La Peineta: Your guide to Atlético’s new stadium

Everything you need to know about the new home of the red and whites

La Peineta is scheduled to open in time for the 2017/18 season

La Peineta is scheduled to open in time for the 2017/18 season

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that Atlético Madrid are scheduled to move into La Peineta, their new 67,000 stadium in the east of the city, for the 2017/18 season.

With work on the new arena progressing rapidly, the time has almost come for the rojiblancos to make the long awaited move from the Vicente Calderón, which celebrated its 50th birthday earlier in the week.

For a long time, the idea of relocating was one that the majority of Atléticos sided against. Riddled with debt and often unable to fill the Calderón, moving 8km out of the city to a new €270m stadium was an unrealistic, unwelcome prospect.

However after years of delays, Estadio de la Peineta is now a reality. Barring any last minute set-backs, this season will be Atlético’s last on the banks of the River Manzanares.

“Yo me voy al Manzanares, al Estadio Vicente Calderón…” is the first line of the club’s anthem and, understandably, the emotional attachment has caused a lot of apprehension amongst fans towards leaving their spiritual home.

It’s hard to believe that Atleti’s current home is only fifty, partly because of just how synonymous it is with the club’s history and tradition but also because it feels much older than it’s years.

Given its location on the side of a river and a motorway, expanding the Calderón was never an option. Atleti had the highest percentage of fan attendance in La Liga last season and recently reached a record number of 90,000 socios – over 48,000 of those season-ticket holders.

The club is growing on a global scale under Simeone, and the time seems right to move to a bigger and more modern arena.

Background

La Peineta was originally opened as an Athletics stadium back in the 90’s, and had been identified as the host venue for Madrid’s unsuccessful 2012, 2016 and 2020 Olympic bids.

In July 2007, Atlético and Mahou agreed to give the land on which the Calderón resides to the city council in exchange for La Peineta, which is fully owned by the red and whites.

After approval from contractors at the FCC (Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas), building work finally began in December 2011, just two weeks before Diego Simeone was appointed as manager.

El Mundo revealed last year that Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim put €160m into the project. It’s also been reported that Atleti are looking to buy the aquatics centre next door and turn it into a sports complex.

The stadium is in the San Blas-Canillejas district of Madrid, not far from Barajas Airport. The ground is besides the ‘Avenida Luís Aragonés’ (Luís Aragonés avenue), named in his honour after his death in 2014.

There is also a metro stop – Estadio Olímpico – just outside which can be reached via line 7 of the Madrid metro, 20 stops and a change from Piramides, the nearest station to the Calderón.

More public transport links will be put in place before the stadium opens next August, given that it’s in quite an isolated location off the M-40 motorway in between the barrios of San Blas and Coslada.

Features

On Wednesday, Atleti announced that they had reached an agreement with Philips to illuminate the stadium with the usage of LED light technology.

The roof will be lit up with red and white colours before and after matches, as well as when goals are scored similar to the Allianz Arena in Munich.

It’s one of several steps that the club are taking to try and retain the authentic feel of the club, something that many worry will be lost in the move.

Like in the Calderón, the stands behind each goal will be called Fondo Norte and Fondo Sur, where the ‘Grada de animación’ (singing section) occupied by the ultras will be in the lowest of three tiers.

There is also a Lateral east and Lateral west, the largest stand in the stadium. Overall the capacity will be around 67,000, with the club sacrificing extra seating for spaciousness and fan comfort.

Other features include more access for disabled fans, increased levels of security, 4,000 parking spaces, shops, bars, restuarants and a new VIP suite – the Neptuno Atlético Madrid Premium.

Fans will be glad to hear that there will be no running track around the pitch, with the distance between the stands and touchline ranging from between 5.89 to 9.95 metres, considerably closer than the Calderón.

Between now and August

There are still a number of issues that will need addressing before the ground opens its doors next summer, with perhaps the main one being what it is actually going to be called.

La Peineta is how the stadium is most commonly known, but AS reported back in February that it will be retitled under the name of a sponsor alongside a reference to Atlético’s history.

