Real Sociedad’s Anoeta stadium is in the midst of a remarkable transformation as it heads into its final stage of evolution and redevelopment.
Located in San Sebastian, northern Spain, the home of Real Sociedad has been the pride of the Txuri-urdin (blue and white) club and this development aims to bring the team and the fans even closer together.
Anoeta opened in 1993, replacing the legendary Atotxa, and has largely become known for its imposing exterior architecture and disused athletic track, while also seemingly unable to capture the magic of its predecessor.
Real Sociedad famously won La Liga titles at the Atotxa, but since their move to Anoeta there has been a feeling of detachment from the fans and as such there was a need for change.
Club president Jokin Aperribay said: “The root cause of the need to develop Anoeta was the fact that it used to have athletics track between the pitch and the stands.”
“We want to do what the fans want us to do and make Anoeta one of the most renowned stadiums in La Liga, one which helps spread our message all over the world.”
The redevelopment was a formidable challenge which involved fusing two different architectural styles together – maintaining much of the open structure of the previous incarnation of Anoeta with magnificent light, while also bringing fans closer to the action.
This new concept of a sports facility puts Anoeta up there with the best stadiums in the world equipped with the latest technology and fan connectivity.
While the main aim of this transformation was to improve the fan’s experience, the stadium will also become a true emblem within the city just like the beach of La Concha.
The club aims to find different uses for each of the areas of the building for leisure, start-ups as well as welcoming other sports.
Architect Izaskun Larzabal summed up the goal of this redevelopment: “This has to be everyone’s home.”
Real Sociedad supporters will be rubbing their hands in anticipation of experiencing the new Anoeta in its full glory and will hope it will live up to the expectations the mythical Atotxa left.