San Mamés Stadium (1913)

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San Mamés
La Catedral
San Mamés during a UEFA match.
Full name Estadio San Mamés
Location Bilbao, Spain
Owner Athletic Bilbao
Operator Athletic Bilbao
Capacity 40,000[1]
Field size 104 x 68 m
Surface Grass
Built 20 January 1913
Opened 21 August 1913
Renovated 1952, 1982
Closed 5 June 2013
Demolished 6 June 2013
Construction cost 50.000 ptas
Architect Manuel Maria Smith
Athletic Bilbao
Basque Country national football team

San Mamés Stadium (Spanish: Estadio San Mamés [esˈtaðjo sam maˈmes]; also known as La Catedral [la kateˈðɾal], "The Cathedral"), was a football stadium in Bilbao, Biscay, Spain. The stadium was the home of Athletic Bilbao, known as Los Leones de San Mamés-Bilboko lehoiak (The Lions of San Mamés). They are known as Los Leones because their stadium was built near a church called San Mamés (Saint Mammes). Mammes was an early Christian, according to legend, who was thrown to the lions by the Romans.

The club's new stadium, of the same name, was inaugurated on 16 September 2013.[2]


Opened in 1913, it was Spain's oldest built stadium before its demolition (the oldest playing field being El Molinón[3]) a distinction that together with its religious heritage has granted it the nickname, La Catedral (The Cathedral). San Mamés could seat almost forty thousand people and was renowned for the unique and boisterous atmosphere its crowds of devoted and loyal fans create on match-days.[4]

The stadium was almost entirely rebuilt to host matches in the 1982 FIFA World Cup. In March 2006, a project was approved to replace the stadium with a new and larger version, thereby increasing the stadium capacity to 53,000. The New San Mamés Stadium is built on the former site of the Bilbao International Trade Fair, adjacent to the current stadium. Construction began in April 2010, and after it was three quarters completed, Athletic Club moved into their new home and the original San Mamés was demolished.

AC/DC's final concert of their Black Ice World Tour was held in the stadium, on 28 June 2010.

Panoramic view.


1982 FIFA World Cup[edit]

The stadium was one of the venues of the 1982 FIFA World Cup, and held the following matches:

Date Team #1 Res. Team #2 Round
1982-06-16 England  3–2  France Group 4 (First Round)
1982-06-20 England  2–0  Czechoslovakia Group 4 (First Round)
1982-06-25 England  1–0  Kuwait Group 4 (First Round)


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°15′48.62″N 2°56′54.21″W / 43.2635056°N 2.9483917°W / 43.2635056; -2.9483917