LE MANS - STADE OMNISPORTS LEON BOLLEE - CAPACITY: 16,674 ALL SEATER
About the Stade Omnisports Léon Bollée The Stade Léon Bollée is only 20 years old, but plans are well underway to replace it with a new stadium, called the Stade Le Mans in 2009. The only sell out in the stadium’s history was against Marseille in November 2005. It is a very basic stadium with one large covered stand, pictured above, two seated terraced areas that are open to the elements and a small covered stand filling most of the final side (the Tribune Claircigny).
Who plays there? The stadium is home to Le Mans UC72, one of this season’s surprise packages in Ligue 1. The club are one of the underperformers in French football, having never won the top league or reach a major cup final. The closest they came was successive semi-final appearances in the French League Cup in 2006 and 2007.
The club as we know it today only came into existence in 1985 when the local teams of USM Le Mans and SOM merged. In the past ten years, most of their time has been spent in the 2nd division. This season, under the leadership of Rudi Garcia they have confounded all expectations, especially with their home record.
How to get there The stadium is located close to the A11 on the outskirts of the town. It is easy to reach on foot – simply head north keeping the river on your right. When you reach the pedestrian Pont d’erfat the stadium is to your left. Allow 10 minutes to reach the stadium from Place de la Repubblica.
For a better overview of football in France, go to Footiemap.com to view their excellent and comprehensive graphical overview of French football.
Getting a ticket Sell outs are very rare at the stadium – the average attendance last season was just over 11,000. Tickets are sold in outlets around the town centre, including the club shop at the stadium, and online at http://www.muc72.fr. Ticket prices start from €18 behind the goal in the uncovered Tribune Auchan or Maine Libre to €50 for a place in the main Tribune SEM. A good seat for the neutral is in the Claircigny stand which is €35.
Getting around The centre of Le Mans is compact. Public buses are the best option, although available, but at the time of the writing (mid 2007), a tramway is under construction, and should be open for the end of March 2008. It will provide good access to the town centre from the train station. A single ticket for the network iwill cost €1.25.
Whilst there is a tiny airport at Le Mans, you will not be able to find any commercial flights there. Alternatively, the TGV rail network will cover the 200km journey within an hour from Paris Montparnasse. As a complete journey you could therefore fly to Charles De Gaulle and catch the TGV from there. See section on Paris for details of the airport.