The stadium opened for the first time on May 8, 1984, for a friendly game: FC Nantes - Romania. It was named after Louis Fonteneau, who was President of FC Nantes between 1969-1986. It was renovated in 1998, for the World Cup. While its original capacity was 52,923, in 1998, it was converted to an all-seater stadium and its current capacity is 38,285. Previously, the team played at Stade Marcel Saupin.
The stadium also hosts international rugby matches, including France against New Zealand (16-3) on November 15, 1986. In September 2007, it hosted three pool matches of the 2007 Rugby World Cup: Wales vs Canada on September 9, England vs Samoa on September 22 and Wales vs Fiji on September 29. In domestic rugby, La Beaujoire hosted both Top 14 semifinal matches in 2013, and Paris-area Top 14 side Racing Métro 92 will play their final "home" match of the 2013–14 season against Clermont at La Beaujoire on April 19, 2014.