French city Marseille have won the bid to host the 2020 Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals which will take place on the 22nd and 23rd of March 2020.
The games will be played in the Stade Velodrome and 2020 will mark the first occasion that the 67,000-capacity stadium has hosted the final of the tournament which is widely regarded as European rugby’s premier competition.
The atmospheric destination on the Cote d’Azur will become the fourth French city along with Bordeaux, Paris and Lyon to stage a European Cup final.
Commenting on the announcement, European Professional Club Rugby 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.
“Having made history in Bilbao last season, and with all roads leading to Newcastle this season, we are certain that Marseille and the state-of-the art Stade de Marseille will deliver a truly memorable weekend on the Cote d’Azur as we celebrate the European Cup’s 25th anniversary.”
Jean-Claude Gaudin, Mayor of Marseille, said:
“In selecting our city, EPCR has recognised a remarkable collective work on a successful bid project, worthy of the expectations of this major sporting event, which commands the attention and enthusiasm of the rugby world. After the European Year of Culture in 2013, UEFA EURO 2016, the European Year of Sport 2017, the Rugby World Cup 2023 and the hosting of the sailing events of the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2024, staging this top European club rugby weekend is further recognition for Marseille, now making us a member of an elite circle of sporting cities.”
So far, six countries – England, France, Ireland, Scotland, Spain and Wales – have staged European club finals, and this season’s Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup showpiece matches will take place at St James’ Park, Newcastle on 10 and 11 May 2019.