Marseille wins ‘competitive’ bidding process to stage 2020 Champions Cup final

MARSEILLE WILL HOST the 2020 Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals, becoming the third French city to stage the showpiece event of the European club rugby calendar.

The iconic Stadé Veldrome, home of Olympique de Marseille, will play host to the finals on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 May 2020.

The Stadé Velodrome in Marseille. Source: PA Archive/PA Images

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Marseille previously hosted the Challenge Cup decider between Cardiff Blues and Toulon in 2010, but it will be the first time the southern French city has staged the Champions Cup decider.

Having staged matches at the 1998 Fifa World Cup and 2007 Rugby World Cup, the Stadé Velodrome has considerable big-tournament pedigree and following its redevelopment in 2014, hosted six games at Euro 2016. 

Now a 67,000-seater capacity ground, the Stadé was the venue for France’s Six Nations clash with Italy last February and two Champions Cup semi-finals in recent years.  

Marseille will be the fourth French city to host a European Cup final after Bordeaux, Paris and Lyon, with Saracens beating Racing 92 in the 2016 decider at the renovated Grand Stade de Lyon.

So far, six countries — England, France, Ireland, Scotland, Spain and Wales — have staged European club finals, with this season’s showpiece matches to be played at St James’ Park in Newcastle on 10 and 11 May 2019.

Commenting on today’s announcement, EPCR director general, Vincent Gaillard, said: “While France is a traditional stronghold of the great game of rugby, a European finals weekend in the city of Marseille will be a whole new experience both for local fans and for our loyal supporters who travel in their tens of thousands year after year.

The EPCR also added that the successful bid for the 2021 finals will be announced at a later date. 

The 2018/19 Champions Cup campaign gets underway on Friday 12 October, with defending champions Leinster welcoming Wasps to the RDS.

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