The first stage of the Stade Vélodrome's renovations for UEFA EURO 2016 were completed on Friday night as the revamped Ganay tribune opened for business.
The vast majority of the Ganay's 20,000 seats were filled for Olympique de Marseille's Ligue 1 meeting with FC Girondins de Bordeaux. The coin toss was performed in front of them and when André-Pierre Gignac struck just before half-time – the only goal of the game – they raised the roof for the first time in the iconic stadium's 76-year history. The Vélodrome is uncovered no more.
The construction of roofs covering every stand will be the most striking change to the venue when modifications are complete next summer. The evolution continues and on Friday as the seats on the Ganay filled the aisles on the opposite side of the pitch, in the Jean Bouin tribune, remained empty for the first time this season. Construction on the stand is already under way.
The renovations mean that the changing room have been temporarily rehoused in the North stand, a "strange" experience according to Benoît Cheyrou – but, on the night and long-term, an ultimately rewarding switch.
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