Prior to the construction of Stade de France, the French government had not build an Olympic-class stadium in more than 70 years. In 1992, Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) selected France as the host country for the 1998 World Cup of Football. One of the conditions was to build a covered stadium with 80,000 seats. In October 1994, the then prime minister of France selected the project designed by the architectural firm M.Z.R.C. and submitted by the Bouygues–Dumez–SGE (VINCI) consortium. The building permit was issued on April 30, 1995, that is, three years before the start of the World Cup. The stadium was inaugurated on January 28, 1998 by the French president for a game between France and Spain. The stadium stands out as a versatile venue that can accommodate sports competitions as well as concerts, shows, and other events.