CAEN - STADE MICHEL D'ORNANO - CAPACITY: 21,500 ALL SEATER
About the Stade Michel d’Ornano The Stade Michel D’Ornano is one of the newest stadiums in French football. It was built on a Greenfield site in 1993 and opened to some fanfare in June of that year. It is very similar in design to Groningen’s stadium – four identical stands set out in green seats. The upper tier offers much better views, and facilities than the lower tier. The stadium is still yet to be tested with a capacity crowd, the largest being the game versus Marseille in December 2004 when 20,972 squeezed in the stadium.
Who plays there? Stade Malherbe de Caen is a French football team, playing in the city of Caen in Normandy. The team is named after François de Malherbe (1555-1628), a poet, critic and translator, who was a native of the region. Most of their history has been spent in the lower reaches of French football.
In the 2003/2004 season, Caen finished 2nd in Ligue 2, gaining promotion to Ligue 1 for the first time. Unfoturtunately their time at the top was limited to a single season as they were relegated on the last day of the season finishing in 18th place despite a surprise 3-2 away win at Marseille. But the main highlight of their season was making it into the final of the Coupe de la Ligue for the first time in their history. Their chance of a major trophy eluded them however, as they lost 2-1 to Strasbourg in the final in Paris. However, good times may be about to return as the club gained promotion on the last day of the 2006/07 season.
How to get there The stadium is located in the west of the town, a 15 minute walk from William the Conqueror’s castle. The nearest station to the stadium is the La Maladrerie which is a tramway station and only one stop from Gare St Martin in the town centre.
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Getting a ticket With average attendances rising season on season to the current 16,500 level, it is advisable to get a ticket in advance for some of the most popular games such as PSG and Marseille. Tickets can be bought from a number of outlets in the region, such as the Magasin Champion in Ouistreham, as well as from the club shop. You can also book tickets online at http://www.francebillet.com or http://www.ticketnet.fr. Tickets range in price from €13 in the Populaire stand behind the goal, to €35 in the Tribune d’honneur. A good value mid price seat is in the Premiere stand which costs €23.
Getting around The main public transport option in the city is the controversial tramway system that was opened in 2002. The network consists of two lines which serve 34 stops. A Single ticket costs €1.25 and a day pass €3.30.
Caen’s tiny airport is located 4 miles from the town centre and is currently only served by Air France with domestic flights from Lyon and Nice. The nearest airport that serves the UK is Rennes which is nearly 100 miles away. The easiest way to reach the town is via the daily ferry service from Portsmouth to Ouistreham which is a few miles away from Caen and linked by a free shuttle bus. The travel time from Portsmouth is 4 hours and a return ticket starts from £46.