By Chris Wright
At the end of the current season Atheltic Bilbao’s historic San Mames stadium will be closing its doors for the final time ahead of the club completing their proposed move into their new stadium – the Nuevo San Mames – for the 2013/14 campaign.
As such, 2012/13 will be Bilbao’s 100th and final season at La Catedral, with building work almost complete on the three sides of their new home that are due to open up in time for next season. The Nuevo San Mames is being built directly adjacent to the old ground, with the West stand (which currently sports the famous “San Mames Arch”) being turned around and converted into a new end terrace – such is the size hike of the new stadium.
The three stands that are to open for the 2013/14 La Liga campaign will provide a temporary capacity of around 36,000, though once work is complete on the fourth side of the bowl (they’re hoping it’s done in time for 2014/15) the total capacity of the nuevo stadium will just a shade under 53,000…
Sadly, it looks like the arch is set to go too if the architect’s drawings are anything to go by.
Built in 1913