Major sporting events


european capital of sport 2017

Logo Marseille Capitale Européenne du Sport en 2017

By winning the title of "European Capital of Sport 2017", Marseille has seized a new occasion to boost its national and international drawing power.

Marseille, the epitome of a city of sport, with over 150 000 sports club members, is also making the most of the opportunity to reinforce access and development of "sport for all".
The title will also help bring together sport, institutional stakeholders, the economic sphere and the educational sector in a collective project, inspired by values of sharing, solidarity and self-development. ­

The bid enjoyed the support of high-level sportsmen and women. Among the ambassadors, led by the swimmer Fabien Gilot (several times an Olympic medallist), were Nathalie Benoît (world champion and Olympic silver medallist in Paralympic rowing), Nathalie Simon (former windsurfing champion of France), Marie-Paule Gnabouyou (vice handball world champion), Jean Tigana (former international footballer and coach), Richard Virenque (several times the top climber in the Tour de France) and Richard Melillo (former European judo champion).


Marseille chosen to host sailing events at the 2024 Olympics !

JO : Marseille porte-drapeau de la voile pour Paris 2024

Marseille was up against Hyères, La Rochelle, Brest and Le Havre to host the sailing events at the 2024 Olympic Games, if Paris is selected.

The sites were judged according to several main criteria: the quality of the sailing area, the infrastructures of the Olympic marina, spectator capacity, the Olympic village, ease of access and capacity for welcoming visitors to the city and, finally, the support of local inhabitants for the project.

Marseille boasts internationally recognised skills in hosting and organising sailing and sports events.

The city hosts over 100 sailing events a year, ranging from local regattas to the Tour de France à la Voile, as well as major international competitions, such as:

  • The Race, hosted by Marseille in 2001
  • World sailing championships in 2002
  • Act 1 of the America's Cup, held in September 2004
  • The Audi Med Cup in TP 52 class, hosted in Marseille for four years in a row, from 2008 to 2011
  • The Marseille One Design, hosted in 2014 and September 2015 on flying catamarans: the GC 32...

Some of the city’s other strengths:

  • Marseille’s investment in the environment and sustainable development, with the most visible result being the creation of the Calanques National Park, Europe’s first peri-urban natural park, in 2012
  • the ease of access to the event site(s)
  • the access to the city via international transport routes (Thalys, TGV, Eurostar, the port of Marseille, Marseille-Provence Airport)
  • the events would be easy to follow from the natural heights along the coast; 30 000 free terraced seats on the Corniche, and 5000 paid seats on the stands on the J4 next to the MuCEM.
  • Marseille’s proven track record for organising major sports and cultural events in recent years: World Cup for soccer in 1998, Rugby World Cup in 2007, European Culture Capital in 2013, Euro football championships in 2016, European Capital of Sport in 2017
  • Plus the welcome given to the great many spectators from Marseille and overseas for these popular events, symbolising the city’s dynamism and appeal.