The Stade Vélodrome is a symbol of the Olympique de Marseille and more generally of the Phocaean city. A special place, punctuated by every home match, where young and old meet and live their passion for football.
It was in the 1920s that the genesis of the Stade Vélodrome appeared. In the aftermath of the 1924 Paris Olympics, France wanted to develop its sports facilities and equipment. And Marseille and Paris do not have sports facilities worthy of the name. It is therefore necessary to put the heating blue.
Gabriel Valérian Deputy Mayor of the Sports Georges Ribot, proposed in 1930 in City Council a project of large stadium. The organization of the World Cup in France in 1938 accelerates this process. The Town Hall votes favorably on the construction of a Velodrome Stadium as well as a sports complex which will be located near the Michelet Boulevard. January 16, 1933, the green light is given. But the project of a sports palace with at least 15,000 seats is abandoned by the Marie, lack of resources. The project of the Velodrome Stadium is preserved to him.
Always in this dynamic to multiply sports facilities in Marseille, a large sports complex is also built on the Parc Chanot. The first installations were inaugurated in 1934 but the whole site was delivered in 1935. Marseille built rugby, basketball, athletics, tennis courts, gymnasium, football fields and even a bowling alley.
Concerning the Stade Vélodrome, the Parisian architect Henri Ploquin envisioned 35,000 seats with 12,000 covered. The first stone of the enclosure is laid April 28, 1935 by Georges Ribot. The Velodrome stadium was inaugurated two years later during an OM Gala match against Torino in front of 35,000 people on June 13, 1937. But it is the Cyclists who the Vel 'will be inaugurated a few hours before the football match. To conclude this special day, Olympique de Marseille beat Torino 2-1. History will remember that it was the Marseillais Zermani who scored the first goal in the history of the Velodrome.
But Stade Vélodrome is not greeted with great joy by some Phoenician fans. The Marseille fans, who had financed in the 1920s the construction of stands at the Stade de l'Huveaune, consider the latter as the real stadium of Olympique Marseille. The Vel 'is considered the stadium of the Town Hall. The rest of the story, all lovers of the balloon know it ...
A few decades later, several renovations are undertaken at the Stade Vélodrome especially for the organization of the European Championship 1984, the 1998 World Cup football and Euro 2016. The Boulevard Michelet has a capacity of 67,394 seats.