new cathedrals for the gods of football
With big investors in the background and a successful team on the pitch, football clubs with ambition are always looking to build modern venues where they can accommodate even more fans. Often with a tear in the eye, many supporters regret their team’s move but plenty look forward to their side’s new home.
These are the exciting stadium projects of some of Europe’s top clubs:
- Atlético Madrid
- Tottenham Hotspur
- FC Valencia
Current stadium: Stamford Bridge (41,837 seats)
New stadium: New Stamford Bridge (60,000 seats)
Feature: The exterior with huge arches and brick pillars is reminiscent of Westminster Abbey.
The old stadium will be completely demolished meaning Chelsea must spend three seasons in a different ground. It’s possible that the “Blues” will move into Wembley. Swiss architects Herzog & De Meuron are responsible for the design of the new arena. They also designed Munich’s Allianz Arena, among others.
Current stadium: Estadio Vicente Calderón (54,907 seats)
New stadium: Wanda Metropolitano (73,729 seats)
Feature: The rooftop and facade can be illuminated in different colours.
Opening: September 2017
The venerable Estadio Vicente Calderón in Spain will also be torn down. The club is financing the new stadium, which will cost around €200 million, through the sale of the site. ‘Los Colchoneros’, who are already training out of town at the club’s own academy, are moving to the other side of the city, where the old Estadio Olimpico de Madrid is being rebuilt. Wanda Metropolitano is the new venue; named after the sponsor, the Chinese Wanda Group, and the first stadium of Atlético, the Estadio Metropolitano.
Current stadium: White Hart Lane (36,240 seats)
New stadium: New White Hart Lane (61,000 seats)
Feature: The “Skywalk”: visitors can climb up to 40 metres on the stadium facade.
Spurs will also briefly relocate to Wembley Stadium before moving to their new home, built with lots of glass. Unlike the old, rectangular White Hart Lane, the new arena is bowl-shaped. On the south stand, which will house the home fans’ end, 17,000 seats will be placed on one level. Two NFL games per year are also planned for the new stadium.
Current stadium: Stadio Olimpico (72,698 seats)
New stadium: Stadio della Roma (52,000 seats)
Feature: The glass design construction is reminiscent of the famous Colosseum.
Fans of Roma have long dreamed of leaving the crumbling Olympic Stadium, which they share with city rivals Lazio. In 2021, the dream could come true when the opening of the around £320 million construction is planned. For the Ultras of the Curva Sud, a separate grandstand with 14,000 seats will be built.
Current stadium: Mestalla Stadium (55,000 seats)
New stadium: Nou Mestalla (61,500 seats)
Feature: The exterior is modelled on the city map of Valencia.
The example of FC Valencia shows that a new building doesn’t always run smoothly. Work on the Nou Mestalla already started in 2007. Although the structural work is completed, due to financing problems, the project has been stalled for a long time. The original architect was fired in 2015 and a new design will be introduced in the coming months. Whether the financially troubled club ever moves, however, is more than questionable.