Steel cables have been set on what used to be the field. By late July grass will be ready to welcome Athletic players, but the new roof won’t increase protection of supporters until autumn.
On Friday Athletic Club released the latest image of San Mamés (below), emphasizing that work is going along the planned schedule. This means playing the entire 2016/17 season at home is not at any risk.
In June Inbisa Construcción ended the mounting of additional steel trusses to the current roof of the stadium. Now additional steel cables are being prepared. Combined into a future inner ring, the cables are resting on the field until they are lifted into place by hydraulic jacks.
This phase of the operation, including new turf being laid, is expected to be done by the end of the month, leaving enough time to prepare for league games (La Liga begins on August 21). However, fans won’t be protected by the extended roof at that point. The ETFE cover will be installed onto the prepared steel skeleton in autumn.
The roof extension follows criticism by supporters that wind and rain still a major issue for several thousand people despite the stadium having, according to regulations, 100% of its seats covered. The added roof surface will decrease central opening from 8,000 to 4,000 m2, thus reducing the impact of rain and wind by 60-70%. The operation is planned to cost €12 million ($13m).