NANCY - STADE MARCEL PICOT - CAPACITY: 20,085 ALL SEATER
About the Stade Marcel-Picot The Stade Marcel-Picot is a smart looking stadium that has been developed significantly in recent years. The stadium dates back to 1926 when it was built for FC Nancy. It was completely rebuilt during the early part of the century, re-opening in 2003 as a 20,000 all seater venue. The club are passionately supported and it is not uncommon to see sell outs at the stadium. The stadium is very British in design with all four stands built in a uniform way, with each stand wrapping around into a single tier area – similar to the Walkers Stadium in Leicester or the St Mary’s stadium in Southampton. Views are excellent, especially the seats close to the pitch.
Who plays there? AS Nancy Lorraine returned to the top division in 2006 after five seasons out of the top flight. The club, formed from the collapse of FC Nancy in 1965 have not won the French Championship, although they came close during their golden period in the 1970’s when Michael Platini played for the club between 1973 and 1979. During this period they won the Second Division title, and the French Cup – and thus playing in Europe for the first time.
They won the League Cup in 2006, returning to the UEFA Cup after a nearly 20 year absence. They surprised most observers by coming back from a 1-0 defeat to Schalke 04 to win 3-2 on aggregate and thus qualify for the group stages. There they finished second in the group to Blackburn Rovers, although the group will be remembered for the violence in the match versus Feyenoord that ultimately resulted in the Dutch team’s expulsion from the tournament. Unfortunately, progress was halted by Ukranians Shakhtar Donestk in the next round.
Last season they were the team to beat for most of the first half of the season, finishing the first half of the season in 2nd place after some excellent performances at the Stade Marcel Picot, and the goals of Monsef Zerka and Youssouf Hadji. In the second half the form of Bordeaux and Lyon was impressive, and if it wasnt for a last day home defeat to Rennes they would have qualified for the Champions League 1st round, having instead to make do with a UEFA Cup spot.
How to get there The stadium is well served by public transport, with bus lines 161 and 163 running to the stadium as well as Tram line 1 from the main station. Stops Marcel Picot and Saint-Livier serve the stadium.
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Getting a ticket With an average attendance of over 18,000, sell outs are now a common occurance at the Marcel-Picot, so it is advisable to book tickets in advance. You can get them either in person from the club shop at the stadium, by phone on +39 3 83 30 15 86, email firstname.lastname@example.org or via their new online portal at http://www.asnle.net. Ticket prices range from €20 in the stands behind the goal (the Piantoni and Schuth) to €60 in the Presidentielle stands. A good seat for the neutral is in the Laterale Hazotte which costs €40.
Getting around Nancy's bus and tram system could be useful for moving around Greater Nancy, that is between downtown Nancy and its suburbs, but the majority of attractions are in town and can be seen by foot.
On buses, you can buy tickets (1.20 €) directly from the driver, but if you take the tram you'll need to use the vending machines at each stop. If you'll be moving around Greater Nancy a lot you might consider visiting one of the many Tabacs and purchasing a "Pass 10" (8.20 €) or "Pass 20" (14.20 €).
At the moment no UK carriers fly to the Metz Nancy airport which is located 12 miles north east of Lorraine. It is growing at a fast rate, handling around 500,000 passengers a year at the moment so I am sure it will not be long before a budget airline arrives in town. The nearest alternative airports are in Luxembourg which is 35 miles away and served by British Airways from London Gatwick and VLM from London City. The nearest budget airline route is Karlsruhe Baden Baden which is served on a daily basis by Ryanair from London Stansted, although you almost certainly then need a hire car to travel the 90 miles northwards to Lorraine.