Stade Auguste Bonal is the home stadium of FC Sochaux-Montbéliard located in the North east approximate quadrant of France, on the border of Switzerland. The ground has a capacity of approximately 20,000 and has undergone quite a few renovations since its original construction in 1931.
Stade Auguste Bonal has been the home of FC Sochaux-Montbéliard since 1931, and the stadium is older than quite a few clubs in France, such as Paris Saint-Germain who only founded in 1970. Before the creation of this ground, the club played at the René Blum Stade for three years between 1928 and 1931 but almost immediately outgrow the facilities as France became a nation swept up in Football fever, with the sport growing tremendously in popularity.
As Sochaux were founded by Jean-Pierre Peugeot, a prominent member of the Peugeot auto-mobile family, the owner used his connections to secure the football club a patch of land near to the factory, and it was from this location that the stadium received it’s original name of Stade de la Forge.
After the Second World War the name of the stadium was changed to Auguste Bonal, in honour of the former sports director of the club who was murdered by German officers after refusing to cooperate with them.
30 years later, the first renovation of Auguste Bonal commenced with most facilities getting a lick of paint and upgraded to more modern components which made for a more comfortable experience for fans. It wasn’t until the second renovation between 1997-2000 that Stade Bonal really began to catch up with other stadium’s in France with the configuration of every stand in the stadium over a 35 month period which resulted in an improved 20,000 capacity.
Famously, engineers were also able to install under soil heating on the pitch which is unique in France, as well as a new exterior façade which helped to bring both FC Sochaux-Montbéliard and Stade Auguste Bonal into the 21st century of Football.
Below is a seating plan of Stade Auguste Bonal:
Stade Auguste Bonal is comprised of four stands: North, East, South and West.
Click the thumbnails above to enlarge an image of each stand and to read a more detailed description of each part of the stadium.
The Matchday Experience
Football Club Sochaux-Montbéliard commonly abbreviated to just FCSM are a small football team from the Franche-Comté region whose history is entwined with the Peugeot automobile manufacturer as they both share a common founder, Jean-Pierre Peugeot. If you look closely you will see that the badge of FCSM contains a silver Lion which also features on the badge used on Peugeot Cars, hence why the club are known as Les Lionceaux.
The most successful period of the club’s history probably came in their early formation, when the team won two Ligue 1 titles in 1935 and 1938 with the club failing to seriously challenge for the league championship since. More recently they managed to win a Coupe de France in 2007, and a League Cup in 2004 but neither carry the same prestige as a French Championship, with relegation to Ligue 2 somewhat impeding their chances of winning a third title.
Sochaux-Montbéliard presents itself as one of the oldest clubs in France and is notably one of the founders of the French first division having appeared in the inaugural 1932-1933 season along with the likes of Olympique de Marseille , the Montpellier Hérault , the OGC Nice and Stade Rennais. During this time period the club has nurtured a fiercely loyal fan base who visit the stadium on matchdays to cheer on their team in “Yellow and Blue”.
There are several prominent supporters groups of the club, and no matter where you are sat within Stade Auguste-Bonal you will never be to far away from load, passionate fans: the Joyriders Sochaux base themselves in the North Stand, The Bear Club FCSM occupy the South and the Lions Alsace supporters group whose members sit all over.
Food and Drink
Both Sochaux and Montbéliard are very small cities, and there isn’t the largest selection of places to eat and drink compared to some France cities but you will hardly starve. To the South of the stadium along Rue de Chambrier there is a Quick Burger which is similar to McDonalds, and to the right of this a Chouette Pizza. Within the stadium you can also get the standard food options such as chips and hot dogs but don’t expect anything that fancy.
If you want some more authentic cuisine from the local area then you shouldn’t look past the Montbéliard sausage which is a smoked for 10 hours and typically served in a warm stew or casserole.
FC Sochaux-Montbéliard run an official boutique “Planète FCSM” at Stade Auguste Bonal as well as an online store of the same name.
