Stade Bollaert-Delelis: RC Lens

Stade Bollaert-Delelis, Avenue Alfred Maes, Lens, 62300, France
By Liondartois (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Stade Bollaert-Delelis has been the ground that Racing Club de Lens has called home since 1933. The only year the club didn’t play there was in the 2014-2015 season when they played elsewhere as the stadium was being renovated in preparation for hosting matches in the 2016 European Championships. The ground was initially called Stade Félix-Bollaert, named after the commercial director of the mining company that brought football to the region. The name of André Delelis, the former mayor of Lens who was credited with saving the ground, was added after his death in 2012.

Lens have had an up and down history in the French league, both literally and metaphorically. They won Ligue 1 in the 1997-1998 season and have finished runners-up four times. They have won Ligue 2 four times, most recently in the 2008-2009 season. They have never won the Coupe de France, though they have lost in the final three times. They’ve picked up three Coupe de la Ligue trophies, three Coupe Drago trophies and three Coupe Gamberdella trophies. They were semi-finalists in the UEFA Cup in the year 2000 and won the Intertoto Cup in 2005 and 2007.

Stats

Stade Bollaert-Delelis Stats
Year Opened1933
Capacity38,223
Average Attendance28,996
Record Attendance48,912 (Lens v Marseille (1992))
Pitch Size105 x 68 (7140)
NicknameBollaert
Former NameStade Félix-Bollaert
OwnerCity of Lens
Clubs HostedRacing Club de Lens
RC Lens Stats
Year Founded1906
NicknameSang et Or (Blood and Gold)
RivalsLille OSC
Previous StadiumsSlides Park
KitRed & Yellow Stripes (Home) / Maroon (Away)
Training GroundLa Gaillette
Shirt SponsorAuchan
Team OwnerSolferino
Record GoalscorerAhmed Oudjani (94)
Record AppearancesEric Sikora (497)

Stade Bollaert-Delelis Photos

Stade Bollaert-Delelis Seating Plan & Where to Sit

By Liondartois (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Stade Bollaert-Delelis is built in what is known as the ‘English style’. That is to say there are four separate stands that are built on each side and end of the ground. The grandstands have about as much history attached to them as the stadium itself. Here’s some detail on them:

  • Tribune Trannin was named after Henri Trannin, a goalkeeper at the club for 18 years who went on to become the sporting director. He died in 1974 and the stand was officially named after him in 1978. It was rebuilt in time for the 1998 World Cup and has three tiers with about 12,178 seats.
  • Tribune Delacourt was named in honour of Elie Delacourt, a former president of the supporters. It faces the Trannin stand and houses the administrative offices of the club. The stand was rebuilt in 1996 and can house over 12,500 spectators.
  • Tribune Lepagnot was named after a former CEO and chairman of the Artois district. It was completely rebuilt for the 1998 World Cup and can house just under 8000 people on three levels. This is the stand that contains the press room, the changing rooms and the executive lounges.
  • Tribune Marek-Xerxes was named after Marek Tony, a former player and manager of the club, and Xercès Louis, an international player from the 1950s. The stand faces Tribune Lepagnot and is built on two levels. The stand can host just under 9000 people and is unusual for a side stand in a ground as it is also the home to the Kop.

RC Lens Ticket Prices

The price of tickets for games at Stade Bollaert-Delelis will vary depending on which team Lens are playing and which competition they’re playing in. You’ll also pay more or less money depending on where in the ground you’d like to sit.

How To Get RC Lens Tickets

In this day and age of burgeoning technology the best way to get tickets is by heading to the club’s official website and seeing what they’ve got on offer. There’s an excellent interactive map that shows you where in the stadium there are tickets available and how much they’ll cost. You can also pick tickets up from the box office that is located at the ground as well as from numerous official resale venues located throughout the city of Lens.

Where to Buy

Getting To Stade Bollaert-Delelis

Swap Start/End

The stadium is located about 1 km from what is generally considered to be the centre of Lens. For that reason you’ll be ale to walk to the ground in about fifteen minutes.

train - Gare de Lens is the main train station for the city, so that’s where you’ll be heading if you get the train to Lens. The best way to do so from the UK is to get the Eurostar from London to Lille before changing to an internal train from Lille to Lens. It will take you about three hours and there are up to eight trains a day that you can catch. Gare de Lens is the closest train station to the ground and is a quick walk.

Bus - Bus numbers 22 and 40 will take you close to the stadium and are run by a company called Tadao. There is also BuLLe 3, but if you’re hoping to find out your best options then tadao.fr is a helpful website, though it’s all in French.

Car - Getting to the ground from the centre of Lens is easy enough. There are three routes that will get you there. You can go via Boulevard Emile Basly and Rue Maurice Carton, via Rue Maurice Fréchet or via Avenue du 4 Septembre. If you want to drive from Lens to London then it will take you around four hours via the Channel Tunnel.

By Air - The closest airport to Lens is Lille-Lesquin Airport, which is located around fifteen miles from the city. Brussels South Charleroi Airport is about 70 miles away and Charles de Gaulle International Airport is just under 100 miles away. All of them offer good internal travel to the city of Lens.

Taxi - A taxi from the centre of Lens to the stadium will cost about €10 and will take around 5 minutes. If the traffic is heavy you’ll pay a bit more, but it’s a short journey so you should be fine.

Parking Near Stade Bollaert-Delelis

There are thousands of car parking spaces to the North-East of the stadium, with largest car park easily accessible from Route de Bethune.

