The history of the Stade de France began when FIFA made a decision to select France to organise the FIFA World Cup. The architects Aymeric Zublena, Claude Constantini, Michel Macary and Michel Regembal designed the stadium with a construction cost of approximately 280 million euros. In 1995 a huge construction site was started and after 31 months the state of the art 'Stade de France' was finished.
The designers came up with a large elliptical diameter, which measures around 274m and covers a surface area of approximately 17 hectares with seating capacity for 80,000.
One of the distinguishing features of this modern stadium is its immense roof, which covers around 6 hectares and is illuminated for evening matches, but another major factor is a cushion of air that allows the lower stands to slide out in approximately 72 hours depending on the different configurations needed and the stadium can also be reconfigured to house a running track for track and field events. This was the case when the Stade de France played host to the 2003 World Championships in Athletics.
The Stade de France is situated in the Saint Denis area just outside of Paris, in the Ile de France region and was inaugurated in January 1998, and you might have been mistaken to think that the word France within its title related to the country, but in fact it actually relates to the area, as the stadium is located in the Plaine de France and a local title was what was wanted.
The French football team use the stadium for almost every home game, and it was there that they defeated Brazil in a 3-0 victory in the FIFA World Cup final of 1998 and it was the 1st time that France had ever won the World Cup. It was also the 1st time in 20 years that a host nation had captured the FIFA World Cup title.
For the past 3 years, the Stade de France has also been the host for the Race of Champions.
The Stade de France has hosted numerous concerts by performers such as George Michael, Sting, The Police, The Rolling Stones, although Celine Dion broke records with 2 nights with an attendance of over 90,000 fans for each night!
This incredible piece of architecture that was built specifically for the 1998 World Cup replaced the Parc des Princes as the home of French rugby and in their first rugby international held at the new stadium, France beat England 24-17. And in the year 2007 the stadium had a very important role as it hosted the high profile final of the Rugby World Cup.
The Stade de France is often considered to be a stadium for the 3rd millennium as this huge structure has numerous different uses and is well worth a visit and you can even have a guided tour backstage, but be sure to check before arrival, as the stadium is closed on certain dates due to different events that have been organised.