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Stade de la Meinau

The Stade de la Meinau (French pronunciation: ​[stad də la mɛno]), commonly known as "La Meinau", is a football stadium in Strasbourg, France. It is the home ground of RC Strasbourg and has also hosted international matches, including one game of the 1938 World Cup, two games of Euro 1984 and the final of the Cup Winners' Cup in 1988. La Meinau has also been used as a venue for concerts and a mass by John Paul II in 1988. The stadium is owned by the Strasbourg municipality and is rented by the RC Strasbourg.

Stade de la Meinau
La Meinau
View of La Meinau
Location12, rue de l'Extenwoerth
CoordinatesCoordinates: 48°33′36.23″N 7°45′17.89″E / 48.5600639°N 7.7549694°E / 48.5600639; 7.7549694
OwnerTown of Strasbourg
OperatorRC Strasbourg
Field size110 x 68 m
Broke ground1906
Expanded1921, 1931, 1951, 1979–1984
RC Strasbourg (1914–present)


On 1 April 1914, as Strasbourg was still part of Germany following the Franco-Prussian War, RC Strasbourg, then called FC Neudorf, signed a 300 Deutsche Mark lease to use the Haemmerlé Garten, essentially a pitch surrounded by the woods in the then mainly rural district of Meinau. This would eventually serve as the ground where the stadium was constructed. Between 1906 and 1914, the pitch had been used by another team, FC Frankonia, and several lawsuits were necessary to evict that team from the ground.[1] Construction eventually proceeded and was completed in 1921 with a capacity of 30,000. During the 1938 FIFA World Cup, La Meinau hosted a first round game that saw Brazil eliminate Poland 6–5 after extra-time thanks to a hat-trick by Leônidas who scored one of the very first Bicycle kicks in the history of football.

In the four decades that followed, the facility was left essentially untouched. When France won the right to host the European Championship with Strasbourg as a venue, La Meinau was rebuilt from the ground up at a cost of just over FRF 120 million. It became a compact, fully rectangular stadium with quarter-corners between the four main stands (North, South, West and East), not unlike Dortmund's Westfalenstadion. Inaugurated on April 18, 1984, two months before the Euro, La Meinau hosted a record 44,566 for the first-round match between West Germany and Portugal match (0–0). The stadium remained state-of-the-art through the 1980s and hosted the 1988 UEFA Cup Winners Cup final that saw K.V. Mechelen defeat Ajax Amsterdam 1–0.

After the tragic events of Heysel, Hillsborough and Furiani, safety regulations were reinforced, progressively limiting the number of standing places. This change severely affected La Meinau since the stadium had large standing-only terraces all around the pitch. Capacity dropped from the initial 45,000 to 26,000, all seated. Hence, in 1996, RC Strasbourg could not rely on a large attendance when they hosted AC Milan for the 1995–96 UEFA Cup.[2] In 1993, La Meinau was considered as a strong potential candidate to host games for World Cup 1998 by Michel Platini, who organized the tournament, especially because of its proximity to Germany and Central Europe in general. However, at a time when the local team was performing erratically, the City of Strasbourg was unwilling to assume the cost of the works necessary to host the World Cup – estimated at FRF 200 million[3] – citing other costly projects under way, especially the tram.[4] (Since Metz also declined an invitation to host the cup, there were no games in 1998 in the whole Northeastern France.)

La Meinau was last refurbished in 2001 and its current capacity for league games is 29,320.[5] When France prepared its bid to host Euro 2016, Strasbourg came up again as a potential venue. However, RC Strasbourg had by then fallen into a steep sporting and financial decline that ultimately led to the liquidation of its professional section and a restart in the French fifth division. With no prospect of a profitable investment, the municipality withdrew from consideration as a host city and La Meinau was again left out of a major renovation.

RC Strasbourg taking on Olympique de Marseille at La Meinau in the opening game of the 2007/8 Ligue 1 season


  • Record attendance: 44,566 on 14 June 1984
West Germany  0 – 0  Portugal
Attendance: 44,566
Referee: Romualdas Yushka (Soviet Union)

  • Record attendance for a domestic league game: 39,033 on 20 November 1992
RC Strasbourg2 – 2Olympique Marseille
Frank Leboeuf   64'
Jean-Jacques Etamé   85'
(Report) Alen Bokšić   17'
Franck Sauzée   49'
Attendance: 39,033
Referee: Lartigot

France's national teams at la MeinauEdit

The France national football team have played three games in Strasbourg.

France  0–1  Norway
(Report) Odd Iversen   67'

France  1–0  West Germany
Bernard Genghini   79' (Report)

France  2–0  Finland
Patrice Loko   15'
Reynald Pedros   18'

The France women's national football team has played two games in Strasbourg.

France  0–3  United States
(Report) Carin Jennings-Gabarra  3'
Kristine Lilly  55'
Mia Hamm   65'
Attendance: 19,535

The French national rugby union team has played one game in Strasbourg.

4 November 1989
France   15–32   Australia
Pen: Cambérabéro (4/4) 4', 18', 21', 41'
Drop: Cambérabéro 10'
(Report) Tries: Horan 36', 79'
Williams 46'
Campese 64
Con: Lynagh (2/4) 46', 64'
Pen: Lynagh (4/4) 8', 13', 53', 56'
Stade de la Meinau, Strasbourg
Attendance: 29,568
Referee: Burger  

Non-sport eventsEdit

Lou Reed performed in 1993 and John Paul II visited in 1988
Date Event
9 October 1988 Pope John Paul II mass[6]
On the occasion of Strasbourg's 2000th Anniversary
23 June 1993 U2 Concert[7]
Supported by The Velvet Underground[8]
9 September 1994 Pink Floyd Concert[9]
22 June 2003 Johnny Hallyday Concert[10]
Supported by Yannick Noah[11]


  1. ^ Racingstub stadium history
  2. ^ Marcel Scotto, "La Meinau donne des regrets au Strasbourgeois, Le Monde, 17 octobre 1995. Match report
  3. ^ Marcel Scotto, "L'Alsace et la Lorraine privées de Coupe du monde", Le Monde, 5 juin 1998; Antoine Latham, "L'occasion manquée de la ville de Strasbourg", Les Echos, 7juillet 1998
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-12-06. Retrieved 2009-07-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^
  6. ^
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  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Idem.

External linksEdit