Creative Soccer Culture

Residence #61 | 'Stade Geoffroy-Guichard' Saint-Etienne

When the host cities were announced for EURO 2016 there was one ground in particular that stuck out for England fans. Saint-Etienne is a home from home for the Three Lions. Inspired by British stadia, the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard is a nostalgic cauldron of noise, a terraced treasure. The home of Michael Owen's France '98 wondergoal against Argentina. The home of ecstasy. The home of devastating heartache.

Stade Geoffroy-Guichard is renown in European football as a theatre of volume, and that electric atmosphere isn't something that has happened by chance. The home of AS Saint-Etienne was built brick by brick for noise, from the foundations right up to the tip of the floodlights. This stadium is raw football royalty and it was constructed to amplify and echo acoustics, making it bounce on match days. When ground has a nickname of "le Chaudron" (the Cauldron), or "l'enfer vert" (the Green Hell) then you know it's a serious venue.


Former president of the club, Roger Rocher is the man responsible for plugging that amp in and turning the volume up to the max. Rocher was a local miner who spent a lot of time in the UK in the 1950’s and that’s where he found the inspiration to build a stadium that was made on the values of the city. Four traditional steep stands, with the crowd as close as possible to the pitch, just like in England. Over time, the stadium has been tweaked to maximise seated capacity and in turn providing a unique look that could not be replicated, and that's typically the charm of English stadiums.

Having hosted the 1998 World Cup, the European Championships in 1984 and 2016, this stadium is a historic symbols of international football, but come when the owners are at home and it comes to life even more. Yeah, they're are seats behind that goal on the enormous kop, but they ain't for sitting on. When the ball hits the back of the net, there's a surge and you're ending up at least a few rows further forward, trust us.


The official capacity of Saint-Etienne's Stade Geoffroy-Guichard is 41,965.


Those angles... that colour. Beautiful.

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Over time the corners of the stadium have been filled in to further amplify the noise and increase capacity while providing a unique view of the the surrounding area.

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Proper one, this. Have a browse through our complete 'Residence' series here.


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