1. Planet FCSM (Stadium)
Opened in 2002, the store located in the Northwest Stand of the stadium has over 400 products on sale for the football mad fan.
- Address: Stade Bonal Montbéliard 25200
- Contact: 0892701225 or [email protected]
- Opening Times: Monday to Friday 9.30am-12.30pm and 2pm-6.30pm. Saturdays 10am to 12pm and 2pm-5.30pm.
Note: the stadium store is closed on Sundays and on the afternoon before a game. On the day of matches, the shop opens 90 minutes before kick-off and for up to 1 hour after the full time whistle.
As the 20,000 capacity stadium first opened way back in 1931 without the commercial awareness of today’s modern stadia, you may be unsurprised to know that there isn’t an official tour available of Auguste Bonal.
Check back if there are further renovations or if Les Lionceaux ever relocate homes.
Tickets to see Sochaux-Montbéliard in action can be either be purchased online or in person at Planet FCSM within the normal opening hours listed above.
Ticket for the Stade Bonal follow the following pricing scheme based on whereabouts you are sat (Populaires – Présidentielles) and what the category of the match is (Normal – Platinum):
- Populaires: Normal (€12) Gala (€18) Super Gala (€24) and Platinum (€35)
- Secondes: Normal (€18) Gala (€24) Super Gala (€30) and Platinum (€40)
- Latérales: Normal (€22) Gala (€28) Super Gala (€34) and Platinum (€50)
- Forges: Normal (€28) Gala (€38) Super Gala (€44) and Platinum (€60)
- Présidentielles: Normal (€36) Gala (€48) Super Gala (€54) and Platinum (€70)
Note: Discounts of anywhere between 30-50% are available for young people under the age of 16, students, and disabled. For further information and queries please send an email to [email protected]
Stade Auguste Bonal is located in the industrialised town of Montbéliard where the Peugeot automobile factories and museum are, less than 1km away from the very small historic city centre.
You can easily walk from both Montbéliard centre and the train station in under 15 minutes, whereas a walk from Sochaux which is on the other side of Peugeot’s complex will likely take you double the time.
As an industrial hub Montbéliard is well connected to the rest of the country, with several high-speed train lines operated by TGV which links the city to important places such as Paris, Lyon, Frankfurt and Zürich. These trains usually stop at Belfort-Montbéliard station which is approximately 20km from the inner city, whereas the actual Montbéliard train stationn located centrally serves local and commuter purposes.
As the old town is exceptionally small, you can easily walk across it in 10 minutes but if you do wish to travel via bus, you will be pleased to know that the CTPM network of public buses are cheap (€1.10 for a single and €0.90 when you purchase 10 journeys) and frequent (4-5 times an hour).
Driving to Bonal is straightforward enough with the city wrapped up in numerous highspeed roads. The A36 motorway serves travellers from both the North and South, and once you are on this road all you have to do is take either the “Sochaux” or “Montbéliard” exit and then follow signs for the centre ville. You will easily spot the stadium next to the impressively large Peugeot factory.
Address: Stade Bonal, 25200 Montbéliard
Airports and Flying
Basel-Mulhouse Euroairport (offering convenient low-cost flights to many European destinations) is accessible by car in 50 minutes, while Zürich airport and Strasbourg airport are a mere 2 hours away.
As of now the Euroairport is not served by rail (in project though), but you may catch a shuttle bus to Saint-Louis or Basel from where you can take connecting trains (fast or slow depending on your budget and time constraints) to Montbéliard station or Belfort-Montbéliard TGV station. Note that connections between the trains are not optimized and that you’ll need an average of 2 hours to do that.
The closest hotels to the Stade Bonal are either Kyriad Montbeliard Sochaux or Sarl Alierre Hotel Kyriad both of which are cheap and less than 2 minutes walk from the ground. If you wish to stay in the small city centre of Montbeliard then try the Hotel de la Balance, which certainly won’t break the bank, or if you want something in Sochaux try the run of the mill Campanile.