The new San Mamés is the pride of the Basque Country

Bilbao - San Mamés BarriaBilbao - San Mamés Barria 29.03.2016: REMINDER | Estadio San Mamés, the home ground of the Spanish club Athletic Bilbao, can be seen in all its splendour from September 2014. Figuratively speaking, it is a grandson of the old stadium of the same name, where the club had played their home matches for nearly a hundred years. Unfortunately, the old stadium could not offer such comfort as modern stadiums can. The new San Mamés is a truly worthy successor to the old one. The project to build a new stadium for one of the most successful clubs in the history of Spanish league was approved in March 2006.

The construction began in 2010 on a site adjoining the “old” San Mamés. The new San Mamés was inaugurated on 16th September 2014 by a league match between Athletic Bilbao and Celta Vigo. The premiere was more than successful, Athletic won 3-2. By that time three quarters of the stadium had been completed, on a location of international trade fair organized there by Bilbao until 2003. One quarter of the stadium had remained open so that Athletic could play their home matches at the “old” San Mamés, adjacent to the new one, in the course of the construction of the new stadium. Thanks to this ingenious solution the club could move from one stadium to the other without having to play some of their home matches at a different stadium.

After three quarters of the new stadium had been built, the legendary San Mamés was demolished. It had been the home ground of the Basque club since 1913, and Athletic enjoyed many memorable moments there, which shall not be forgotten. The new stadium was named San Mamés Barria and a new era has begun for Athletic. The construction of the new stadium was underway in the course of the 2013/2014 season. Before the start of the 2014/2015 season the last part – the fourth stand – was built. After completion the stadium capacity is 53,332 seats. The total cost of San Mamés construction went up to 211 million EUR. More than fifty per cent was covered by public institutions.
   
Photo: Euskaldunaa (CC BY-SA 4.0)
 
Photo: Fernando Lozano (CC BY-SA 2.0)
 

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