The Beaujoire Stadium is a big sports place in Nantes, France. It’s the home field for the soccer team FC Nantes. The stadium opened in 1984 and can hold about 38,000 fans. It’s not just for soccer; they’ve had rugby games there too.
Before this stadium was built, FC Nantes used to play at a smaller, older place called Marcel-Saupin Stadium. The Beaujoire Stadium got built because they needed a bigger and better spot for games. It’s had some big moments, like World Cup matches and other international games.
About Beaujoire Stadium
The Beaujoire Stadium in Nantes is the home of the soccer team FC Nantes. It opened on May 8, 1984, and around 30,000 fans came to watch a game between FC Nantes and Romania. The stadium is named after Louis Fonteneau, who used to run FC Nantes.
Originally, the stadium could hold nearly 53,000 people. But after a makeover in 1998, it now has room for about 38,000 fans. The most crowded it’s ever been was for a France vs. Belgium game in 1984, with 51,359 people.
It’s not just a soccer place; it’s hosted rugby too. France played against New Zealand here in 1986, and in 2007, it hosted three Rugby World Cup games.The stadium has also been part of other big sports events. For example, it was used in the 1984 UEFA Euro tournament and the 1998 World Cup. But it wasn’t chosen for the 2016 UEFA Euro.
History of Beaujoire Stadium
The French national soccer team has played here five times, the last time being a friendly match against Bolivia in 2019.Before Beaujoire, FC Nantes played at the Marcel-Saupin Stadium, which was smaller and not as nice.
Fonteneau came up with the idea for a new stadium in the late ’70s and worked hard to get it built. The government helped with the costs because France was hosting the 1984 European Football Championship. They decided to build the new stadium in the northeast part of the city on land that used to have houses for factory workers.
The construction took about 16 months and up to 250 people worked on it at peak times. It cost around 100 million francs, with almost half of that coming from government funds. The project was finished on time, and the last game at the old Marcel-Saupin Stadium was a win for FC Nantes against AS Saint-Étienne.
The first years
The Beaujoire Stadium in Nantes, France, opened its doors on May 8, 1984, with a friendly soccer match between FC Nantes and Romania. Originally, it could hold about 53,000 people. Fans loved the easy access and the awesome views, even though it could get pretty windy.
FC Nantes played their first official game there on August 17, 1984, beating Toulon 3-1. The place later got named La Beaujoire – Louis Fonteneau, after the guy who was in charge of FC Nantes at the time.Years later, in 1995, FC Nantes won a national title there. The stadium has been the site of some major matches, like a semi-final in the Champions League against Juventus.
This stadium is not just for soccer, though. This stadium has had rugby matches, too. France even beat New Zealand there in 1986. And in 1997, it hosted a game between England and Italy as a practice run for the 1998 World Cup.
The Renovation in 1998 & after that
In 1998, La Beaujoire Stadium got a big makeover for the World Cup in France. The updates cost about 42.84 million francs and included:
- Wind shields to block the wind
- 15,000 new seats, making the total capacity 38,285
- Better entrances and more of them
- A new field
- Brighter lights
- A new sound system
- Security cameras
- Separated sections in the stands for safety
- 20 new private boxes
- A second big screen and fixing up the old one
The stadium held six World Cup matches, including a big quarter-final game between Brazil and Denmark. Teams from Spain, the U.S., and Japan also played there.
In the 1998-1999 season, the stadium got rid of the fences around the field. This changes made it easier for fans to watch the game and feel more involved. In 2001, the French soccer team played their third game at this stadium, beating Denmark 1-0.
1. Renovation in 2007
In 2007, the stadium had three Rugby World Cup games with teams like Wales and England. Later that year, the French soccer team beat Lithuania 2-0 in a Euro 2008 qualifying game. In that game, Thierry Henry broke the record for most goals scored for France.
After FC Nantes got bumped down to Ligue 2 in 2007, the stadium wasn’t in France’s top soccer league for the first time ever.In 2008, the stadium got some updates that cost €1.5 million. Around the same time, Waldemar Kita, the new president of FC Nantes, suggested building a new stadium or making big changes to the existing one.
2. Renovation in 2008
In March 2008, the stadium hosted a memorable game where a lower-ranked team, USJA Carquefou, beat a top team, Olympique de Marseille, in the Coupe de France.In 2010, the stadium hosted a charity match to help storm victims, raising 400,000 euros.
Although the stadium was considered for the 2016 European Championship, it didn’t make the cut because the requirements were too tough to meet.Starting January 1, 2015, the stadium became a metropolitan facility. In 2016 and 2019, the stadium hosted friendly soccer matches featuring France against Cameroon and Bolivia.
