The Mestalla stadium or Estadio de Mestalla in Spanish is one of the top pride and joy spectacle of Valencia. It’s the flagship football stadium and one that has been in existence since 1923. The stadium has gone through several renovations for a variety of reasons with the end results being a never-ending increase in seat capacity.
Mestalla Stadium Valencia Is A Surprisingly Incredible Visit
Originally starting out to hold a capacity of 17,000, it has evolved and can now hold over 55,000 spectators. This makes it the 7th largest stadium in all of Spain. Curious as to what stadiums are ahead of Valencia as far as spectator capacity? If you guessed the three biggest cities in Spain, you would be right. Barcelona, Madrid, and Seville with two each. Not too shabby then.
Valencia actually has two football teams, the other being Levante UD, and as expected, there is the usual rivalry when cities have two big teams, making a Valencia Derby (Derbi Valenciano or Derby del Turia) a must-see for most avid football fans.
Estadio de Mestalla History:
Construction began on the stadium in 1916 and finished seven years later. The very first game played on the grounds was a derby with the Levante club. Watching a game live is a lot of fun, and if you get the chance, you should definitely do it.
The fever from the crowd is infectious. Prior to moving to Valencia, it seemed that most people we had met previously in Seville and Malaga tended to root for the two big teams of Barcelona and Madrid, and not their local teams.
Valencianos seem to be more passionate about their home team and l think that’s great. They come out in droves and often fill the stadium to capacity. The fact that the team usually performs well doesn’t hurt either. It was interesting for me to find out that during the Spanish Civil War, the Mestalla stadium was used as a concentration camp and warehouse.
In 1957, Valencia had the great flood of the river Turia that caused the loss of lives and severe structural damage to venues such as the Mestalla, resulting in yet another renovation. The river was then diverted in order to make the gorgeous Turia park which runs through the city.
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New Mestalla In Our Future?
In 2007, construction began on what was supposed to be a replacement stadium for the Mestalla to be called Nou Mestalla. Thanks to the 2008 recession, the work stopped and it has been a concrete eyesore for many years. The planned capacity of the stadium was 80,000. That number has been worked down since then and it is expected that the new capacity will be around 54,000. I’m thinking why to bother since it would hold an even lesser number than they have now.
As it stands, Nou Mestalla is scheduled to be open in 2022. Supposedly they have secured financing. The people have become jaded as they´ve heard it all before. In the meantime, people continue to enjoy the old Mestalla. It is convenient to get there, thanks to the city’s fantastic metro and bus system and a beacon in the city with its red and black colours. The Valencia Mestalla stadium has held several important matches on its ground, including the Copa del Rey and some of the matches during the 1992 Summer Olympic games.
Estadi de Mestalla (Valencian name) Club Tours:
The stadium offers the “Mestalla Forever” tours of the stadium which lasts about an hour. The tours are offered in both English and Spanish.
Stadium Tour Prices:
€11.50 for 13 – 64 years of age.
€9.00 for ages 5-12 and 65 years and over.
€6.50 for season ticket holders.
Kids under 5 enter for free.You can find further information on the tour here.
How To Get To Mestalla Stadium With Public Transportation:
The following transit lines have routes that pass near Mestalla
City Buses: 10, 25, 26, 71, 79, 80
Cercanias Trains: C1, C3
Metrovalencia: Lines 3, 7 and 9
My husband and l are big football fans and when we travel, we try to squeeze in visits to football club grounds as much as we can. It gives you inside information, and you also get to see the various trophies the clubs have won.
I especially love it when they display the shoewear of old, and you realize just how far technology has come. Some of the shoes look so, so heavy, more like for construction than football :-). Our seats were high up that day, but we saw the players just fine, so l don´t think there’s a bad seat in the house.
A bit of trivia for you:
Did you know that the bat is the symbol of Valencia? legend says that King James of Aragon had one land on him while fighting the Moors for the province. He won, and it was added to the coat of arms for good luck. You can see this emblem all over the city, and of course on the Valencia FC uniform.
Are you a football fan? If so, what team do you support? If not, what is your sport?