Stade Vélodrome lands club rugby showpieces

Marseille’s Stade Vélodrome has today (Monday) been awarded hosting rights to the finals of the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup rugby union competitions in 2020.

The French city’s iconic venue will host the matches on the weekend of May 22-23, 2020. The news was announced by the European Professional Club Rugby governing body and followed a competitive tender process conducted in conjunction with The Sports Consultancy.

Marseille will become the fourth French city to host a European Cup final after Bordeaux, Paris and Lyon. The Stade Vélodrome has a capacity of 67,000 and primarily serves as the home of Ligue 1 football club Olympique Marseille.

EPCR director general Vincent Gaillard said: “While France is a traditional stronghold of the great game of rugby, a European finals weekend in the city of Marseille will be a whole new experience both for local fans and for our loyal supporters who travel in their tens of thousands year after year.

“Having made history in Bilbao last season, and with all roads leading to Newcastle this season, we are certain that Marseille and the state-of-the art Stade de Marseille will deliver a truly memorable weekend on the Cote d’Azur as we celebrate the European Cup’s 25th anniversary.”

Jean-Claude Gaudin, Mayor of Marseille, added: “In selecting our city, EPCR has recognised a remarkable collective work on a successful bid project, worthy of the expectations of this major sporting event, which commands the attention and enthusiasm of the rugby world.”

The Vélodrome hosted matches during the 1998 FIFA World Cup, 2007 Rugby World Cup and UEFA Euro 2016.

The 2019 Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals are scheduled to take place at St James’ Park in Newcastle, England.

Image: Max Pixel