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San Mamés
La Catedral
Sanmames.gif
Full name Estadio San Mamés
Location Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain
Built 20 January, 1913
Opened 21 August, 1913
Renovated 1952, 1982 (FIFA World Cup 1982)
Owner Athletic Bilbao
Operator Athletic Bilbao
Surface Grass
Construction cost 50.000 ptas
Architect Manuel Maria Smith
Capacity 39,670[1]
Field dimensions 104 x 68 m
Tenants
Athletic Bilbao

Estadio San Mamés, AKA La Catedral (The Cathedral), is a football stadium in Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain. The stadium is the home of Athletic Bilbao, known as "Los leones de San Mamés-Bilboko leoiak" (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 thrown to the lions by the Romans. The lions refused to eat Mammes and he was later made a saint.[1]

History

Opened in 1913, it is Spain's oldest built stadium (the oldest playing field being El Molinon), a distinction that together with its religious heritage has granted it the nickname, la Catedral (the Cathedral). San Mamés can seat almost forty thousand people and is renowned for the unique and boisterous atmosphere its crowds of devoted and loyal fans create on match-days.[2]

The current 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 will be built on the former site of the Bilbao International Trade Fair, adjacent to the current stadium. Construction is scheduled to begin in April 2010, and when it is three quarters completed, Athletic Club will move into their new home and the original San Mamés will be demolished.

References

External links

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

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