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Football: The 10 Euro 2016 stadiums

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PARIS: The 10 stadiums which will host Euro 2016 in France starting Friday:

 

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Stade de France (Paris)

Capacity: 80,000

Fixtures: Opening match between hosts France and Romania and three other group stage games, a round of 16 match, a quarter-final and the July 10 final

Built for the 1998 World Cup won by France, the Stade de France serves as the national stadium and is the country’s biggest. The ground was targeted by three suicide bombers in a wave of coordinated attacks across Paris on November 13. The assailants failed to get inside the stadium, but one person was killed after they blew themselves up outside the venue.

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Stade Velodrome (Marseille)

Capacity: 67,000

Fixtures: Four group stage matches, a quarter-final and a semi-final

Opened in 1937 with a cycling track, the Velodrome was renovated, expanded and reopened in 2014 as the second largest stadium in France. Renovation works, with the addition of a roof shielding fans and players from the elements, cost 268 million euros, but Marseille’s struggles this season often resulted in sparse crowds.

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Stade de Lyon (Lyon)

Capacity 67,000

Fixtures: Four group stage matches, a round of 16 match and a semi-final

Referred to as the gastronomic capital of the world, Lyon also has a state-of-the-art football facility after the new stadium replaced the outdated Stade de Gerland in January. A long-term project of Lyon president Jean-Michel Auluas, the pitch of the seven-time French champions has been laid with hybrid grass to help protect against wear and tear.

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Stade Pierre-Mauroy (Lille)

Capacity: 50,000

Fixtures: Four group stage matches, a round of 16 match and a quarter-final

Situated on the outskirts of Lille and fitted with a retractable roof, the ground was opened in August 2012. The stadium also hosted the 2014 Davis Cup final between France and Switzerland while staging concerts performed by the likes of pop superstar Rihanna.

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Parc des Princes (Paris)

Capacity: 45,000

Fixtures: Four group stage matches and a round of 16 match

Home to French heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain, the stadium is the third to be built on the site since 1897. The current structure, opened in 1972, has had minor improvements made ahead of Euro 2016 with former Aston Villa chief groundsman Jonathan Calderwood helping transform the playing surface into one of Europe’s finest.

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Stade de Bordeaux (Bordeaux)

Capacity: 42,000

Fixtures: Four group stage matches and a quarter-final

Bordeaux is world-renowned for its wine, producing some 800 million bottles annually, and has more listed buildings than any other French city outside Paris. In May 2015, the brand new Stade de Bordeaux opened after 26 months of construction and took the place of Les Girondins’ former home, the Stade Chaban-Delmas.

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Stade Geoffroy-Guichard (Saint-Etienne)

Capacity: 42,000

Fixtures: Three group stage matches and a round of 16 match

Nicknamed Le Chaudron (the cauldron) for its reputation for atmosphere, the stadium was first opened in 1931. Famed for its “English style” design with four separate stands, it has been regarded as one of France’s main stadiums ever since the great Saint-Etienne teams of the 1970s.

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Stade Felix-Bollaert-Delelis (Lens)

Capacity: 35,000

Fixtures: Three group stage matches and a round of 16 match

The only one of 10 venues not home to a first division side, the stadium underwent an 18-month facelift between 2013 and 2015 but plans to increase the capacity to 44,000 were scaled back due to financial problems.

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Stade de Nice (Nice)

Capacity: 35,000

Fixtures: Three group stage matches and a round of 16 match

Nice’s eco-friendly arena opened in September 2013. Rain water collected from the stadium roof is used to water the pitch, with the venue drawing its energy supply from thousands of solar panels. It also houses the Musee National du Sport following its relocation from Paris.

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Stadium municipal (Toulouse)

Capacity: 33,000

Fixtures: Three group stage matches and a round of 16 match.

Named ‘La Ville Rose’ (the Pink City) on account of the terracotta bricks used in many of its buildings, Toulouse’s municipal stadium — located on an island in the heart of the the city — was also refurbished ahead of the football extravaganza. In 2001, the stadium underwent repairs after a deadly explosion at a nearby chemical plant.

 

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