Spain: Villareal are back at Estadio de la Cerámica!
source: StadiumDB.com; author: Mateusz Osmola
The Yellow Submarine's managers have succeeded in achieving their goal of bringing the team back to their home venue before the end of 2022. The first match in the renovated arena was played on New Year's Eve, with the home team's rival being Valencia. However, the modernisation work on the arena was not completely finished.
On May 16, 2022 just after the local club's last game in LaLiga in the 2021/22 season, construction crews arrived at Estadio de la Cerámica and modernisation work began. The plan was to complete the redevelopment by the end of the year so that everything would be ready for the club's 100th anniversary celebrations in 2023.
There was a lot of work to be done, as the project involved replacing all the seats in the stadium and building a new canopy to cover all the seats in the stands. A new stand was planned for the south-west corner, which will close the mass of the venue. Estadio de la Cerámica was also to get a new, distinctive façade made of ceramic tiles to complement the one that has already been at the facility since 2017.
Under the roof, there was room for new floodlights and two video screens behind the goals. Prior to the essential work, several buildings adjacent to the stadium were purchased and were to be demolished to make room for the investment.
The budget for the project was expected to reach €35 million, with funding from the LaLiga Business Partnership and CVC Capital Partners helping to finance it. For the duration of the works, the club was forced to move temporarily to Valencia, where it played its matches at Levante UD's stadium, Estadi Ciutat de València.
Fortunately, the time spent in exile came to an end and Villareal returned home as planned. On December 31, Valencia came to town to face the home team in the 15th round of LaLiga. The visitors were the first to score, Edinson Cavani put the ball in the net in the 21st minute, but after that it was all about the 'Yellow Submarine'. Just before the break, Samuel Chukwueze found his way into the goal and the result was set in the 88th minute by Juan Foyth.
Although the stadium is now open for attended matches, this does not mean the end of the modernisation works at the venue. The finishing work will continue until March, when the 100th anniversary of the club's foundation will be celebrated. It involves the creation of new indoor spaces. A multi-purpose room overlooking the pitch will be created at the top of the south stand, known as the Fondo Sur. The Entrelíneas restaurant will be completely renovated and a new space will also be created for the club museum. Photovoltaic panels will be installed on the roof as well. It is also known that the cost of the redevelopment will increase from the initial €35 million to €50 million.