A man with a match ticket reportedly tried to access the ground after 15 minutes of the international friendly between France and Germany, but was denied entry after the device was discovered when he was frisked.
It has been suggested by security sources at the ground that his intention was to create a "deadly stampede" among the supporters watching the game.
The bomber tried to escape from security at the stadium, but detonated the device on his vest as he fled, according to a security guard speaking to the WSJ.
A police officer told the WSJ that the attacker had planned to detonate the device inside the ground where 80,000 fans were watching, including the French president François Hollande, who was later evacuated from the ground after being informed of the developing horrific attacks on the French capital.
Two huge blasts were heard during the match with the third explosion going off at a fast food outlet near the stadium in the Saint-Denis area of the city.
French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet confirmed that "three people have been killed and several injured after a bomb explosion in front of stadium door number J".
Police stand outside the Stade de France where explosions were reported to have detonated outside the stadium.
Image credit: Reuters