From June 10-July 10, France will be the host of Europe?s
biggest football tournament, Euro 2016. It is the biggest sporting event to
come to France since the World Cup finals in 1998, with 51 matches taking place
over the course of the month. Nine cities throughout France will be doing the
honours of hosting the matches ? read on to find out where.
The French capital will be staging the majority of the
matches ? 12 in total, including the grand final on July 10. Seven of these
games will be held at the Stade de France, built for 1998?s World Cup final,
which has a capacity of 80,000. The other five matches will be hosts at the
Parc des Princes, the home ground of the Paris Saint-Germain football team, a
recently refurbished stadium which seats 45,000. If you don?t have a ticket,
don?t fret, as there will be an enormous fan zone by the Eiffel Tower, where
fans can gather and watch all the action unfold on a giant screen. Adding to
this atmosphere will be concert stages and numerous food areas.
Located on the Mediterranean coast, Marseille will be
hosting six of the matches, including one of the semi-finals. Stade Velodrome,
which can seat 67,000, will be where the matches are taking place, having had a
makeover, which included a roof installation, in 2014. You can also view the
matches from fan zones located on the Prado beachfront and near the MuCEM in
the harbour area.
Gateway to the Alps Lyon will also be hosting six matches,
including the second semi-final. Built especially for Euro 2016, the Stade des
Lumieres in the eastern suburbs will host the proceedings, with a capacity of
59,000. 20,000 fans will also be able to watch from the fanzone create in Place
Bellecour ? perfect if you don?t have a ticket.
The capital of the Loire
department, Saint-Étienne will host four of the matches at its Stade
Geoffrey-Guichard, also known by its nickname Le Chaudron (The Cauldron).
Outside of the staium, you can also see the action on the esplanade outside the
Gare de Chateaucreux, where a big screen will be showing football matches and
documentaries, while there?ll also be competitions and games to take part in.
Hosting five of Euro 2016?s
matches, wine capital of France Bordeaux has even had a new stadium built for
the occasion. The Nouveau Stade de Borddeaux seats 42,000 spectators, and was
designed by the Swiss architects behind Beijing?s Bird?s Nest, Herzog & de
Meuron. The enormous Place des Quinconces will also be showing all of the
matches on a big screen, accommodating up to 50,000 people.
Toulouse?s recently renovated
Stadium Municipal, located on the Ile de Grand Ramier, will be hosting four
Euro 2016 matches, and was built back in 1938 in order to host that year?s
World Cup. Alongside the Allees Jules-Guesde?s big screen displaying the
matches, the area will also include mini amateur tournaments as well as a human
Overlooking the Cote d?Azur,
the Allianz Riviera stadium, five kilometres north of the city?s airport, will
also be hosting four of the matches. Seating 35,000, the venue can be easily
reached from the city centre via shuttle bus. There will also be two fan zones
in Nice ? the Theatre de Verdure, home to the Nice Jazz Festival, and at a
beachside pavilion situated beside the iconic Promenade des Anglais, complete
with a sand pitch and several bars.
With a direct Eurostar link,
Lille is one of the easiest towns to reach for the tournament, with the
50,000-capacity Stade Pierre-Mauory hosting six of the matches, including a
quarter-final. The central Place Francois Mitterrand will also have a
30,000-capacity fan zone.
Perhaps the smallest of the
cities to host this year?s tournament, Lens is in fact a seasoned veteran in
hosting sporting events, with its Stade Bollaert-Delelis having hosted every
major French football and rugby tournament since its inception in 1933. The renovated
stadium is just a 10-minute walk from the city centre, and if you don?t have a
ticket, the fan zone on Place Jean Jaures will be equipped with a giant screen
showing all the action.
If you?re heading to France
to see one of the matches, hopefully you?ll have already arranged accommodation
ahead of the big event. Fear not if you haven?t, however, as we?ve got a host
of last minute villas in France where you?ll be able to relax in luxury and
comfort before seeing some top-class international football.
Image: Nazionale Calcio, available
under Creative Commons
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