AS reports that Atlético officials will present definitive project plans for the Peineta stadium before the end of this week. Club directors met with architects Antonio Ortiz and Antonio Cruz on 1 October, and are set to convene with the Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC) construction firm and with technicians of the Madrid Council shortly.
Total costs for what Spanish paper El País has dubbed the “never-starting project” are initially estimated at €240m. Atleti expects to agree to final terms with the FCC soon in order to proceed with obtaining the required licenses and begin renovations to the existing Peineta premises.
If all goes as planned, team directors will make an official presentation of the new venue’s designs in November or December. The club still anticipates that our future home, which will hold roughly 73,000 spectators, will be ready in time for the 2013-14 season. Once the move takes place, the historic Vicente Calderón will be demolished.
AS contacted José Manuel Berzal, Councillor for the Area of Territorial Coordination of the Madrid Council, who said that all parties are abiding by their contractual obligations.
“We are responsible for ensuring that the licenses and ordinances fall within the law. The great benefactor [of the project] will be the city of Madrid.”
“There’s no reason to think that this stadium will not be built,” said Berzal.
Lawsuit filed against the project
The Asociación Señales de Humo, a group composed of Atlético journalists and fans who are regular contributors to and members of the Señales de Humo website, has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to block the stadium project.
The association released the following statement:
“Until now, a unilateral approach has been taken in which Atlético, on the one hand, and the Council, on the other, agreed to a project that was presented to the Community of Madrid. The Community approved the modification of the plan. We availed ourselves of the court in order to oppose the amendments to that plan.”
Atlético responded to the suit by stating that the referred to modifications were contemplated in the agreement with the FCC.
Señales de Humo claims on its website that a petition against the move to La Peineta signed by 20,000 Rojiblancos was submitted along with the suit.
The Mahou brewery that neighbours the Calderón is set to be demolished within weeks as part of the initial plans; a serious problem for Atlético given that the stadium’s VIP parking is located within the Mahou facilities. Club employees also station their cars at the now abandoned property and will be forced to park elsewhere as the Bayer Leverkusen match at the Vicente Calderón was the last time use of the lot was to be permitted.
The “never-starting project”
El País reminded us in a report last Wednesday that when the Madrid Council and Atlético signed the relocation agreement in December of 2008, Madrid mayor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón and Atlético president Enrique Cerezo claimed that work on the new site would begin “in six months” and would be completed in “no more than three years.”
In July of 2009, Cerezo had said that work was in progress and even boasted that the stadium would be “among the crown’s jewels.” December will mark two years since the Madrid Council and Atlético originally came to terms on the project and La Peineta remains virtually untouched.
Pilar Martínez, the capital city’s councillor of Urbanism and Housing, attributes the delay to Madrid’s losing bid for the 2016 Olympics. “There was going to be a rush to complete the site if we were to be granted the 2016 games. Now, there’s no hurry.”
“The Calderón could be demolished in two to three years,” said Martínez.