Enter the Orange Velodrome
A mythical stadium
When I get to the stadium, and after more than a year and a half without having been there, the feeling of finding an old friend is created in me. In front of this magnificent stadium in the heart of Marseille and surrounded by the crowds of fans, an exciting evening awaits.
As a big fan of the “Olympique de Marseille”, I’m looking forward to the start of the match. And I am far from alone. More than an hour before the match, I set up in the “Ganay” grand stand and the atmosphere is already charged. Almost all the spectators in the stands are exchanging ” Aux armes” (unified rallying chants of the supporters) and make the stadium and the city vibrate.
With a maximum authorised capacity of 50,000 (due to the health crisis) and the stadium is announced as complete, everyone knows that the match in the national league is going to make us anxious. On the stadium’s giant screens, the public is being interviewed. Aged from 3 to 80 years old, coming from Lille, Paris, Germany, or even England, that evening, the biggest fans or simply the curious ones have gathered to live an unforgettable experience at the Orange Velodrome Stadium.
An electric atmosphere
While waiting for the match, I decide to get something to eat in one of the many refreshment stands in the stadium. With my ham and butter in hand, I sit down and wait patiently for the start of the match. The stadium slowly fills up as the players start training on the field. The fans are holding up signs and I can see them starting to prepare their tifos (choreographed flag, sign or banner) to welcome the players as soon as the match starts.
At the Orange Velodrome Stadium, the tifos prepared by the Olympique de Marseille supporters’ clubs are known to be impressive (and I’m not saying that because I’m from Marseille).
At 8:45 pm, Van Halen’s “Jump” music sounds, the supporters stand up, the fans sing and brandish their tifos with the colours of OM. The match can begin!