One of the perennial yo-yo clubs of Spanish football, and always in the shadow of the two biggest clubs in the city (Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid), Rayo Vallecano spent many years during the 1980s and 1990s moving back and forth between the first and second divisions. They appeared to have consolidated their top flight status after promotion in 1998–99, and the team's most successful season came in 2000–01, when they reached the UEFA Cupquarterfinals, going out only to eventual runners-up Deportivo Alavés (Rayo finished ninth in the previous season, but entered the competition via the fair play draw).
In 2010–11, Rayo Vallecano finished in second position and returned to the top flight after an eight-year absence, only trailing champions Real Betis in spite of very serious economic problems. In late March 2012, in support of the 2011–2012 Spanish protests, the squad decided to take one day off from training to join the demonstrations.
Campo de Vallecás is a football stadium located on Calle Payaso Fofó 1, Vallecas. Opened on 10 May 1976, at first it was called "New Stadium Vallecas", but in January 2004, 13 years after the arrival of the Ruiz-Mateos family in 1991, it changed denominations, as the wife was also named by her husband, business man José María, the first woman president of an elite soccer team.
It has a capacity of 14,708 spectators in an all-seated format, and dimensions of 102x64m. Additionally, one of the goalends does not have a grandstand, just a big wall with information panels.
In June 2009, the club announced plans for the construction of a new stadium.