Some have pushed for it to be called the “Estadio Luís Aragonés” or “Nuevo Vicente Calderón” although that seems unlikely, at least without Wanda, Azerbaijan or Etihad etc. in front of it.

The stadium has also been known as the Estadio Olímpico, Estadio de Madrid and Estadio de la Comunidad in the past.

After the main structure was completed in the summer, work is currently being done on the roof (96% of the stadium will be covered). Atleti have drafted in specialists Schlaich Bergermann, who designed the roofs for the Maracanã, BayArena and Soccer City stadium in South Africa among others.

Seating will then have to be installed – the virtual design on the club website shows the seats as being all red – as well as facilities in and around the venue for the use of players and fans.

The Calderón is renowned for its bars and colourful stalls leading to the ground, and the club insist they can replicate the matchday experience at the Peineta.

Season tickets went on sale in July, with over 10,000 fans already having booked their place for the 2017/18 season. Prices start from just €250. (see below)

 

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Key facts

  • Opens: August 2017
  • Capacity: 67,000*
  • Cost of expansion: €270m
  • Architect: Cruz y Ortiz arquitectos
  • Contractor: FCC
  • Address: Plaza de Grecia, s/n, 28022 Madrid, Spain
  • Total surface: 88,150m²
  • Season ticket prices: €250 – €1,100
  • Nearest metro stations: Estadio Olímpico, Las Musas, Canillejas, Las Rosas, San Blas, Torre Arias
  • Parking spaces: 3,000 outside the stadium, 1,000 inside

*figure to be confirmed once seating is installed

Links

What are your feelings towards the new stadium? Just how big a step could this be for the club?


  • Roberto

    I would have loved, if Atleti decided to create a capacity over 70.000.

  • Kris

    Any madrileños on here? How do you guys feel about this move?

  • Usavicente Calderon

    I agree, they should have tried to get that 70K size.(Easy for us to say since we are not paying for it.)

  • Usavicente Calderon

    Along with winning the UCL, this is what will solidify us as a “Big” club.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I wish it was either 60,000 or 70,000 seats, but 67 or 68 thousands will keep bothering me for a long time !!

    Seriously though, I keep thinking why didn’t we even make it 75 or 80 thousands, like the people before me said, for the future, since we are already building a new stadium, are we leaving the Calderon for just 12,000 extra seats, is it worth it ?!
    But then I think that we really don’t need that big capacity, we did have the highest attendance % in La Liga last season, but it’s because the attendance in Spain is generally low since the financial crisis, and also because the Calderon is significantly smaller then the Bernabeu and the Camp Nou.
    Our average attendance last season was 79%, which means that the average number of fans per game was a little above 43,000. The Calderon capacity is almost 55,000.
    Juventus new stadium has 41,000 seats, the new white hart lane will have 61,000.

    So why are we moving, I believe because we need a modern stadium, better accessibility, better facilities, the roof that will protect the fans from rain, that magical lightning system … etc .

    The new stadium will have more than 7000 VIP seats, the Calderon only has 1500, and they are not that luxurious .
    7000 VIP seats are too much that the club crated a company to run it, Neptuno Premium
    http://www.neptunopremium.com/

    The average VIP ticket price last season was 175 € .
    Now with a simple math process, if we gonna sell 5500 extra VIP tickets every game in the new stadium, at a price of 175 €, and if we gonna play at least 25 games at home every season, we are talking about more than 24 million € of extra income .
    Of course it’s difficult to sell all the 7000 VIP tickets every single game, Atleti don’t have that kind of fans, neither inside nor outside Spain, but maybe we could attract businessmen, companies, ambassadors, our Egyptian ambassadors usually attends the big games at the Calderon, among other ambassadors, Spanish media mentioned that several times (and he is probably paying from the public money, from my taxes) .

    There is also the sponsor name, we can’t sell the naming rights for an old stadium like the Calderon .
    Although we all hate that, it should be Luis Aragones stadium, but it’s a necessary evil, we must do that to survive, Luis himself would agree .

