up of tinted glass that reduces contrast and distributes natural light.
Other features include lights, soundproof, proper sitting arrangements and giant screens. Regarded as the best modular Stadium globally, the Stade de France has over three galleries.
Football in France – the famous teams
Football is the most popular sport in France. The sport is more like a national tradition, from the national team to club football competitions.
PSG – Paris Saint-Germain is the biggest football club in France in terms of finance and membership. The club has won the Ligue 1, Coupe de France, Coupe de la Ligue and Trophée des Champions.
In 2019, PSG was runner-up in the UEFA Champions League against Bayern Munich. The club is yet to win the most prestigious football competition on the continent.
Olympique de Marseille – Marseille is one of the two biggest football clubs in the country, along with Paris Saint-Germain. It is the only club that has won the UEFA Champions League in France.
France is one of the top destinations for football globally and houses some of the biggest stadiums in the world.