Estadi Nacional

Capacity3 347
Country Andorra
CityAndorra la Vella
ClubsFC Andorra
Inauguration 09/09/2014
Construction 2013–2014
Cost €5.1 M ($6.58 M)
Design Julià Call Reig, 080arquitectura, Haz Arquitectura
Contractor LOCUB, S.A.

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Estadi Nacional – stadium description

How did the construction of Andorra's national stadium come about?

Plans to build Andorra's national stadium were already in place at the end of the 20th century, when the country's national football team started playing its first official matches. However, the key political decisions were not made until 2011, and a €2 million grant from UEFA's HatTrick programme was very helpful.

Various locations were considered. In the end, it was decided that the new stadium would be built on the site of the Camp d'Esports del M.I. Consell General. This was a pitch with a small stand for 500 people, located close to the centre of the national capital. The facility was built in 1971 and was used for football and rugby.

In January 2012, the government announced a competition for the architectural concept of the new facility. The competition was aimed at architects from Andorra. The committee received 22 entries, from which the vision by Julià Call Reig was selected in May 2012. The final shape of the future stadium was later helped by two Barcelona-based studios, 080arquitectura and Haz Arquitectura.

At the beginning of April 2013, the main contractor for the facility was selected, which was LOCUB, S.A.. The contract signed was worth close to €3.78 million, but it is estimated that with the additional tasks, the construction of the stadium cost no less than €5.1 million. The investment was financed by the Andorran government, with the help of €2 million in funding from UEFA.

When was the national stadium of Andorra opened?

The first match at the new Estadi Nacional took place on September 9, 2014, the opening game of the qualifiers for the 2016 European Football Championship, in which the Andorra national team lost to Wales 1:2. The celebrations for the inauguration of the stadium took place a little later, on November 22, 2014.

What are the characteristics of the national stadium in Andorra?

The stadium is located near the centre of the country's capital, on the banks of the Valira River, which flows behind the south stand. A few hundred metres to the south-west is another stadium, Estadi Comunal d'Andorra la Vella. Until Estadi Nacional was built, it was the venue for matches played by the Andorra national football team.

The city of Andorra is the highest capital city in Europe (1,023 metres above sea level) and, consequently, Estadi Nacional is the highest national stadium on the Old Continent.

The facility stood right next to two sports halls, including the Poliesportiu d'Andorra, the largest sports hall in Andorra, serving primarily the BC Andorra basketball team and capable of holding 5,000 spectators, which is more than the stadium itself. A distinctive feature of the arena is its gabled roof, which, together with the apartment buildings to the east of the pitch and the mountainous surroundings, contribute to the overall landscape of the stadium.

The stadium has a rectangular pitch for football and rugby. The pitch was originally equipped with artificial turf, but in 2022 the surface was replaced with a hybrid surface and a heating system was installed. The playing field is surrounded on three sides by stands, to the west (main stand) and behind the goals. On the east side, where the modest stand of the previous stadium was located, the facility is enclosed by a concrete wall.

The symmetry of the entire layout is disrupted by the absence of a section of the stand behind the north goal, necessitated by the building located there. In 2022, the gap was partially filled by a metal structure with additional spectator seating.

The individual stands are connected by two rectangular corner blocks. The main stand has a flat roof covered with laminated glass. Behind the upper edges of the stands is a promenade providing access to the auditorium. Its extension is a footbridge over the Valira River, leading to the Avenida de Salou.

The auditorium is equipped with blue plastic seats with backs and the capacity of the stadium is 3347 spectators. As the façade of the main stand is obscured by the sports halls, the most interesting exterior is the convex concrete façade of the north stand. The main entrance to this stand is adorned with a large signboard reading 'Estadi Nacional'. Another interesting feature of the stadium is its distinctive floodlighting masts.

How is Andorra's national stadium used?

The facility is owned by the Andorran government and is used for football and rugby matches. It hosts matches of both national and international rank, most notably national teams. Since 2021, the stadium has regularly played host to the players of FC Andorra, which participates in the Spanish league competition and achieved a historic promotion to the Segunda División in 2022.

On October 8, 2021, the day before Andorra's match against England, there was a dangerous-looking fire at the stadium. The fire broke out just hours after the English team had been training at the venue, occupying a platform for a television broadcast. However, the fire was brought under control and the match went ahead unhindered.

Will a bigger stadium than Estadi Nacional be built in Andorra?

Following the success of FC Andorra, a concept for a new, larger 6,000-seater stadium was presented in 2022 to replace the Centro Deportivo Prada de Moles. However, due to economic reasons, these plans were shelved and, for the time being, upgrading work was carried out on Estadi Nacional in the summer of 2022.

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