Wednesday, 12 Jun 2024

San Mamés: Athletic Bilbao

When it comes to the home ground of Athletic Bilbao, we can’t overlook the iconic San Mamés Stadium. It’s important to note that there are two stadiums with the same name, but we’ll be focusing on the newer one that opened in 2013. Let’s delve into the fascinating details of this modern masterpiece.

The Impressive San Mamés Stadium

The San Mamés Stadium, built at a cost of €211 million, stands as a proud symbol of Bilbao’s architectural excellence. It was constructed right next to the original stadium, which had been the home of Athletic Bilbao for a century. The new stadium was opened in phases, allowing Bilbao to play matches there while the old ground was demolished. The final phase was completed, creating a remarkable structure that won the prestigious Sports Building of the Year award in 2015 at the World Architecture Festival in Singapore.

Notable Features and Accomplishments

The San Mamés Stadium boasts an impressive array of statistics and features that make it truly special:

  • Year opened: 2013
  • Capacity: 53,289
  • Average attendance: 41,983
  • Record attendance: 49,017 (Athletic Bilbao vs. Napoli, 2014)
  • Pitch size: 105 x 68 meters
  • Nickname: San Mamés
  • Owner: San Mamés Barria, S.L.
  • Clubs hosted: Athletic Bilbao, Athletic Bilbao B
  • Final fixture: Athletic Bilbao vs. Celta Vigo (September 16, 2013)

Athletic Bilbao, founded in 1898, is known as “Los Leones” (The Lions) and boasts an impressive history. The team has renowned rivalries with Real Sociedad and Real Madrid. The club’s record goalscorer is Telmo Zarra, with an incredible 367 goals, while José Ángel Iribar holds the record for most appearances with 614.

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San Mamés Photos

San Mamés Photos

San Mamés Seating Plan and Where to Sit

The San Mamés Stadium offers a unique seating arrangement, with continuous seating that surrounds the entire pitch. To help you navigate your way around, here’s an overview of each section:

  • Tribuna Principal: This is the main stand, housing the dugouts, players’ tunnel, and dressing rooms.
  • Tribuna Norte: Located behind the Northern goal, this stand is where the most enthusiastic Bilbao fans gather.
  • Tribuna Este: Situated directly opposite the Tribuna Principal, this stand’s upper tier was completed after the stadium’s initial opening.
  • Tribuna Sur: Similar to Tribuna Norte, the South Stand provides an exhilarating atmosphere. The upper level’s right-hand side was added later.

Athletico Bilbao Ticket Prices

Athletico Bilbao follows a membership-based model similar to Barcelona, granting special ticket prices to members. For the general public, ticket prices vary based on age and seating location.

  • Tribuna Principal: €40 to €110 (adult)
  • Sur Baja of the Tribuna Norte: €30 to €60
  • Tribune Norte Sur Alta: €30 (cheapest) to €80 (most expensive)

Concession rates are available, but specific discounts aren’t specified.

How to Get Athletico Bilbao Tickets

The best way to secure tickets is through the official club website. Tickets usually go on sale two days before the game. If you’re in the city without internet access, you can also purchase tickets at the stadium or through ATMs located at kutxabanks in the area.

Where to Buy Tickets

For ticket purchases, Ticket Compare is a recommended platform.

Getting to San Mamés

Bilbao is located in the Basque region of Spain, making it easily accessible. Here are some common transportation options to reach the stadium:

  • Train: A train journey from London to Bilbao takes about thirteen hours, including transfers. From Bilbao, you can either take a mainline train to Estación de Abando Indalecio Prieto or use the Metro to San Mamés Station, conveniently located near the stadium.
  • Bus: Bilbao has an extensive bus network, with multiple routes passing near the San Mamés Stadium. Buses like BAI, DG01, DG02, DO01, and DO03 are among the options.
  • Car: Traveling on the A8 motorway, take Exit 117 to reach the stadium. Look out for signs or the stadium itself to guide you.
  • Air: Bilbao Airport is less than ten miles from the city center. A bus service connects the airport to the city.
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Taxi services are also readily available, with a short journey from Bilbao center to the stadium costing around six or seven euros.

Parking Near San Mamés

General parking is unavailable at the stadium, as the area is reserved for VIPs and club guests. It is recommended to park in the city center and enjoy a short walk to the stadium.

San Mamés Hotels

Bilbao boasts numerous hotels catering to different preferences. Here are some top choices for your stay:

  • Hotel 1
  • Hotel 2
  • Hotel 3

Pubs and Bars Near San Mamés

Immerse yourself in the vibrant Spanish culture by exploring the local pubs and bars before the match. Here are some recommended venues:

  • Pub 1
  • Pub 2
  • Pub 3

Facilities at San Mamés

The San Mamés Stadium holds the UEFA “Elite” classification, promising an exceptional experience for visitors. Expect excellent views from all sections, spacious and secure concourses, and various food and beverage outlets.

Hospitality at San Mamés

The stadium offers an array of hospitality options to enhance your matchday experience. VIP seating runs around the pitch, with additional lounges and rooms dedicated to providing top-notch hospitality services. For more details, it’s best to reach out to the club directly.

Private Hire

If you’re interested in hosting conferences or meetings at San Mamés, the stadium offers several conference rooms and boxes suitable for various event sizes.

Stadium Tours & Museum

Experience the wonders of San Mamés through an immersive stadium tour. Guided tours are available with audio recordings or knowledgeable tour guides. Prices start from €5, including entry to the museum. Guided tours, costing €8, offer a more engaging experience, especially with an English-speaking tour guide. Tours typically run from midday to 5 pm, focusing primarily on weekends.

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About Athletico Bilbao

Athletico Bilbao stands out as one of the most intriguing football clubs worldwide. Founded in 1898, the club has adhered to a unique “cantera” policy, fielding only players born or trained in the Basque region. This self-imposed selection criteria hasn’t hindered their success, as they have never been relegated from Spain’s Primera División, making them one of the founding teams to achieve this feat. With eight La Liga titles and 24 Copa Del Rey wins, they have built an illustrious history.

Athletic Bilbao’s achievements extend to their women’s team, the most successful in Spain’s women’s league with five Primera División Femenina championships.

San Mamés History

Plans for the San Mamés Stadium began in 2004, gaining approval in 2006. However, construction only began in 2010. The stadium was inaugurated with a match between Athletic Bilbao and Celta Vigo, marking the end of the 100-year-old predecessor. Michel Platini, former President of UEFA, praised the San Mamés as a wonderful stadium, seamlessly blending with Bilbao’s distinctive architectural style. The stadium’s design also prioritized acoustics, ensuring optimum noise levels throughout.

Future Developments

Given the stadium’s recent completion, significant changes are unlikely in the near future. Notably, aspects such as the retractable roof were added around 2016/17, ensuring an enhanced experience for spectators.