From Cycling to Football: The Evolution of Orange Velodrome

Learn about the transformation of this stadium from a cycling track to a football arena.

The “Orange Velodrome” is a well-known landmark in the city of Marseille. Whenever a city’s team is playing at the stadium, the crowd tends to get out of hand.

Looking for a fun way to spend time with loved ones or other OM fans in authentic Marseille? Do you have an interest in the history that shaped our area? Then you must see the football field where so many famous people have played. In addition to its legendary status, this landmark has been an integral part of Phocaea for more than eight decades.

The stadium is open to visitors every day of the year. Learn the history of this famous location up close and personal. Follow the trail and enter the locker rooms, the sides of the pitch, the conference room, and many more restricted areas. You’ll have a good time seeing and listening to stories of the ‘Orange Velodrome’ Stadium and the Olympique de Marseille Football Club’s greatest moments.

The Stade Velodrome, like other contemporary stadiums, takes the form of a bowl. Tribune Jean Bouin, Tribune Ganay, Virage Sud, and Virage Nord are the names of its four remaining stands.

Away fans often sit on the lowest tier between the Virage Nord and the Tribune Ganay, while Marseille diehards like to congregate between the North and South stands. The club refers to this area as the Zone de Visiteur. The Nord and Sud stands appear to be one enormous concourse; however, there are really three levels to the stands.

Orange Velodrome, Farnce
Orange Velodrome, Farnce

Stade Velodrome: home of Olympique de Marseille

Since its opening in 1937, Olympique de Marseille has called the Stade Velodrome (now known as the Orange Velodrome for commercial reasons) home. The stadium has also been utilized for major international tournaments, including the 1998 World Cup and the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

Because of its versatility, the stadium occasionally plays home to RC Toulon rugby matches. With a capacity of 67,394, it is second only to the Stade de France as the largest club football stadium in France.

Since its inception in 1899, Olympique de Marseille has spent its whole existence playing in France’s Ligue 1. They have won the Ligue 1 championship nine times and the Coupe de France a record ten times. They won the Champions League in 1993, making them the only French team to do so.

View of Orange Velodrome, Farnce
View of Orange Velodrome, Farnce

History of Merchant logo Orange Vélodrome

Despite its name, football wasn’t the stadium’s original purpose when it opened in 1937. Events in other sports (such as the Tour de France cycle race and the track Cycle World Championships) began to take place gradually. Many families in Marseille attended these gatherings frequently. The history of the city of Marseille and its enchanted stadium officially began at this point.

The stadium was renovated in 1984 in preparation for the European Football Championships. The stadium’s cycling track vanished one by one when the stands were constructed.

France was chosen as the host country for the 1992 FIFA World Cup in July 1992. It was planned to expand the stadium in Marseille as some of the games would be played there. In May of 1994, they held a competition for architects and ultimately decided on a design by Jean-Pierre Buffi.

The Velodrome Stadium hosted the World Cup final draw on September 4, 1997, and the whole ‘World of Football’ was there. The North Stand (Allées Ray Grassi) opened on February 25, 1998, marking the completion of the stadium.

Stade Velodrome
Stade Velodrome

The stadium has been renovated in preparation for major events. The 1984 UEFA European Championship, 1998 FIFA World Cup, 2007 Rugby World Cup, and 2016 UEFA Euro all played a role, as did huge performances by artists like ACDC, Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, the Muse, and many more.

The ‘Orange Velodrome’ has been transformed into a state-of-the-art, climate-controlled arena. It satisfies all current accessibility and energy standards and has enough seating for 67,000 people.

The ‘Orange Velodrome’ Stadium is a state-of-the-art example of a digital and environmentally conscious venue, complete with a roof made from recycled rainwater. As a “UEFA Elite” venue, it is equipped with state-of-the-art communication technology.

How to get to Merchant logo Orange Vélodrome?

The Stade Velodrome is located on the outskirts of Marseille rather than in its downtown. However, the city’s superb Metro system makes it reasonably simple to reach.

You will arrive at the Saint Charles railway station in the center of Marseille. The Rond-Point du Prado and the Sainte Marguerite Dromel, both on the Southbound Metro line, are within walking distance of the stadium and may be reached from there.

Side-View of Orange Velodrome, Farnce
Side-View of Orange Velodrome, Farnce

Bus – Saint-Charles is the primary bus station in Marseille, as well as the main train terminal. Although the train is the most convenient option, this is where you should go if you’d prefer to take a bus. Stade Velodrome directions will be posted on a variety of signs and schedules across Saint-Charles.

Your best bet is to take the A55 To get to the stadium from the airport in Marseille. The same holds true if your home is up north in the city.

The airport in Marseille, Provence, is the primary air hub for the whole Alpes-Côte d’Azur area, including the city of Marseille itself. The distance between the stadium and the heart of Marseille is around 27 kilometers. Shuttle buses and trains travel frequently between the airport and the city, providing convenient transportation.


The Stade Vélodrome, originally opened in the south of Marseille in 1937, got its name from the bicycle track that surrounded the field there until 1971.

Orange Vélodrome is the new name for the facility. The telecom company finally agreed to be the stadium’s naming sponsor in 2016, ending a difficult search that had lasted several years.

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