The 2016 European Championships finally get underway this Friday, and hosts France have gone all-out to provide 10 of their best stadiums to host this summer’s football fest.
From Lens and Lille in the north, to Marseille and Nice in the south, the whole country is about to be taken over by football fever, as thousands upon thousands of fans prepare to make their way to support the 24 competing nations.
Some of this year’s venues will be familiar from the World Cup in 1998, while a few are brand spanking new (Ooh la la).
Here’s your one-stop Euro 2016 venue guide…
Stade de France – Saint-Denis
Lowdown – Built in 1998 for the World Cup, hosted that year’s final and will be the showpiece venue this year too, in addition to Friday’s opening game.
Capacity – 81,338
Club team – N/A
Stade Velodrome – Marseille
Lowdown – Opened in 1937, the Velodrome is the largest club ground in France. Will host England’s opening Group B game against Russia and a semi-final, amongst other contests.
Capacity – 67,394
Club team – Marseille
Parc Olympique Lyonnais – Lyon
Lowdown – One of four brand new stadiums this summer. Has only been Lyon’s home since January with its incumbents winning their first match in their new digs 4-1. Highlights will include Northern Ireland’s Group C tussle against Ukraine and a semi-final.
Capacity – 59,286
Club team – Olympique Lyonnais
Stade Pierre-Mauroy – Lille
Lowdown – Opened in 2012, the stadium is named after long-term Lille Mayor and French President Pierre Mauroy. Boasts a retractable roof and two floors. Will host Italy v Republic of Ireland on June 22 and a quarter-final.
Capacity – 50,186
Club team – Lille OSC
Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux – Bordeaux
Lowdown – Completed and opened in May 2015, boasts 900 stanchions outside the ground to support a ‘floating’ roof. Look out for Wales playing their opener here against Slovakia, Belgium v Republic of Ireland on June 18 and a quarter-final.
Capacity – 42,115
Club team – FC Girondins de Bordeaux
Stadium Municipal – Toulouse
Lowdown – Has previously hosted games for the 1938 and 1998 World Cups, plus the 2007 Rugby World Cup and Michael Jackson during his Dangerous World Tour in 1992. It’s also the smallest venue in use this year. The crunch clash between Russia v Wales on June 20 will be held here.
Capacity – 33,150
Club team – Toulouse FC
Stade Bollaert-Delelis – Lens
Lowdown – The most Anglo-esque stadium at the tournament with four large separate stands, Lens’ home turf will play host to a major football event for the third time with THAT clash between England and Wales on June 16 the undoubted highlight.
Capacity – 38,223
Club team – RC Lens
Stade de Nice – Nice
Lowdown – Another shiny new stadium, the Stade de Nice was opened in 2013. Is home to France’s National Football Museum, and boasts 4,000 solar panels, geothermal heating, while the pitch is watered via a rain-collection system. Its first game will be the clash between Poland and Northern Ireland on June 12.
Capacity – 35,624
Club team – OGC Nice
Stade Geoffroy-Guichard – Saint-Etienne
Lowdown – England play Slovakia here, and will hope to do better than their last visit to Saint-Etienne, when David Beckham was infamously sent-off in the World Cup exit to Argentina in 1998.
Capacity – 41,965
Club team – AS Saint-Etienne
Parc des Princes – Paris
Stat – Home to PSG since 1973, the Parc des Princes has been in use since by the nobility back in 18th century. Has been a sporting venue for 119 years and hosted the Tour De France finale in 1903.
Capacity – 48,712
Club team – Paris Saint-Germain
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.