Before I start, I have to admit that there is a flaw in a club claiming to have the oldest stadium. It’s a bit like Trigger’s Broom (or Theseus’ Paradox if you’re that way inclined). Can something which has had all of its component parts replaced over the course of time, remain fundamentally the same? Well for the sake of this article, the answer is a resounding “Yes”.
Quite simply here are the 10 oldest stadiums in Spain. Just a couple of criteria apply; The current stadium has to be on the site of the original ground and it must have hosted a match in any of Spain’s top three tiers. So in reverse order, in at number 10 is…
10) Estadio Mendizorroza – Vitoria
Opened on 27 April 1924, Mendizorroza is home to Deportivo Alavés. Extensively redeveloped at the turn of the century, you can read more about Mendizorroza here.
9) El Madrigal – Villarreal
Opened on 17 June 1923, El Madrigal has served Villarreal Club de Fútbol as a home for all but the first few months of its existence. It remained relatively basic until the club started its rise through the divisions in the 1980s. The history of El Madrigal can be read here.
8) Mestalla – Valencia
Valencia CF’s second home opened on 20 May 1923. Still defiantly old school, Mestalla is La Primera’s most atmospheric stadium and may continue to serve the club for years to come, as Valencia’s work on the Nou Mestalla has ground to a halt. The story of Mestalla can be read here.
7) Las Llanas – Sestao
Originally home to Sestao Sport Club, the precise date that Las Llanas staged its first match is not known, but contemporary reports have them playing there in April 1923. Sestao Sport Club folded in 1996 and Las Llanas is now home to Sestao River Club. More on Las Llanas here.
6) Estadio Guadalquivir – Coria del Rio
The Estadio Guadalquivir is the only home of Coria Club de Fútbol. Opened in March 1923, the stadium hosted Segunda B football for three seasons from 1999. Read more here.
5) El Malecón – Torrelavega
El Malecón first hosted a match on 2 October 1922, although it had to wait a further 10 months and the presence of the Reina Victoria for its official opening. The stadium was rebuilt in 2010 whilst home club Gimnástica ground-shared with local rivals Tropezon. Re-opened in January 2012, you can read more about El Malecón here.
4) La Murta – Xátiva
The grandiosely named Club Deportivo Olímpic de Xàtiva play at the relatively simple Campo de La Murta. No precise date has been given for the date of inauguration, but the club say early 1922, some say even earlier in 1920. More about the club and La Murta here.
3) Camp d’Esports – Lleida
Built as a gift to the city by the local Republican Movement, the Camp d’Esports opened on 1 January 1919 and has remained at the centre of all things football in Catalunya’s most northern region. The story of the Camp d’Esports can be read here.
2) El Rubial – Águilas
Inaugurated on 19 January 1913, El Rubial is the second oldest football stadium in Spain. It has hosted football at a regional level for all but seven seasons, a period at the turn of the century when Águilas Club de Fútbol reached Segunda B. More on El Rubial here.
1) El Molinón – Gijón
It’s official! Sporting Gijón’s El Molinón is Spain’s oldest stadium. Official club records say that the ground was opened in 1908, although El Molinón can only claim to have occupied the same area of Parque de Isabel la Católicat since August 1917. You can read more about the granddaddy of all Spanish stadia here.