Useful Resources

Stade Bollaert-Delelis Hotels

Lens isn’t one of the more fashionable cities in France like Nice or Paris, but there are still plenty of places to stay in the city. Here are some of the choice options we’ve picked out:

Novotel Lens Noyelles - £65+

Centre commercial, Avenue de la République, 62950 Noyelles-Godault
The Novotel is outside the city - about nine miles, in fact - but it’s a charming little hotel with a restaurant, a bar, an outdoor pool and meeting rooms. There’s also a volleyball pitch, free Wi-Fi and free parking. More details.

Campanile Lens - £85+

Route de la Bassee, Zone d'Activites, Lens, Pas-de-Calais, 62300
Just over two miles away from the ground is this Campanile hotel. It’s functional rather than spectacular but has a restaurant, a terrace, a meeting room and free Wi-Fi. More details.

Villa Louvre Lens - £100+

8 rue Gustave Spriet, Lens, Pas-de-Calais, 62300
The Villa Louvre is a small, boutique style bed & breakfast just under a mile from Stade Bollaert-Delelis. There are only six rooms but they have multilingual staff, free breakfast and the now obligatory free Wi-Fi that nearly all hotels seem to boast about as if they’ve only just discovered the technology. More details.

Pubs & Bars Near Stade Bollaert-Delelis

Lens is a working class city so there are plenty of excellent boozers for you to head to before you go to the match. We’ve picked out some choice options for you here, though, just in case you don’t know where to start:

The Irish Tavern

6 Avenue Raoul Briquet, 62300 (+33 3 21 78 79 20)
You’ll probably have guessed from the title, but this is an Irish bar that offers a great atmosphere, a tasty menu and sport on big screens. It’s actually a brewery pub on two levels with a terrace and a mezzanine. As well as sixteen beers the menu also boasts up to fifty whiskeys, if that sort of thing tickles your fancy.

Cubana Bar

13 Rue de la Paix, 62300 (+33 3 21 42 38 17)
An unusual recommendation for a bar in France insomuch as it’s not an Irish bar, the Cubana Bar does tasty food and excellent drinks. It’s near to the popular Boulevard Basly area of the city so even if they’re not showing the game that you want to watch there’ll doubtless be somewhere close by that is.

La Mi-Temps

24 Route de Bethune, 62300 (+33 3 21 49 01 66)
La Mi-Temps, or Half-Time in English, is a sports bar in Lens. They have good drink options and plenty of televisions for you to watch sport on before or after the match.

Facilities

The Stade Bollaert-Delelis is an interesting place insomuch as it is steeped in history and yet it has been renovated regularly over the years. Because of that you’ll find a nice mix of a classical stadium and reasonably modern facilities. It might not be as up to date as some of the other stadiums across the country but you’ll still find places to have a drink and get a bite to eat.

Hospitality

There are numerous hospitality options at Stade Bollaert-Delelis. The stadium has different lounges that offer various choices for all of your hospitality needs. There is a Presidentiel lounge where you’ll get VIP hosting, access to a buffet before, during and after the game and a selection of wines and champagnes.

There is also the Pub 1906 lounge. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy watching the football. You’ll enjoy a warm atmosphere, food and drink before the game and during it as well as access to an a la carte service after the match.

Private Hire

Getting information about private hire possibilities in a foreign country isn’t always easy, but if you’re keen on doing just that then we’d recommend you get in touch with the club directly. They’ll be able to give you a clearer picture of the options available to you.

Stadium Tours & Museum

At the time of writing there are no tours available of the Stade Bollaert-Delelis. Obviously that might change at some point in the future, but it's been this way for about three years so that seems unlikely.

About RC Lens

RC Lens 1937/38 Season - By http://www.om4ever.com/SaisonImages/Saison3738003.htm [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Racing Club de Lens, or RC Lens as the club is known for short, is the only football club in the French Northern city of Lens. They have a fierce rivalry with Lille OSC and whenever the two teams play each other the game is known as ‘Le Derby du Nord’. The origins of the club go back as far as 1905 when a group of students in the city used to play a bit of organised football. The ‘Racing Club’ part of the title comes about because of the Racing Club de France that was popular at that time.

The club suspended their activities for the First World War before restarting them in 1919 and at the time they played in sky blue kits. They changed to playing in red and gold in 1924, though the reason why has never been completely established. One legend has it that the club President at the time, Mr. Moglia, chose the colours of the Spanish flag because of the ruins of a church near to the ground being the last remains of the Spanish occupation.

Stade Bollaert-Delelis History

By Liondartois (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Stade Bollaert-Delelis is a unique stadium owing to the fact that the capacity of the ground is actually more than the population in which it is based. The city’s population is around 37,000, whilst the ground can hold over 40,000 people. Construction of the ground began in 1931 and, sadly, the man it was named after died before it was completed.

The ground has been used for a number of major events in French sporting history. Though it is the home of a football club it has actually been used for a similar amount of rugby competitions as footballing ones. It was used to host the 1999 Rugby World Cup and the 2007 Rugby World Cup plus the footballing European Championships in 1984 and 2016, as well as the FIFA World Cup in 1998.

Future Developments

By Supporterhéninois (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

The stadium was redeveloped in 2014-2015 ahead of its use as one of the host venues for the 2016 UEFA European Championships. There are unlikely to be any more major changes for the foreseeable future.

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