Anoeta Stadium

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Anoeta
Reale Arena
Anoetako panoramika, Donostia, Euskal Herria.jpg
Rugby match at Anoeta during rebuilding process, November 2018
LocationSan Sebastián, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Coordinates43°18′4.96″N 1°58′25.02″W / 43.3013778°N 1.9736167°W / 43.3013778; -1.9736167Coordinates: 43°18′4.96″N 1°58′25.02″W / 43.3013778°N 1.9736167°W / 43.3013778; -1.9736167
Public transitMetro Donostialdea Anoeta
OwnerCity Council
OperatorCity Council
Capacity39,500[1]
Record attendance36,639
(Real Sociedad v Barcelona; 14 December 2019)[2]
Field size105 metres (115 yd) x 68 metres (74 yd)
Construction
Broke ground1991
Opened1993
Renovated2017–2019
Construction costPta3 billion[3][4]
€21 million
Tenants
Real Sociedad (1993–present)

Anoeta Stadium, currently known as the Reale Arena for sponsorship purposes,[5] is a football stadium in San Sebastián, Basque Country, Spain that was inaugurated in 1993.

The stadium lies at the Anoeta Sports Complex, and is mostly used for football matches where La Liga side Real Sociedad contest their home games. The total seating capacity of the stadium, which was originally 32,000,[6] was restricted to around 26,800[7] due to redevelopment works; its capacity for the September 2019 completion has been quoted as 39,500 seats[1] (down on the figure of 42,300 given two years earlier),[8] making it the 11th-largest stadium in Spain and the 2nd-largest in the Basque Country.

History and uses[edit]

It is the third home stadium of Real Sociedad preceded by Ondarreta (1909–1913), and Atocha (1913–1993). The external concourse area features a bust of the late Alberto Ormaetxea, the club's manager during their successful early 1980s period.[9]

Bust of Ormaetxea

Real Sociedad's Basque rivals, Athletic Bilbao, were also permitted to use Anoeta for their first home game of the 2013–14 La Liga season, as their own new ground (San Mames) was still under construction.[10][11][12] The stadium has also occasionally hosted matches of the Basque Country national football team.[13]

Rugby game at Anoeta
Gure Esku Dago political event at Anoeta, 2015

In recent years, it has also been used for concerts, and for occasional Heineken Cup rugby union fixtures by nearby Top 14 club Biarritz Olympique (based in France but very near to San Sebastian). Since the 2009–10 Top 14 season, both Biarritz and fellow Pays Basque club Aviron Bayonnais took home matches to the Anoeta, which is the closest large stadium to their towns.

Four of the unofficial Basque Country team's friendly fixtures have been held at the stadium (1993, 1998, 2004, 2012).

Opening[edit]

Interior of the stadium in 2013 before reconstruction
Anoeta station, also opened in 1993, on Metro Donostialdea network

Anoeta's initial construction costs were said to be 3 billion pesetas (equivalent to around €21 million at the time).[3] The stadium was officially opened on 13 August 1993 with a friendly between Real Sociedad and Real Madrid. The first goal was scored by Txuriurdin defender Loren, and the match finished 2–2.[14][15]

Expansion in the 21st century[edit]

Proposals[edit]

In 2004, José Luis Astiazarán, then the president of Real Sociedad, launched a project called Gipuzkoarena.[16] Planned to be completed in 2007, it was intended to increase the stadium's capacity to 42,000, which would include the removal of the athletics track. The project also intended to construct a hotel and shops, among other items. This proposal was soon rejected by the city council and left behind.[17]

Towards the end of 2007, Iñaki Badiola, candidate for the presidency of Real Sociedad, proposed that the club buy the stadium.[18] This was also soon rejected by the city council.[19] In 2008, Badiola, by now the president, made another two proposals for the stadium,[20] one of them similar to Gipuzkoarena. These proposals were to be studied by the city council, but after 20 December Badiola was no longer the club's president. Later, his successor, Jokin Aperribay, launched a new attempt to refurbish the stadium.

2015 project[edit]

In 2015 the club announced that it would begin reforms on Anoeta in 2016, enlarging the stadium as well as removing the track around the field.[21][22] Construction eventually began in May 2017. When completed in October 2019, the remodelled arena would hold around 42,300 spectators. The €47 million cost of the project was borne between Real Sociedad (€33m), the Basque Government (€10m) and the Gipuzkoa Provincial Council (€4m).[8] the architect is Izaskun Larzabal,[23][24] who also designed many of the facilities at the club's Zubieta training complex.[25][26][27] After the project completion, the total cost announced including some new improvements that would take place until 2020 was of €78,6 million.[28]

The stadium during the first stage of reconstruction, featuring cranes, February 2018

Depending on any issues and delays encountered, it was reported that the construction work could lead to Real Sociedad playing some matches in Bilbao or elsewhere at some point during the period.[29]

The first phase of reconstruction (involving the removal of the track and insertion of lower rows of seats on the side stands, and a completely new south end stand)[30] concluded just after the start of the 2018–19 La Liga season, requiring the club to play their first three fixtures away from home, before hosting FC Barcelona on the fourth matchday (15 September 2018).[31] Over 3,000 additional members were admitted to the club due to the increase in capacity offered by the remodelled stadium.[32] The second phase of work on the new north end stand was expected to be completed over the course of that season.

Real Sociedad played away from home for each of the first three rounds of the 2019–20 La Liga campaign to allow the stadium rebuild to move to completion. It was announced that the first match at Anoeta – or the Reale Arena to use its new sponsored title – with all seats in place, a capacity quoted as 39,500 (though with work still ongoing in other areas of the construction)[1][33] would be between the home side and Atlético Madrid on Saturday 14 September 2019, almost exactly a year after the first new stand was opened. Real won 2–0, with the official attendance given as 33,374,[34] greater than the old maximum and therefore a record for the stadium but some way short of the new capacity.

