UEFA Champions League match at Anoeta
|Location||San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa, Spain|
|Capacity||25,000 (42,300 From 2019)|
|Field size||105 metres (115 yd) x 68 metres (74 yd)|
|Construction cost||Pta3 billion
|Real Sociedad (1993-present)|
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, is currently restricted to 25,000 due to redevelopment works; once complete in 2019 the stadium will hold 42,300 all-seated.
History and uses
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. The stadium has also occasionally hosted matches of the Basque Country national football team.
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.
Anoeta's initial construction costs were said to be 3 billion pesetas (equivalent to around €21 million at the time). 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.
Expansion in the 21st century
In 2004, José Luis Astiazarán, then the president of Real Sociedad, launched a project called Gipuzkoarena. 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.
Towards the end of 2007, Iñaki Badiola, candidate for the presidency of Real Sociedad, proposed that the club buy the stadium. This was also soon rejected by the city council. In 2008, Badiola, by now the president, made another two proposals for the stadium, 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.
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. Construction eventually began in May 2017. When completed in October 2019, the remodelled arena will hold around 42,300 spectators. The €47 million cost of the project is being borne between Real Sociedad (€33m), the Basque Government (€10m) and the Gipuzkoa Provincial Council (€4m). the architect is Izaskun Larzabal, who also designed many of the facilities at the club's Zubieta training complex.
Over the years, fans have never been happy with the stadium due to the athletics track causing a distance between the stands and the field itself, resulting in a "cold" atmosphere during matches.
Bus: Line 17, Line 24 Line 28, Line 26, Line 37, and night line B4.
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