El Molinón

Estadio El Molinón is an association football stadium in Gijón, Asturias-Spain. The stadium is the home ground of Sporting de Gijón.

The stadium's address is Parque de Isabel la Católica, 33390 Gijón.

History

El Molinón is the oldest professional football field in Spain. It has been in use since at least 1908, and is located on the site of an old watermill, hence the stadium's name, the Spanish word for "big mill".

Real Sporting started to use El Molinón as official ground in 1915. The first official match was held on April 22, 1917 between Real Sporting and Arenas Club de Getxo of Copa del Rey. Arenas won 0-1. On May 2, 1920, El Molinón held the 1920 Copa del Rey Final, where FC Barcelona defeated Athletic Bilbao by 2–0.

On 1924, Real Sporting bought El Molinón and became the owner of the stadium. On 1931, the principal tribune was destroyed because of fire but later, it was re-built and on 1944, the Gijón City Hall re-buys El Molinón due to Sporting's financial situation.

On 1968, four light towers were installed in El Molinón and the stadium started to hold matches at night. The first one was against Valencia CF. On November 30, 1969, El Molinón became the first all-covered stadium in Spain and on January 28, 1970, there was the first match on TV in El Molinón. Sporting defeated that day Osasuna by 3–0.

On 1997–98, El Molinón prepared to adapt to the new UEFA and FIFA security legislation: all people must be seated and the fences must be removed. The stadium capacity was reduced from 42,000 to 25,885.

After the expansion between 2009 and 2010, El Molinón grew up to 29,538 seats.

International matches

The first international match in El Molinón was held on April 22, 1928 between Spain national football team and Italy national football team. El Molinón had that day a capacity about 36,000 people. The match finished 1–1.

50 years later, El Molinón held again another international match between Spain and Czechoslovakia. Apart from Spain matches, in this stadium Sporting played all his UEFA Cup matches, including the winning against AC Milan by 1–0 on September 30, 1987.

1982 FIFA World Cup

The stadium played host three matches of the Group B. Two of them were famous in the 1982 World Cup, Germany's shock 1-2 defeat to Algeria being the first. After the result of Algeria's final group game was known, a rather uncontested 1-0 victory of Germany against Austria which sent both teams through at Algeria's expense. In German the match is known as Nichtangriffspakt von Gijón (lit. Non-aggression pact of Gijón) or Schande von Gijón (lit. Shame of Gijón). This shameful game at Gijon directly led to a change of the rules requiring the last matches in the group phase to be played simultaneously.

All Spain matches in El Molinón
Asturias autonomous football team

Especially in the decade of the 1920s and 1930s, El Molinón held some friendly matches of the Asturias autonomous football team. The last one was in 2001 against Lithuania.

Curiosities and other events

On November 25, 1979, during a match between Real Sporting and Real Madrid, people started to south "Así, así, así gana el Madrid" (that is how Madrid win) for criticize the supposed arbitral aid to Real. Years later, Real Madrid fans adopted this song to celebrate the triumphs of their team.

The stadium has hosted concerts by many famous artists, including Bon Jovi, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Sting and Tina Turner, among others.

External Links
  • Stadium featured on Estadios de España

Building Activity

  • removed a media
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com