Designed by the architect Henri Ploquin and opened in 1937, the Stade Velodrome is an iconic monument that has witnessed the finest moments in Marseille’s sporting history. In its early years, it hosted a wide variety of disciplines, including cycling (hence the name), athletics, rugby, football and even motorcycle and car races. It could originally hold 35,000 spectators but underwent several extensions throughout the 20th century, most notably ahead of the 1998 World Cup, when its capacity increased to 60,000. Recognised around the world as the home of Olympique de Marseille, it also hosts various high-profile events, such as important rugby matches and concerts.
Now a new chapter is opening in the history of the Stade Velodrome with the current renovation project which is due to be completed in 2014, in time to be approved for EURO 2016.