The Sports Bay


Atletico Madrid Move Into $370m Wanda Metropolitano Stadium

Atletico Madrid will for the first time play in their new Wanda Metropolitano 68,000-capacity stadium worth $370m, nearly 20 kilometres north-east from their old Vicente Calderon Stadium.

Diego Simeone’s side has been forced to play their first four games of the season away as the finishing touches were made to the stadium.

Work will continue outside the ground for much of the rest of the season with access roads still to be completed, forcing Atletico to launch a marketing campaign this week encouraging as many fans as possible to access the remote location close to the city’s airport by public transport.

“The people at the club are worried that the atmosphere is good and that everything goes perfectly, but perfection doesn’t exist,” said Simeone, after showing his commitment to Atletico’s future by extending his contract to 2020.

“It will take months for everything to take shape. When you build a house, there are problems with the bathroom, or the air conditioning, or the heating, you need a plumber or you have an argument with the architect.

“In a stadium of this size, of course, we’ll have those issues, but above all outside the ground.”

Inside it is a different story with an immaculate pitch laid last week the final touch.

The stands hug the touchline on all four sides of the ground, much to Simeone’s delight, despite the initial construction on the stadium being done with an eye to Madrid’s failed bid to host the 2020 Olympics.

“The stadium, the stands, the seats, it is all marvelous,” added Simeone.

“Imagining the Atletico fans here and knowing them well, this will be a pressure cooker because the fans are glued to the pitch.

“It generates hope and enthusiasm and when there are hope and enthusiasm, good things always happen.”

Atletico has held up well under the strain of playing away as they remain unbeaten this season and should have comfortably won a 0-0 draw at Roma in their Champions League opener on Wednesday but for a series of wasted opportunities.

Antoine Griezmann returns from his two-game domestic suspension, whilst Atletico couldn’t have hoped for a more amenable guest as Malaga travel to the Spanish capital without a point from their opening three games and with coach Michel fighting for his job.


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