    We will miss the Calderon very much, there is a famous Arabic poetry line that says :
    “There are many homes on earth that a person could fall in love with, but he will always feel homesick for his first home”, (Of course in sounds much better and it rhymes in Arabic), but I think this new stadium will be a huge step forward .

    I do have one concern though, those 160 million Carlos Slim pumped into the project .
    It should have been a zero cost stadium, FCC was supposed to build 2 skyskrapers at the Calderon land, 37-floor each if I remember correctly, but then the court ruled that the maximum height is only 4 floors .
    A group of small Atleti’s shareholders who call themselves “Senales de Humo” (Smoke Signals) had a hand in this, which I find frustrating, I don’t believe they were caring for the environment or their city, thy were just standing against Gil family for the sake of it, and they could end up hurting their own club .
    Let’s hope not .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I don’t want to speak in their name, but I follow many of them on twitter, and I can tell you that most of them are not happy .
    Although as the works advance, they are starting to come around, some of them were very impressed with the lightning system, and they are starting to change their minds .

    I also remember reading on Billy’s twitter account that he was against the new stadium too, he was asking to expand and improve the Calderon, but now I see that he realized that it’s impossible .

    Madrileño Atleti fans can be weird, they are mostly right-wing with strong beliefs, and strong emotions, but that sometimes make them irrational, they were strongly against the new stadium even since the original plans when it was a zero-cost, just because they are strongly emotionally-attached to the Calderon .

    Here is another interesting story, after Grizi missed his penalty against Bayern then against Valencia, twitter was full of polls about who should be our penalty taker, I made one, Atleticofans account made one, and Grizi lost almost all the polls … in English, but he won almost all the Spanish ones !!
    I guess they considered it an insult or an attack at him to “strip” him from his penalties duty !!

    Many Arabs also had the same opinion as the Spanish, they also can get very emotional and become rationally blind, and the similarity is understandable, Arabs and Muslims lived in the Iberian Peninsula for almost 8 centuries .

    But yeah, I really wish we hear from Madrileños, not just in this subject, but I wish we see some of them here regularly, we need their perspective and point of you, but for years this website couldn’t attract many Spanish fans, I don’t know why .

  • Kris

    Yes, as a person living 4000 miles away I don’t see anything wrong with the move financially. I see it as being fiscally progressive. I am not aware of the small details that might have been involved and things that have had to be sacrificed to build the new stadium. People are always against chance, especially when it affects them on such a personal level but change is imminent and we have to adapt to it. There are a lot of financial benefits that I can see living across the Atlantic – new houses being built around the stadium, overall expansion of the city, expansion of the metro lines, close to the airport and next to the motorway. The club getting a lot of money from letting go of the Calderon. It seems to me like the accessibility is not much of a problem but I may be wrong.

    I agree with you that the 67,000 seating capacity is not that big of a deal. Quality over quantity for me any day if the seats really are more comfortable. Plus we don’t garner 70,000 fans at any given day anyways, and in the years we start to get this many followers, this stadium seems to me like it can be expanded for additional seats. If everything goes to plan, I will be visiting the new stadium in 2018 and all of this hype around it is getting me really excited.

    I really wanted to hear Madrileños view because, this new stadium can mean lots of small and big inconveniences for them, after all Atletico is still a business looking to make profit.

  • Roberto

    I ve heard its not about money in this particular case. I ve heard it depends on the size of seats they order now, whats the final capacity. And Atleti-Management decided for comfort seats all over the stadium, which limits capacity now to about 67.000. I m sure in the end they will have about 66. 000 seats after final installment of the seats. With less comfortable seats it would have been possible at the same cost level to get slightly over 70.000 seats into the stadium. The stadium was orignally planned for 73.000 spectator. But this in allmoast all stadium-projects the same. They plan a certain capacity and in the end its at lest 10 % less. I do not know why.

  • Roberto

    Does anybody know, how is the distribution between Atleti and Madrid Fans in MAdrid? 20% to 80 % or more 40% to 60%? Does anybody has some figures?