Complaints[edit]

Over the years, fans were never happy with the stadium in its original configuration due to the athletics track causing a distance between the stands and the field itself,[33] resulting in a "cold" atmosphere during matches.[35]

Transport[edit]

Metro / Train: Anoeta station, Metro Donostialdea (Line 1), Euskotren Trena (lines 5 and 3).

Bus: Line 17, Line 24 Line 28, Line 26, Line 37, and night line B4.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Anoeta: bienvenido el fútbol en color" [Anoeta: welcome football in color]. El Diario Vasco (in Spanish). 8 September 2019. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  2. ^ Real Sociedad-Barcelona boxscore
  3. ^ a b "Publications - World Cup 2018, San Sebastian, page 7 (labelled 204)" (PDF). Izaskun Larzabal architecture. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 January 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  4. ^ "Una generación de oro forjada en Anoeta hace veinte años" [A generation of gold forged in Anoeta twenty years ago] (in Spanish). El Diario Vasco. 4 June 2017. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  5. ^ It's here REALE ARENA, realsociedad.eus, 12 September 2019
  6. ^ "Instalaciones" [Facilities] (in Spanish). Real Sociedad. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  7. ^ "Real Sociedad 1-2 Barcelona: Champions score two quick goals to maintain winning start". BBC Sport. 15 September 2018. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Comienzan la obras en Anoeta" [Work begins on Anoeta] (in Spanish). Mundo Deportivo. 23 May 2017. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  9. ^ "Faris, el corazón txuri urdin de Arabia Saudí" [Faris, the blue-and-white heart of Saudi Arabia]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 6 February 2017. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  10. ^ "20.000 rojiblancos apoyarán al Athletic en Anoeta" [20,000 red-and-whites will support Athletic in Anoeta] (in Spanish). EITB. 22 August 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  11. ^ "Una 'mudanza' muy rentable" [A very profitable move'] (in Spanish). Marca. 23 August 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  12. ^ "El Athletic de Bilbao gana 2-0 a Osasuna en Anoeta" [Athletic Bilbao wins 2-0 against Osasuna at Anoeta] (in Spanish). La Vanguardia. 24 August 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  13. ^ "Euskal Selekzioa 6-1 Bolivia". EFF (Basque Football Federation) (in Spanish). 29 December 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  14. ^ "Anoeta". El Diario Vasco (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 19 November 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
  15. ^ "Partidos Inolvidables: Real Sociedad 2 – Real Madrid 2 (93–94)" [Unforgettable Matches: Real Sociedad 2 – Real Madrid 2 (93–94)] (in Spanish). Corazón Txuri Urdin. 13 August 2008. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  16. ^ Gipuzkoarena (video proposal in YouTube -Spanish-)
  17. ^ Elorza comunica a la Real que el Gipuzkoarena "pertenece ya al pasado" (El País, 31/08/2004 -Spanish-)
  18. ^ Badiola propone que la Real compre Anoeta al Ayuntamiento (diariovasco.com, 4/12/2007 -Spanish-)
  19. ^ Odón Elorza frena la propuesta de Badiola de comprar Anoeta (diariovasco.com, 6/12/2007 -Spanish-)
  20. ^ Badiola propone al Ayuntamiento convertir Anoeta en zona residencial y trasladar el estadio Archived 2008-09-06 at the Wayback Machine (Noticias de Gipuzkoa, 15/04/2008 -Spanish-)
  21. ^ "Futuro Anoeta" [future Anoeta] (in Spanish). Real Sociedad. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  22. ^ "Las obras del nuevo Anoeta afectarán a 5.200 socios a final de temporada" [The works of the new Anoeta will affect 5,200 members at the end of the season] (in Spanish). Marca. 9 March 2017. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  23. ^ "El nuevo estadio de Anoeta, futurista y azul" [The new Anoeta stadium, futuristic and blue] (in Spanish). El Diario Vasco. 4 June 2017. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  24. ^ "Remodelación Estadio Anoeta" [Anoeta Stadium Remodeling] (in Spanish). Izaskun Larzabal Architecture. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  25. ^ "Edificio Gorabide Zubieta" [Gorabide Building, Zubieta] (in Spanish). Izaskun Larzabal Architecture. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  26. ^ "Edificio Garatu/Gainditu Zubieta" [Garatu/Gainditu Building, Zubieta] (in Spanish). Izaskun Larzabal Architecture. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  27. ^ "Nuevo campo Z2 // Zubieta" [New pitch Z2, Zubieta] (in Spanish). Izaskun Larzabal Architecture. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  28. ^ "La Real cambiará el césped de un Reale Arena que costará 78 millones de euros". Marca.com (in Spanish). 2019-11-12. Retrieved 2019-11-12.
  29. ^ "La Real pretende jugar en San Mamés" [Real plans to play in San Mamés] (in Spanish). Deia. 18 November 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  30. ^ "An important step forward". Real Sociedad. 5 August 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  31. ^ "Guía VAVEL Real Sociedad 2018-19: la reforma de Anoeta complica el inicio" [VAVEL Guide Real Sociedad 2018-19: the Anoeta reform complicates the start]. Vavel (in Spanish). 14 August 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  32. ^ "New Anoeta brings in 3,348 new members". Marca. 6 August 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  33. ^ a b "Anoeta. El club confía en llegar a tiempo" [Anoeta: The club is confident of being on time]. Noticias de Gipuzkoa (in Spanish). 11 September 2019. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  34. ^ Real Sociedad vs Atlético Madrid, La Liga
  35. ^ Estadio Anoeta, The Stadium Guide

External links[edit]