Olympique de Marseille, Orange Velodrome, stadium tour
The stadium of Marseille was originally a velodrome, the name remains today. Reasons to take an Orange Velodrome stadium tour are;
You’re a huge Olympic Marseille fan
It has staged major World Cup games
It’s design is unique
Easy access to Marseille metro
Practice your French
You can buy tickets for the stadium tour online or at the Marseille tourist information office. The tours are given in French language. The guide will explain to you in English when not talking to the group as a whole.
The easiest way to get to Marseille stadium is by Metro. I was staying at a hotel in Vieux Port and I took metro line 2 from Noailles to Rond-Point du Prado. Wherever you take the metro from you need to get to Rond-Point du Prado on the red metro line 2. Once you exit the metro station you’ll see the huge stadium. It’s a 5 minute walk to the entrance (above).
The Orange Velodrome has featured in the 2 World Cups and 2 European Championships. It featured in the France 38 and 98 World Cups and in Euro 84 and 16. It also featured in the Rugby World Cup of 2007. The capacity of the stadium is 67,394. It’s a lot larger than it looks! The highest ever attendance was a match between Marseille and Paris SG. Famous matches held here have been the semi final of Euro 84 where France beat Portugal and went on to win the event. France beat Germany 2-0 here in the semi final of Euro 2016 but went on to lose in the final.
After the stadium was modified for the France 98 World Cup a lot of fans complained about it. They complained about the wind and rain which ruined their stadium experience. When France won their bid to host Euro 2016, Marseille finally solved the roof problem. Now fans can enjoy their match day experience with a roof covering the stadium. The roof is an impressive part of the stadium, it also made a visual improvement.
Home Team Dressing Room
The players have an allocated space in the dressing rooms. This discourages smaller groups emerging within the team. The manager controls who sits where and which location is best for the team. This means you can sit at your favorite Marseille players locker for a selfie! As well visiting the home team dressing room you’ll see the warm up area, massage tables and bathing area.
Away Team Dressing Room
You will not visit the away team dressing room as part of the tour. I was told that it’s exactly the same as the home team. The only difference being there are neutral colors. The visiting team do not have access to massage tables or warm up area. They do have a small bathing area.
As part of the tour you’re welcome to take photos where the famous managers sit during press conferences. As Marseille have featured regularly in Europe some of the most famous managers in the world have sat here. Patrice Evra, now infamous for his kung fu kick at Marseille has sat here. There will be other people taking the tour who also want their pictures taken. You should enjoy the incredibly comfy seats the journalists get to sit in whilst waiting your turn.
After visiting the changing rooms the guide will put the match day music on. You will then walk down the players tunnel just as the players do on match day. The kids will love this part of the tour. It’s another good area to get your Instagram photos of the day. Imagine walking down the tunnel when there are 67,000 fans screaming and booing.
At the end of the tour you’re invited to sit in the dug outs. You can take your selfies in the seats where so many famous players and managers have sat. Brazil played here in the France 98 World Cup semi final which means that Brazilian Ronaldo was here. When Portugal played here during Euro 2016, Cristiano Ronaldo was here.
You will see murals around the stadium in memory of the greats who have played here. It’s rare that English players move abroad and have success. It’s good to see that Chris Waddle is regarded as a legend in Marseille. He is one of the few English players to be successful abroad. Waddle played alongside French legend Jean-Pierre Papin. Marseille won the Champions League in 1993 a year after Waddle left. Stars such as Fabian Barthez, Rudi Völler and Marcel Desailly played during that campaign.
As you exit the tour you have the option to visit the club shop. In the club shop you can buy Marseille merchandise to remember your day at the Orange Velodrome.
Enjoy your Orange Velodrome stadium tour
Whilst the guide is explaining to the group in French is your chance to take photos. Then whilst the group are taking there photos you can ask the guide any questions about the tour. The guide will also explain to you what they just explained to the group in French.
Enjoy your visit to one of the most unique stadiums in the world.