Record high turnout and quite decisive selection of the winning design: supporters of Osasuna chose the Muro Rojo vision. Now the club needs to have funding approved in order to go forward.
It was one of the most amazing displays of democracy in the world of football. For the first time that we know of a football club gave its supporters the option to select a winning design. Out of 5 fascinating visions supporters of Osasuna decided to pick Muro Rojo, and by a strong margin.
In total there were 11,118 socios eligible to vote, of whom 8,409 (75.6%) took part. It's the best ever attendance for any vote in the near-century long history of Osasuna. The vote followed a lengthy consultation period in which individual socios were able to ask architects questions in order to learn more about their visions.
There were two questions awaiting a reply from supporters. First, should the club run a complete reconstruction in the first place or, perhaps, opt for a partial renovation of El Sadar? Here there was no doubt, 90.34% of all participants voted in favour.
The second question was much more difficult and a 50% majority was almost unimaginable. After all, there were five different concepts revealed last October, each unique in its own right. But still the vote showed a clear pereference among participating socios:
- Muro Rojo – 3,820 votes;
- Nuevo Sadar – 1,718 votes;
- Sadar Berria – 1,309 votes;
- Rojo-Azul – 1,022 votes;
- Fortaleza Rojilla – 287 votes.
The winning concept by OFS Architects and VDR has now been officially presented as the future of El Sadar, perhaps as soon as in 2020. But before its construction can begin, funding needs to be approved.
Osasuna will take a loan of €23 million, of which €16 million is directed for the stadium and €7 million should cover existing debt of the club. In order for the money to be acquired, a special general assembly has been called for March 2.
Voters are expected to give the green light and if that happens, work can begin on Monday, March 4. Of course it won't be construction on the first day but proposed schedule is tight enough to force rapid progress. Remember, the goal is 2020 and Osasuna expects to be able to play games throughout the process.
Muro Rojo – what it entails
As part of the selected reconstruction concept three single-tiered stands will receive an overhanging second level. It's going to be among the steepest worldwide, raising capacity of the stadium just beyond 25,000.
Thanks to the vertical expansion, the stadium will have an almost uniform height instead of current domination of the south side. Thie encourages a brand new outer form, which in turn was divided into two distinct shapes. The lower plinth is created with concrete and covered by perforated mesh, while the opaque upper form, more slender and lightweight, should be clad entirely with corrugated metal sheet.
The design created very significant amount of floor space for mixed use. On ground level there's over 1,400 m2 for commercial uses, while provision of further 3,300 m2 on first level makes this proposal stand out among other contenders.