METZ - STADE ST SYMPHORIEN - CAPACITY: 26,667 ALL SEATER
About the Stade Saint-Symphorien The Stade Saint-Symphorien is the biggest stadium in the region, holding nearly 27,000 fans. The stadium is a real mish-mash of designs. It is dominated by a three tier stand behind the goal, the lower tier being where the home fans congregate. The main stand is a two tier affair, the lower part being a small 8 row section of green seats, which offers good views although access to the stadium is via a walkway at the front of the stand, meaning that views are restricted in the first few rows.
Behind the other goal was a terrace area, although this was closed a few seasons ago, and no plans have been made for a replacement stand. The loss of this stand has affected the atmosphere to some extent, and with a lower average attendance in the past few seasons when they have been in the 2nd division means the traditional passion of the home support has been somewhat diminished.
Who plays there? The main club of the Lorraine Region is Football Club de Metz. They have played most of their football in the top league, and although they have never won the French Championship (their best finish was a 2nd place finish in 1998 behind RC Lens), they have been a main stay in the French league since their formation in 1932. They first played in the top division in 1965, and stayed there until they were relegated in 2001. During that period they also won the French Cup on two occasions (1984 and 1988) and the French League Cup twice (1986 and 1996).
They have played in Europe on a number of occasions including a victory over Barcelona in the 1984 European Cup Winners Cup first round. In 1999 they reached the final of the Intertoto Cup, where they lost 3-2 to West Ham after a Louis Saha goal gave them a 1-0 victory at Upton Park.
Last Season they won the 2nd Division to return to the top league after a two year absence. Last season they punched above their weight in the first half of the season, relying on an excellent home record but that came tumbling down in the second half as they were relegated with a handful of games left.
How to get there The stadium is part of a bigger sports complex located in the south west of the town. It is a 10 minute walk from the main railway and bus station. Come out of the station and turn left before heading in the direction of hospital de bon secours. Simply continue to follow this road and the stadium will be visible straight ahead, across the river. Green bus line 4 also runs this route, with more buses laid on on a match day.
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Getting a ticket With an average attendance of just 12,200 getting a ticket for a game to watch FC Metz is not difficult. On a match day, you can pick one up from the club shop in the Tribune Nord, or from the club shop in town. Alternatively you can reserve on by phone on +39 3 87 66 10 36 or via email on email@example.com. Tickets range in price from €8 in the Est and Ouest Tribunes to €50 in the Presidentiale Tribune. A good bet for the neutral is the side stands in the Tribune Nord which cost €38.
Getting around Local transport is mainly provided by TRCM network of buses. A single ticket on any bus is €1.10, and a day pass is €3.30. Everything in city centre is easily accessible on foot, and much of the main downtown/shopping area is pedestrianised.