|UEFA Category 3 stadium|
|Full name||Estadio Municipal El Molinón|
|Owner||Ayuntamiento de Gijón|
|Operator||Sporting de Gijón|
|Field size||105 m × 68 m (344 ft × 223 ft)|
|Sporting de Gijón (1915–present)|
The stadium's address is Parque de Isabel la Católica, 33390 Gijón.
El Molinón is the oldest professional football field in Spain. It has been in use since at least 1908, and is located on the site of an old watermill, hence the stadium's name, the Asturian word for "big mill".
Real Sporting started to use El Molinón as official ground in 1915. The first official match was held on April 22, 1917 between Real Sporting and Arenas Club de Getxo as part of the 1917 Copa del Rey. Arenas won 0-1. On 2 May 1920, El Molinón held the 1920 Copa del Rey Final, where FC Barcelona defeated Athletic Bilbao by 2–0.
In 1924 Real Sporting bought El Molinón and became the owner of the stadium. In 1931 the main stand was destroyed by fire, but it was later re-built. In 1944, Gijón City Hall re-bought El Molinón due to Sporting's bad financial situation.
In 1968 four floodlights were installed at El Molinón and the first night match was played against Valencia CF. On 30 November 1969, El Molinón became the first all-covered stadium in Spain and on 28 January 1970, the first match to be televised in Spain was played at El Molinón. Sporting defeated Osasuna by 3–0.
During 1997–98, El Molinón prepared to adapt to the new UEFA and FIFA security legislation: all people must be seated and the fences must be removed. The stadium's capacity was reduced from 42,000 to 25,885. However, plans were put forward for the stadium to be renovated and expanded. After the expansion between 2009 and 2011, El Molinón's capacity again grew to 30,000 seats.
The first international match in El Molinón was held on 22 April 1928 between Spain national football team and Italy national football team. El Molinón had that day a capacity about 36,000 people. The match finished 1–1.
50 years later, El Molinón held again another international match between Spain and Czechoslovakia.
On 22 March 2013, El Molinón held a World Cup Qualifying match between Spain and Finland. The match finished in a 1-1 draw.
1982 FIFA World Cup
The stadium played host to three matches in Group B. Two of them were infamous in the 1982 World Cup, West Germany's shock 1-2 defeat to Algeria being the first. After the result of Algeria's final group game was known, a rather uncontested 1-0 victory of West Germany against Austria which sent both teams through at Algeria's expense. In German the match is known as Nichtangriffspakt von Gijón (lit. Non-aggression pact of Gijón) or Schande von Gijón (lit. Shame of Gijón). This shameful game at Gijon directly led to a change of the rules, requiring the last matches in the group phase to be played simultaneously.
16 June 1982
|West Germany||1 – 2||Algeria|
|Rummenigge 67'||Report||Madjer 54'
20 June 1982
|West Germany||4 – 1||Chile|
|Rummenigge 9', 57', 66'
25 June 1982
|West Germany||1 – 0||Austria|
All Spain matches in El Molinón
|22 April 1928||Italy||1–1||Friendly match|
|29 March 1978||Norway||3–0||Friendly match|
|16 April 1980||Czechoslovakia||2–2||Friendly match|
|24 September 1986||Greece||3–1||Friendly match|
|12 September 1990||Brazil||3–1||Friendly match|
|11 October 1997||Faroe Islands||3–1||1998 FIFA World Cup qualification (UEFA)|
|31 March 2004||Denmark||2–0||Friendly match|
|17 August 2005||Uruguay||2–0||Friendly match|
|22 March 2013||Finland||1–1||2014 FIFA World Cup qualification (UEFA)|
Asturias autonomous football team
|1922||St. Mirren FC||
|12 November 1922||Euskadi||
|13 November 1922||Euskadi||
|14 January 1923||Catalonia||
|21 June 1925||Cantabria||
|5 September 1926||Catalonia||
|10 July 1932||SL Benfica||
|16 June 1934||Mexico||
|28 June 1936||Brussels||
|29 December 2001||Lithuania||
Sporting played all the competitive games at this stadium except one in the 2002–03 season due to the closure of the stadium after the game against CD Numancia. This game, not included in the table, was played against UD Almería at the Estadio Antonio Amilivia in León.
|1988–89 La Liga||364,659||32,000||12,397||19,193|
|1989–90 La Liga||350,546||26,000||13,318||18,450|
|1990–91 La Liga||348,320||27,335||13,152||18,333|
|1991–92 La Liga||336,283||25,000||14,500||17,699|
|1992–93 La Liga||307,839||20,000||9,200||16,202|
|1993–94 La Liga||326,240||26,200||10,300||17,171|
|1994–95 La Liga||406,900||38,000||9,000||20,345|
|1995–96 La Liga||453,768||31,000||14,300||21,608|
|1996–97 La Liga||403,606||30,000||12,000||19,219|
|1997–98 La Liga||292,259||21,226||8,900||15,382|
|1998–99 Segunda División||268,746||16,200||9,500||12,797|
|1999–2000 Segunda División||246,900||15,000||10,000||11,757|
|2000–01 Segunda División||252,500||18,000||6,500||12,024|
|2001–02 Segunda División||243,300||25,000||7,000||11,586|
|2002–03 Segunda División||241,000||18,600||8,500||12,050|
|2003–04 Segunda División||332,989||25,000||9,000||15,857|
|2004–05 Segunda División||239,900||14,000||5,000||11,424|
|2005–06 Segunda División||193,150||12,500||5,000||9,198|
|2006–07 Segunda División||228,975||14,000||6,000||10,904|
|2007–08 Segunda División||343,733||24,000||12,000||16,368|
|2008–09 La Liga||411,670||24,500||18,500||21,667|
|2009–10 La Liga||382,600||24,000||17,100||20,137|
|2010–11 La Liga||426,100||28,000||19,000||22,426|
|2011–12 La Liga||417,015||28,000||18,648||21,948|
|2012–13 Segunda División||333,483||19,951||8,187||15,880|
|2013–14 Segunda División||377,307||22,315||13,265||17,150|
Curiosities and other events
On 25 November 1979, during a match between Real Sporting and Real Madrid, people started to chant "Así, así, así gana el Madrid" (that is how Madrid win) criticizing supposedly biased referring decisions that aided Real. Years later, Real Madrid fans adopted this song to celebrate the triumphs of their team.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to El Molinón.|
- El Molinón Sporting website.
- "El Molinón empieza su centenario" (in Spanish). El Comercio. Retrieved 2009-10-08.
- "Austria shirt/kits World Cup 1978 and 1982". switchimageproject.com. November 20, 2007. Retrieved 2009-09-15.
- Asistencia histórica de espectadores a El Molinón; LNE.es
- Apelación ratificó el cierre de El Molinón; As, 7 March 2003
- Sporting-Almería, en León; Diario de León; 30 May 2003