What are the stadium figures?
The Beaujoire Stadium in Nantes, France, is pretty big, covering an area of 14,000 square meters. It’s 230 meters wide from north to south and 200 meters long from east to west. The stadium is 37 meters at its tallest point. The field size is 105 meters by 68 meters.
If you’re sitting in the farthest seat in the Jules-Verne stand, you’d be 50 meters away from the sideline. The stadium took 16 months to build, including studies and even seeding the lawn a year in advance.
When it comes to the technical stuff, the stadium’s foundation is built on 262 piles, and they used 20,000 cubic meters of concrete for the construction. The metal framework and reinforcements weigh a whopping 2,000 tonnes.
Originally, the stadium could hold about 53,000 people, but now it has 35,322 seats. The stadium is well-lit, with lighting of 1,598 lux, and there are two giant screens for fans to catch every detail.
For the people, there are 600 stewards and 80 first aiders at each match to make sure everything runs smoothly and safely. If you’re interested in food and meetings, there’s a restaurant that can seat around 100 people and also has seminar rooms.
The seats in the stadium have been yellow and green since 2017, changing from the former gray and blue. Generally, the stadium is a great place for both games and events.
Behind one of the goals at the Stade de la Beaujoire is a special section where the most passionate Nantes fans hang out. In football lingo, it’s called the Kop. Over time, different fan clubs have called this place home.It all started with a group called the Loire-Side in 1985.
However, they were disbanded in 1990 by FC Nantes’ management after an incident involving a fire in another stadium. After that, two groups emerged: the Young Boys, who were more moderate, and the Urban Service, who were more intense. Both groups faded away by 1998 due to a lack of new members and enthusiasm.
In 1999, a new group called Ultra was formed, adding fresh energy to the stadium’s atmosphere. Unlike the earlier groups, which were inspired by Nordic fan culture, Ultra took cues from Italian football fans. They were the main group supporting Nantes from the Kop for quite some time.
Fast forward to today, and there’s a group called the Brigade Loire that’s holding down the fort in the Kop. They’ve got around 300 members and are the main group you’ll see at Nantes games these days.
There’s also another fan group, but they’re located in a different section of the stadium, called the Erdre stand. So, whether it’s the Brigade Loire or some other fan group, the Kop at the Stade de la Beaujoire is where you’ll find the heart and soul of Nantes’ football fandom.
In the 2004-2005 soccer season, the Erdre stand at the Stade de la Beaujoire got its first fan group called the Magic Canaris. They tried to bring some energy to the games and wanted to have a friendly rivalry with the fans in the Loire stand.
They even came up with their own songs to compete with the Loire fans. However, things didn’t go so well for them. They didn’t get a warm welcome, and because they were a small group, they eventually had to move to the side of the stand. By the end of the 2012/2013 season, the Magic Canaris decided to call it quits.
Starting in the 2013/2014 season, as FC Nantes moved up to Ligue 1, a new fan group appeared in the Erdre stand. They called themselves “Passion Nantes Supp’ Erdre,” but most people just refer to them as the “Kop Erdre.” This group aimed to bring life to the Erdre stand and to keep up with the more famous Loire stand, and they’ve been growing ever since.
Fast forward to now, and the fan group in the Erdre stand has evolved and is currently known as “Activ Nantes Support.” They’ve been pretty successful in getting the crowd going and making the Erdre stand a lively place during games, similar to the energy in the Loire stand.
Tribune Jules Verne
The Jules-Verne stand in the stadium usually has fewer people sitting in it compared to other areas. This is likely because it’s farther away from the field. When there are Ligue 2 matches, this stand is often closed and fans usually sit in the Océane, Loire, Erdre, and Presidential stands instead.
The Tribune Océane is a big stand on the side of the stadium, split into an upper and lower section. It’s the largest stand in terms of how many people it can hold. It’s across from the Jules-Verne and Presidential stands and is usually where families like to sit.
Beaujoire Stadium in Nantes, France, is where the soccer team FC Nantes plays. It opened in 1984 and can seat around 38,000 people. It’s not just for soccer; rugby games happen there too. The stadium has had some upgrades like wind shields and better lights to make it comfy and safe for fans.
Different parts of the stadium have special vibes. Tribune Océane is the biggest area and is family-friendly. The Tribune Loire, or the Kop, is where the super fans go to make noise. The Erdre stand also has its own fan club, now called Activ Nantes Support. The Jules-Verne stand is not as popular because it’s far from the action.
Even though the stadium has seen better and worse days, like when FC Nantes moved down a league in 2007, it’s still a big deal in Nantes sports. It’s had a renovation and might get more in the future. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or just there for fun, Beaujoire Stadium has something for you.