UEFA EURO 2016 football championship will be Europe’s biggest event of 2016. France will welcome a total number of 24 football teams. That means 51 game in total, also a greater chance of seeing your home nation in action.
Mostly here will unfold France’s football-mad neighbours – including Italy, Spain, Germany and, certainly, England – are set to turn the nation into one big fiesta from Paris to Nice.
Four key games will be hosted at Nice’s shiny new Allianz Stadium. Second largest French city of Marseille will host another six matches in its Stade Vélodrome. Even those without tickets can join the fun with giant screens, Fan Zones and beach parties across the French Riviera and Provence.
Ten stadiums across the country will host the record 51 games during next EURO2016. Most venues are either brand new, like Nice’s Allianz Stadium, or have been completely redeveloped, like Marseille’s Stade Velodrome.
Allianz Stadium, Nice
Nice’s 35,500 capacity Allianz Stadium will host three Group Stage matches on 12, 17 and 22 June, with a Last 16 eliminator on 27 June. Teams from Groups C, D and E will all be hosted in Nice, offering an even better chance of seeing the football stars.
UEFA capacity: 35,000
Tenants: OGC Nice
Opened: September 2013
• Plans for a new venue were first mooted around the start of the century, but construction of the Stade de Nice, located in Saint-Isidore near the Var river, did not get under way until 2011.
• The ecofriendly arena threw open its doors for OGC Nice’s 4-0 Ligue 1 win against Valenciennes FC on 22 September 2013. The crowds descended on the stadium over four hours before kick-off, with the four stands – Garibaldi, Ray, Ségurane and Sud – being officially inaugurated with a spectacular pyrotechnic display.
• Drawing over three times its own energy requirements from more than 4,000 solar panels, and with its own geothermal installation for heating, it uses rain water channelled from the stadium roof into four collection reservoirs for pitch watering.
The sixth largest football stadium in France also houses the Musée National du Sport (National Sport Museum), which moved to the Côte d’Azur from Paris and was officially inaugurated on 15 October 2014 in the company of the French sports minister, Patrick Kanner. More than 45,000 pieces and 400,000 documents, comprising one of the largest collections in the world, are now on show in the venue designed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte.
• The arena will likewise host rugby games, concerts and various other events with congress facilities also available to ensure 24/7 exploitation of the premises, located just 6km from France’s fifth-biggest city’s airport and within a 15-minute drive of the city centre.
UEFA EURO 2016 matches
12/06/16, 18.00: C3 v C4
17/06/16, 21.00: D1 v D3
22/06/16, 21.00: E4 v E1
Round of 16
27/06/16, 21.00: RB v RF
All kick-off times CET.
Stade Velodrome, Marseille
Marseille’s Stade Velodrome, France’s second largest stadium reopened in 2014 is up to accommodate 67,500 fans. As a tribute to both its size and sanctity, the stadium hosts five Group matches in June 2016, as well as a crunch Semi-Final on July 7th.
UEFA capacity: 67,000
Tenants: Olympique de Marseille
Reopened: October 2014 (original opened June 1937)
• Famously open to the elements in the past, the renovated stadium now features a roof. The estimated €267m makeover was carried out with the team still playing matches there, and was completed in September 2014.
• On 16 October 2014, the new Vélodrome was inaugurated by the mayor of Marseille, Jean-Claude Gaudin, joined by UEFA’s operations director, Martin Kallen, two members of the French government – sports minister Patrick Kanner and secretary of state for sports Thierry Braillard – and Martin Bouygues, CEO of Bouygues Group.
• The Stade Vélodrome opened its doors to visitors on the last weekend of October 2014 – 55,000 people headed down to the stadium and were able to visit the behind-the-scenes areas, the roof and the pitch.
• As its name suggests, Stade Vélodrome possessed a cycling track when it first opened in 1937, though the new venue’s opening ceremony was capped by a football match between Marseille and Italian side Torino FC.
• The stadium has also hosted sports as varied as athletics, rugby, boxing, tennis, hockey and even motorsports, though its days as an all-purpose arena ended when the cycling track was finally removed in 1985.
• Stade Vélodrome staged matches at the 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, with its capacity increased to 60,000 for the latter tournament; it also hosted games at the 1960 and 1984 UEFA European Championships.
• Located in the south of the city, on the north bank of the Huveaune river, the Vélodrome has regularly been used as a concert venue since the 1980s and has also hosted political rallies.
UEFA EURO 2016 matches
11/06/16, 21.00: B1 v B2
15/06/16, 21.00: FRA v A3
18/06/16, 18.00: F2 v F4
21/06/16, 18.00: C2 v C3
30/06/16, 21.00: W37 v W39
07/07/16, 21.00: W47 v W48
All kick-off times CET.
Air France, SNCF, Eurostar have added thousands of extra planes and trains in June 2016 to cope with demand.
The tickets to UEFA EURO 2016 matches will go on sale directly from the UEFA website in March 2016.
Opening match: Cat4: €75 / Cat3: €195 / Cat2: €395 / Cat1: €595
Group stage – Round of 16: Cat4: €25 / Cat3: €55 / Cat2: €105 / Cat1: €145
Quarter-finals: Cat4: €45 / Cat3: €85 / Cat2: €135 / Cat1: €195
Semi-finals: Cat4: €65 / Cat3: €165 / Cat2: €295 / Cat1: €495
Final: Cat4: €85 / Cat3: €295 / Cat2: €595 / Cat1: €895
Nothing beats a live game!
If you missed to buy a ticket, or attending to the live matches in stadiums is just too crowded for you, downtown Nice and central Marseille will host one of France’s largest Fan Zones with giant screens, DJs, fireworks.