In this post, we caught up with Kevin – a Homefans tour host in Lyon, France. Kevin tells us why the Groupama Stadium is an absolute must-visit for any football fan, and why he decided to become a local host on the platform. The quotes in this blog post are taken from a recent Fanstriker podcast that Kevin featured on, as part of a content series empowering our growing network of passionate storytellers creating experiences on the platform.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a 26-year-old French football lover. I really enjoy traveling the world discovering new stadiums and atmospheres.
Ever since I could afford it, I have booked football weekends to visit stadiums left, right and centre! I do this mostly in Europe, but I’ve been to America on a couple of occasions – it’s really a strong passion of mine.
On my travels, I’ve visited Clubs and matches in Barcelona, Naples, Copenhagen, and Ecuador. My Ecuador trip was during a 6-month internship at the end of college. Whilst there, I took the opportunity to tour some of the country’s most incredible stadiums!
I’m a strong supporter of Olympique Lyonnais, and invite international travellers to spend a day with me to experience matchday in the shoes of a local passionate fan!
What made you want to get involved with Homefans and become a Local Host?
I have a background in tourism and I used to work on a project around sports events. Even though this kind of experience is not necessary to join Homefans, it helped me to initially discover the platform. When I saw their project and approach to creating your own unique football trips, it was obvious to me that I had to be part of it. I approached them to become a local host in Lyon.
Homefans gives me the chance to help people experience what I like the most about Lyon. It also allows me to share what I’m looking for when I discover a new stadium. On top of that, being a host on Homefans is a great side hustle where you can earn money through your passion. It’s all a win-win situation. It’s AirBnB with a football game as a bonus!
What other aspects of hosting sports travellers do you enjoy?
I regularly meet people in the stadiums I visit and really enjoy that aspect of hosting my own trips. Even when groundhopping, I often go to stadiums alone and meet people there.
It’s quite funny when I discover a stadium sometimes people think I’m a regular. That happened to me in the Netherlands. The person sitting next to me started asking me questions about the team in Dutch, it was quite funny. It led to a nice conversation where I explained to him that I was only there for one day and that I didn’t know any of the players.
I’m really looking forward to sharing my passion and welcoming like-minded sports travellers on my tours with Homefans in the future.
What sort of matchday experiences do you offer in Lyon?
For me, it’s important to keep a balance between the soccer side and the visit to the city for travellers. That’s what I try to do in the trips I offer on Homefans. In Lyon, we really have a city that is a good fit for sightseeing fans. We have places that are must-see in terms of Lyon’s culture and sports. The highlight of the city is the Fourvière Hill. At the top you have a panoramic view of Lyon. I really like to visit Old Lyon and help people to discover Lyon’s gastronomy.
In addition to this, before going to the stadium, I also like to go through the Gerland quarter. Of course, in 2016 OL moved on from the Stade de Gerland to the Groupama Stadium. It was a good change but we don’t forget where we come from. Gerland remains a mythic place of the city and the history of OL as a Club.
Lyon is the capital of gastronomy. For you, what are the best snacks to enjoy with you on matchday?
Yes, there are many that I will share and recommend to travellers on my tours. Personally, I don’t go for traditional products but rather for more modern yet authentic ones.
My favorite snack is French tacos. It’s a product that comes from Lyon, more precisely from Villeurbanne – a city in the suburb of Lyon. For me it’s what best represents the spirit of new traditions in Lyon.
In terms of gastronomy, OL is very close to its city. In the new stadium, there is a very cool place called La Brasserie des Lumières. It is a high end lounge where fans can eat during the match and find the specialties of the city.
It is the winning combo of the city: Lyon, gastronomy, soccer.
What makes the Groupama Stadium so special?
Harmony. At Groupama Stadium, the most beautiful thing to see is the harmony between the fans. There is a real collaboration between fans to create this special atmosphere. The Lyon fans are very organized, they are very vocal.
I am a very open-minded soccer fan and I recognize that there are a lot of beautiful stadiums in France even if Groupama Stadium is my favorite. It has enormous assets.
I particularly like the way the different supporters groups across the stadium chant to each other. Something else you don’t often find in other French stadiums is such an impressive pre-show. There is an effort made on the animation: the sound and light shows and the show on the pitch.
As soon as the stadium reopens, I invite all soccer fans to come and see this show in the stands.
Which OL fixture would you recommend to travellers as your favourite?
My preference and I think it is the same for all the people in Lyon, is the derby against Saint-Etienne. It’s really the game of the year. It’s the match that the players are not allowed to miss. The stadium is bound to be full.
In terms of soccer, the matches against PSG are often of a high level when the Lyonnais decide to give it their all. On the stands as well as on the pitch, there are beautiful things to see during these matches. But the games against Saint-Etienne remain the best match because it’s a derby.
You will no doubt have seen lots of games at Groupama Stadium. What is your best memory in the stands?
The most recent OL vs Saint-Étienne match at Groupama Stadium was a very good game. I kept a very beautiful memory of it. I also had good memories during the Champions League. I’m thinking in particular of the game against Juventus last year. The atmosphere was memorable.
The Groupama Stadium is perfect for the Champions League show. We’re just waiting to concretize it on the field but there is everything for memorable soccer evenings.
We are delighted to continue growing the Homefans marketplace with unique football experiences around the world, hosted by passionate local storytellers like Kevin, who will be delighted to welcome you to their city. You can check out Kevin’s Olympique Lyonnais Matchday Experience here.