Estadio Benito Villamarín

Capacity60 379
Country Spain
ClubsReal Betis Balompié
CategoryDesign awaiting implementation
Cost€ 70 M ($76.3 M)
Design Rafael de la-Hoz, Gensler


Estadio Benito Villamarín – design description

What does Estadio Benito Villamarín look like?

Estadio Benito Villamarín has been in existence since 1929; since the second half of the 1930s, the venue has been the home of Real Betis, one of the two major football clubs in Seville (alongside Sevilla FC). The stadium underwent significant upgrades in the 1970s and just before the 1982 World Cup.

At the end of the 20th century, the club's then president, Manuel Ruiz de Lopera, had the ambition to carry out another major expansion of the stadium. In 1998, a design was created by architect Antonio González Cordón, which was partially implemented between 1998 and 1999, when the stands on the north and east sides were extended.

The expansion continued with the construction of a new stand behind the south gate in 2016-2017, according to the same design. The stadium was then given a relatively consistent, symmetrical form, although the reconstruction of the main stand and the installation of a canopy over the entire auditorium were still missing to fully realise the concept.

The venue has a capacity of 60,721 spectators and is the fourth largest stadium in Spain.

When was the plan to complete the redevelopment of Estadio Benito Villamarín conceived?

On November 16, 2021, the club's president, Ángel Haro, announced his intention to complete the redevelopment of the stadium. In November 2022, the club's vice-president stated that construction work should begin within 18 months.

Opportunities for investment arose from a deal between LaLiga and fund CVC Capital Partners, which was signed at the end of 2021. With the agreement, the Spanish clubs were to receive additional funds in the form of a long-term, interest-free loan, most of which should be used for infrastructure development.

On March 7, 2023 Real Betis announced an international architectural competition to design the stadium redevelopment. This meant that further work would not be carried out according to the 1998 design. The project was to include, in particular, the construction of a new main stand, the roofing of the entire auditorium, the creation of a complete façade and an increase in the commercial potential of the stadium.

The competition attracted 30 entries, including a number of renowned architectural studios from home and abroad, of which seven were shortlisted for the final phase. The winning concept was announced on August 17, 2023. The vision created jointly by the studios Rafael de la-Hoz from Spain and Gensler from the United States proved to be the best in the opinion of the jury and they were invited to prepare the full design documentation.

When will work be carried out on the extension of Estadio Benito Villamarín?

Initial plans called for work to begin in the summer of 2024, with construction expected to take between 18 and 24 months and cost €70m. Real Betis are to move temporarily to Estadio de La Cartuja for the duration of the redevelopment.

The redevelopment of Estadio de La Cartuja was announced in November 2023, which is to lose its athletics track and gain a football-specific layout in preparation for the 2030 World Cup. The work is to be carried out by February 2025, so the facility will be inaccessible until then.

Consequently, in order to be able to use Estadio de La Cartuja while its own facility is being rebuilt, Betis has announced a postponement of the works at the Estadio Benito Villamarín. According to the new plan, they are scheduled to begin in early 2025 and end two years later, in early 2027.

What is the concept behind the extension of Estadio Benito Villamarín?

The concept for the extension of Estadio Benito Villamarín mainly involves demolishing the existing main stand and building a completely new one. The stand will be better integrated with the rest of the auditorium, giving the stadium a more coherent form. The new main stand will be slightly higher than the others and will be divided into several tiers.

The new main stand will have 15,754 seats for spectators, including 4,023 VIP seats and 180 in the presidential box. Changes will also be made to the other stands with a view to improving comfort and the matchday experience. Overall, the capacity of the entire stadium will decrease slightly after the upgrade, to 60,379 spectators, with a premium seating capacity of 4,436, with the potential to be increased in case of high demand.

A major part of the investment is to be the full roofing of the stands, as well as the creation of a new façade, which will consist of 13 horizontal stripes (a reference to the club's logo) and will radically change the external appearance of the venue. The space in front of the main stand will also be utilised, with the creation of a cascading building adjacent to the stand and a public square.

The stadium is expected to have significantly more commercial capacity after the expansion. The facility is expected to be vibrant every day and generate significant revenue for the club. The stadium will have new restaurants and food kiosks, an enlarged club museum and expanded tour of the facility. The stadium will have an event centre and a wide viewing terrace will be created at the top of the main stand.

The stadium will also have facilities for wheelchair users, as well as an underground car park. The modernisation will be carried out in line with the ideas of sustainable development.Thanks to the expansion, the stadium will become a high-class sports facility capable of hosting world-class sporting and cultural events. In addition, the facility will be a distinctive landscape element in the urban fabric, a place for leisure activities and even a tourist attraction.



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