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The Stade Bollaert is one of the more famous stadiums in France. With a capacity of about 41,000 it's also one of the largest, and was host to several World Cup '98 matches.
I saw a Ligue 1 match here in 2003, with the home side RC Lens hosting Nice. The match itself ended in a 0-0 draw, however I thoroughly enjoyed myself. French fans aren't known for being particularly boisterous (compared with their English counterparts, for example) but much of
stadium was on its feet shouting loud (and vulgar) cheers throughout the entire 90 minutes. All in all, the Stade Bollaert provided an excellent sporting atmosphere.
To put all this in perspective for my fellow Americans, I would equate soccer in Lens to Packer NFL football in Green Bay: it's the only show in town, which makes the fans just that much more passionate.... and downright crazy.
Cost: For my great seats near midfield about 10 rows up, I paid 24 euro. A relative bargain, considering equivalent seats for a San Francisco 49ers (my favorite NFL team) regular season game would cost about $300.
Bottom-line: For any American soccer fans, attending a high level match in Europe is an absolute MUST. Let's be honest, watching American pro soccer is a lot like watching Italian pro basketball: sure there are some decent players, but overall it just can't compare.
Updated Dec 19, 2005
You can't miss this place with its giant wooden pirate out in the street. Look out for the other wooden pirates who were lurking in the toilets. They soon decided to join us in the bar.
Dress Code: Eye patch and a parrot on your shoulder.
Written Feb 26, 2007
Address: Basely boulevard, 62300 Lens
Out of all the places I have visited in France, lens is by far and away the most passionate football supporting community, with most bars having the "Red and Yellow" colours of the local Racing Club de Lens adorning walls and windows. You cant miss the stadium & the club shop next to the ground is well worth a visit
Written Nov 30, 2002
This was my second trip to Lens to watch LOSC Lille in the Champions League. This time we came away with a win. The French police do not do you any favours here. They make you walk all around the ground to a turnstile which is not very well signposted. Then they make you go through countless checkpoints and then only let you into one end of the terrace behind the goal. This terrace then quickly becomes blocked with people who are trying to get in. No stewards to help you move down the terrace to where there is plenty of room. Then thy decide becacuse there is too much pushing going on that it's time to fire some tear gas at the crowd! Bloody idiots!
Written Feb 26, 2007
The home ground of FC Lens.
Took the day trip coach to the game in Lens, LOSC Lille Metropole v Manchester United.
I decided to go with the choice of having a ticket in the with the French supporters with my seat being on the top of the tallest stand to boot. Needed oxygen when I managed to find my seat.
Written Jul 5, 2006
Address: Avenue Alfred-Maes, BP 236, 62304 Lens Cedex
Of all the places in France I've visited Lns is certainly the most typically "English" type town when it comes to football - you find the red & yellow colours everywhere, shops, bars etc., and the ground itself could belong to any premier or first divison outfit. Close to the town centre, it dominates the place.
Written Apr 13, 2006