BORDEAUX - STADE JACQUES CHABAN-DELMAS - CAPACITY: 35,200 ALL SEATER
About the Stade Jacques Chaban-Delmas The Stade Jacques Chaban-Delmas is the current name for the stadium, having been named after the former mayor of the city. The original Parc Lescure was built in time for the 1938 World Cup when the stadium hosted a number of games. It has a reputation for hosting major tournament games including matches played during the 1984 European Championships, 1998 FIFA World Cup and the 2007 Rugby World Cup. It was also used to host the 1998 Heineken Cup Final when Bath won the trophy for the first time.
The stadium is an elliptical shape with a unique structured roof similar in design to the Gerland in Lyon, and parts of the old Main Road. The lower parts of the stands offer simple bench type seating that is not the most comfortable, and behind the goals large fencing obscures the view to some extent.
Who plays there? The Chaban-Delmas is the historical home of FC Girondins de Bordeaux. The five times winners of the French Champions are currently enjoying a good season, with former Manchester United and West Ham flop David Bellion scoring goals for fun under the leadership of first time coach Laurent Blanc.
The club also became one of the first French teams to reach a European Final when they reached the UEFA Cup Final in 1996, a run that started in July 1995 in the Intertoto Cup first round. On the way to the final they beat Real Betis, AC Milan and Slavia Prague before they met Bayern Munich in the final, although a 5-1 defeat over two legs was a bit harsh on them.
The club were formed in 1882 although it wasn’t until 1919 at the end of the Second World War that football was first played in the club. They won their first trophy in 1941 when they won the French Cup. Five years later they became the champions of France for the first time. This was to be the last trophy for over 30 years as the club seemed to chance managers as often as their shirts.
In 1983 they won the title again, and qualified for the first time for the European Cup where they surprised many by reaching the Semi-finals before losing 3-2 on aggregate to Juventus. They retained their trophy the following year, and within two years won the French Cup and the French League Cup twice (becoming the first ever French team to win both domestic cups in the same season). Within a few years the club had slid dramatically into Ligue 2, helped on their way by a financial crisis that meant that all of their talent, including the likes of Zinadine Zidane were sold off cheaply. It took them three more seasons to reach the heights of Ligue 1 again, and in 1999 they won their final French Championship.
In 2007/08 under the guidance of Laurent Blanc the team surprised most observers by finishing in 2nd place behind Lyon. In fact for a few glorious minutes on the last day of the season it appeared that the title would be heading to south west France as David Bellion's goal had put the team ahead away to Lens, whilst Lyon were struggling at Auxerre. However, with the promise of Champions League football, albeit at the qualifying stage coming to Bordeaux for the first time optimism is high - however one only has to remember that Toulouse were in the same situation 12 months ago to know how fickle fortunes can be in football.
How to get there The stadium is located in the south west of the city, just outside the inner ring road. It is a 5 minute walk from the City bus station. From the city centre you can get the Blue tram direct from Place du Palais or Hotel de Ville – 7 stops from the former – which takes less than 10 minutes.
For a better overview of watching football in Bordeaux, go to Footiemap.com to access their excellent maps of the city. Getting a ticket A surge in demand for tickets to see Bordeaux this season has seen the Chaban-Delmas sell out on a number of occasions as the team have challenged at the top of the table. Tickets can be purchased in advanced from the club shops in 77 Rue Sainte-Catherine, 84 Boulevard du Maréchal-Leclerc and Rue Joilot-Curie in nearby Le Haillan. Alternatively you can buy them online at http://www.girondins.com or by phone at +39 892 68 34 33. Tickets for the covered virages start from €9, with a seat in the main stand costing €32 to €42.
Getting around Bordeaux has a comprehensive network of buses and trams that run through the whole city from both sides of the Garonne River, crossing it at Pont de Pierre. There is also a electric bus route that runs through the pedestrian area of the city. Standard bus routes run from Place Gambetta and Gare Saint Jean to most destinations. Tickets for all modes of transport are €1.30 single or €8.80 for ten journeys.
Bordeaux airport is located 10km to the west of the city centre in the department of Gironde. It is one of the busiest in France handling over 3 million passengers a year. At the moment the only public transport to and from the city centre is the JetBus that runs every 40 minutes and costs €7 each way. A taxi should cost no more than €30.
The airport is served by British Airways from London Gatwick, Easyjet from London Luton and Bristol as well as BMIBaby from Birmingham and Manchester.