The French top-flight league in football is called the Ligue 1. It’s one of the strongest leagues in the world, especially since Qatari investors acquired the club in 2011.
Rugby is also fairly popular in France and is played in most stadiums. Other uses of stadiums in France are athletics events (although none of the stadiums in this list feature a track) and concerts.
Although most of the arenas aren’t as big as most of the largest stadiums in the US, there are still some magnificent stadiums in the country.
Below is a list of the 10 biggest stadiums in France.
1. Stade de France
- Location: Saint-Denis
- Capacity: 80,698
The Stade de France is the largest stadium in France by quite some distance. It’s located in the commune of Saint-Denis in the northern suburbs of Paris, and just like Wembley Stadium in London, it serves as the national stadium in the country. With a capacity of over 80,000 spectators, it’s one of the biggest stadiums in Europe.
The stadium was constructed between 1995 and 1998 and was built to serve as the main venue of the 1998 FIFA World Cup. It also served as the venue of the 1999 and 2007 Rugby World Cup. Only one other stadium in the world, the Nissan Stadium in Yokohama, served as the venue of the world cup of both sports.
2. Stade Vélodrome
- Location: Marseille
- Capacity: 67,394
The Stade Vélodrome is the home of the French football club Olympique Marseille which makes it the largest club stadium in France. The original version of the stadium was completed between 1935 and 1937 and was also used for cycling competitions, the reason why it was given its name.
The stadium was completely renovated and expanded in the 21st century, a project that was completed in 2014. This added roofs to the otherwise nearly roofless stadium. It’s also frequently used by the French National Rugby team and was a venue of the 2007 Rugby World Cup.
3. Parc Olympique Lyonnais
- Location: Lyon
- Capacity: 59,186
Parc Olympique Lyonnais has been the new home of the French football club Olympic Lyonnais since 2016. It’s a newly constructed arena that replaced their old stadium called the Stade de Gerland.
The stadium seats nearly 60,000 spectators and significantly increased the capacity of their old stadium which had just 35,000 seats. The stadium was instantly used for a major event as it hosted games of the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament.
4. Stade Pierre-Mauroy
- Location: Lille
- Capacity: 50,186
The Stade Pierre-Mauroy is the home stadium of LOSC Lille, the football club of the northern French city of Lille. It was constructed between 2009 and 2012 and the large stadium in France was originally called the “Grand Stade Lille Métropole.”
The most amazing feature of the stadium apart from the fact that it can seat over 50,000 spectators is that it features a retractable roof. This means that it can be used for a variety of other purposes apart from football matches such as basketball games and concerts. The EuroBasket 2015 tournament was held at the stadium.
5. Parc des Princes
- Location: Paris
- Capacity: 47,929
The Parc des Princes has been one of the most exciting stadiums in France to visit when its home club Paris-Saint Germain plays games. That’s because the Qatari investors who own the club have spent quite a bit of money already on top-rated players, including Neymar, Kylian Mbappé, and Lionel Messi.
The stadium is located in the western part of Paris, just south of the immense park called the Bois de Boulogne. The original stadium in this location was coànstructed in 1897 and called the Stade Vélodrome du Parc des Princes. The current stadium dates back to the 1960s although it received a serious facelift between 2014 and 2016.
6. Matmut Atlantique
- Location: Bordeaux
- Capacity: 42,115
The Matmut Atlantique is the official name of a stadium referred to as the “Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux” or “New Stadium of Bordeaux.” Just like the stadium in Lyon, it replaced the old stadium of the local French football club called “FC Girondins de Bordeaux”
The old stadium is called the Stade Chaban-Delmas and features 34,694 seats. It was constructed during the 1930s and is seriously outdated. That’s why it was replaced by the magnificent football temple that was inaugurated on May 18, 2015.
7. Stade Geoffroy-Guichard
- Location: Saint-Étienne
- Capacity: 41,965
Stade Geoffroy-Guichard is the home of the French football club AS Saint-Etienne, commonly known as “Les Verts.” The fans of this football club are extremely passionate which is why the stadium has earned the nicknames “Le Chaudron” or “the Cauldron” and “l’Enfer Vert” or “the Green Hell.”
The stadium was constructed between 1930 and 1931 but has been renovated and expanded several times throughout its history, including a project that was completed between 2014 and 2016. The stadium was one of the venues of the 1998 FIFA World Cup and hosted one of the Round of 16 matches between England and Argentina (which England lost after penalties by 4-3).
8. Stade Bollaert-Delelis
- Location: Lens
- Capacity: 38,058
The Stade Bollaert-Delelis is a stadium in the northern French city of Lens. It’s another stadium with passionate fans of home club RC Lens. These fans come from areas around the city because the capacity of the stadium is 38,058 while the city is only home to fewer than 32,000 inhabitants.
The stadium was constructed in the early 1930s and named after a local mine director named Félix Bollaert. The name was changed to include a former mayor of the city, André Delelis, who passed away in 2012. The stadium was renovated in 2014-2015 and hosted games of both the FIFA World Cup of 1998 and the UEFA Euro 2016 tournaments.
9. Allianz Riviera
- Location: Nice
- Capacity: 36,178
Allianz Riviera can be described as the smaller brother of the Allianz Arena, the amazing stadium in Germany that is the home of Bayern Munich in the capital of the state of Bavaria in southern Germany. The stadium in southern France is the home of OGC Nice and is also sometimes referred to as the “Stade de Nice.”
The stadium was completed between 2011 and 2013 for a healthy sum of €250 million. It hosted several games of the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament. It’s also used for several other things, including rugby matches and concerts.
10. Stade de la Beaujoire
- Location: Nantes
- Capacity: 35,322
The Stade de la Beaujoire is a stadium in the city of Nantes and the home of the French football club FC Nantes. It first opened its doors in 1984 and was completely renovated to serve as one of the venues of the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
Despite the fairly low capacity compared to other stadiums, it hosted a spectacular quarter-final during this event between Brazil and Denmark (won by Brazil by 3-2). The stadium was nearly demolished in favor of a new arena called “YelloPark.” The planned 40,000-seat stadium was shelved in 2019.