San Mames – Athletic Bilbao stadium


San Mamés stadium is located in Bilbao, the capital city of the Basque Country. The stadium opened its doors to the public on September 16, 2013. The stadium serves primarily as Athletic Club de Bilbao soccer team’s home pitch but is also home to the Bilbao center for sports innovation and a sports medicine center, an underground running track, and a municipal sports center. The stadium also hoasts a great number of concerts and other spectacles. The stadium sits 53.331 fans making it the 8th largest in Spain. The stadium was also awarded the maximum grade possible by UEFA. 

The original San Mamés stadium was located in the same place where the new stadium now stands. The Old San Mamés had been the team’s home since 1913. The old stadium sat 39.750 spectators and was the only stadium in Spain that had hoasted a 1st division game every year since the league’s inception in 1928 and hoasted the world cup in 1982. 

San Mamés Stadium Tour


Visitors can tour the San Mamés facilities and experience all of the history the Athletic Club of Bilbao has to offer. The tour takes about 2 hours and will take you through the teams facilities, the club’s museum, and all the way out onto the pitch. 

The innovative Athletic Club museum features a wide selection of fascinating football memorabilia collected over more than a century. 

You can also book a private tour if you want a more up close and personal experience. 

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San Mamés stadium history 

The name San Mamés comes from a nearby Asylum that once owned the land on which was built. Sam Maés players are known as the lions of San Mamés. San Mamés was a Christian martyr that was fed to lions, from there the “lions of San Mamés”. The stadium itself was known locally as “The Cathedral” because of local expresión that says: “Where are you going San Mames? To church? And the reply: No, to the Cathedral”. The old San mamés was demolished in 2013. 

In 2014, the new San Mamés was selected as one of the host stadiums for the 2020 Eurocup. But, because of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the tournament has been postponed until July of 2021. 

In November of 2015, during the World Architecture Festival in Singapur, San Mamés was awarded “best athletic building” 

Construction began in May of 2010 and ended in September 2013 when Athletic Club faced Celta de Vigo in a league game in which Athletic beat Celta 3-2. The first team to beat Athletic in San Mamés was ironically Athletico of Madrid, 2-1. 


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