The Stade Vélodrome originally hosted other sporting events (Tour de France cyclist arrivals, track cycling world championships from where it gets its name, athletics and gymnastics competitions and boxing and rugby matches). In the lead-up to the 1984 UEFA Championship, the stadium underwent modifications; the velodrome track gradually disappeared and was later completely destroyed to make way for stands.
In July 1992, FIFA’s executive committee (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) awarded the 16th World Cup to France. As some of the matches were to be held in Marseille, the decision was made to expand the stadium. An architect contest launched in May 1994 which the architect Jean-Pierre Buffi won. On September 4th 1997, the Stade Vélodrome welcomed the “World of Football” with the final stage draw for the World Cup. The stadium was completed on February 25th 1998 with the opening of the Northern stand (Allées Ray Grassi).
In preparation for Euro 2016, the stadium grew from 60,000 seats to 67,000 covered seats protected from the wind in 2014. The Stade Vélodrome is the second largest stadium in France after the Stade de France.