Did you know?

  • The first person to score a goal at the Stade de France was Zinedine Zidane
  • The stadium foundations are home to Europe’s largest reservoir covering 165,000m2
  • The roof of the stadium covers an area of 6 hectares and weighs 1 ½ times the Eiffel Tower 
  • The dressing rooms were designed by Michel Platini 
  • The big screens spread over 196m2

Located just outside Paris, the Stade de France® is the biggest stadium in France with a maximum capacity of 81,338 for football or rugby matches. 

Construction started in May 1995, and the stadium was inaugurated in January 1998. It was built for the 1998 Football World Cup to replace the Parc des Princes, which was felt to be too small. 

The stadium was designed to host several different sporting events, including football, rugby, athletics and motor racing, as well as concerts, large-scale shows and various other types of entertainment.

As the lower-tier stands are retractable, the maximum capacity changes, going from 75,000 for athletics meetings, to 81,338 for football, rugby, concerts and shows.

Architecture et innovation

The Stade de France® is the work of four architects – Michel Macary, Aymeric Zublena, Michel Regembal and Claude Costantini – who were inspired by the Worldport Terminal at JFK Airport in New York.

It is built on the former industrial wasteland of La Plaine Saint-Denis, in the exact same spot as an old gas works just by the Saint-Denis canal.

A true technical exploit for the time, the Stade de France incorporates innovation at every level – from the roof to the pitch. The impressive 13,000-tonne roof is designed to filter out the harmful rays of the sun while letting through those needed to allow the grass to grow properly. 

It is the largest modular stadium in the world. The mobile 25,000-capacity stand can be moved back 15m (49 feet) to reveal the athletics track.

The pitch was sunk 11m (36 feet) below ground level on purpose, so that the finished structure including the roof was no taller than the neighbouring Saint-Denis basilica.

Matches, concerts and shows at the Stade de France®

Since 1998, the Stade de France regularly hosts the football Cup finals for the Coupe de France and the Coupe de la Ligue, as well as Six Nations rugby matches and the French rugby championship final. 

The stadium’s athletics track has been privileged to welcome the 2003 World Championships, the Meeting Areva and even motor racing on both track and ice. 

Other than these sporting events, the Stade de France® also frequently puts on large-scale concerts and shows. Since the Rolling Stones played here in 1998, the biggest names of the international music scene, including AC/DC, Rihanna, Paul Mc McCartney and Madonna, have set the stage on fire in the stadium and been thoroughly impressed by the acoustics here. 

TO NOTE: The Stade de France will host seven matches of the Euro 2016, including the opening and the final.