Construction of the new stadium of Athletic Bilbao

Bilbao - San MamésBilbao - San Mamés 08.10.2013: Athletic Bilbao laid the foundation stone of the new San Mamés stadium two years ago, in May 2010. According to original plans, the construction was to start in 2008, but the project had been repeatedly modified, which postponed the beginning of the construction works. The planned capacity of the new stadium is 53,332, which is 13,500 higher than the capacity of the current Estadio San Mamés. The architect Cesar Azkarate designed the stadium so that, if needed, the stadium capacity could be increased up to 55,000.

The construction of the new San Mamés stadium is interesting because of its two stages. The construction stages would not be really that interesting, if they did not affect the current stadium. New stadiums are usually built on an entirely new site, or the old stadium is demolished and the new one is constructed on its original site. In some cases the current stadium is rebuilt so that it is basically a new stadium in the end. However, the stages of the construction of the new stadium in Bilbao are much more interesting.


  The first stage should be completed in the first half of 2014, by which time three of four stands should be built. In the second half of 2014 the second stage of the construction should follow. During this stage, the old stadium will be demolished and the fourth stand will be built. The project was a little hindered by the confined space of the urban development and the Rio de Bilbao river (confluence of the Nervión and Ibaizabal rivers), which limit the site, on which the stadium is built. Adoption of this inventive procedure means that Athletic Bilbao will not have to temporarily play their home matches at a different stadium. In the course of the final construction of the fourth stand the team will move to their new stadium. At the same time, the old stadium will be demolished to make way for the fourth stand, and the stadium construction will thus be completed.

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According to the original plan, the total costs associated with the construction of the stadium were supposed to be 240 million EUR. However, in the course of the construction, the costs were reduced by nearly 25% to 137 million EUR. Due to recession the percentage keeps changing and the budget is slightly increasing. Nevertheless, the total costs of the construction should be 210 million EUR, which is still 30 million EUR less than the original estimate.



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