In-cold-storage Nou Mestalla project revival?



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Valencia CF presents new stadium concept Image: Valencia CF

The Spanish professional football club Valencia CF half-constructed home venue project – Nou Mestalla – which has been in cold storage for the last 12 years – may finally see the light of day.

‘Valencia CF’ stated that the top-flight informed that work on the new venue project will finally start in October this year and they presented the new stadium concept as well as the renderings/designs of the facility on June 23rd.

Valencia Club de Fútbol, commonly referred to as Valencia CF or simply Valencia, is a Spanish professional football club in Valencia that currently plays in LaLiga, the top flight of Spanish football. Valencia has won six LaLiga titles, eight Copa del Rey titles, one Supercopa de España, and one Copa Eva Duarte.

The Mestalla Stadium is a football stadium in Valencia, Spain. The stadium is the home of Valencia CF and has a capacity of 48,600 seats, making it the eighth-largest stadium in Spain, and the largest in the Valencian community. The North Stand of the stadium is known for its very steep section.

Nou Mestalla is a partially built 54,000-seat football stadium in Valencia, Spain, intended as a replacement for Valencia CF’s current stadium, Mestalla Stadium. The basic concrete structure of the stadium was built between August 2007 and February 2009, but work was then halted for financial reasons. The design was revised in 2013 with a reduced capacity.

If the above materializes, it is music to the ears for Valencia fans.

The new stadium has been left half-built for the last 12 years, with work pausing in 2009 due to financial issues at Valencia and never resuming.

The half-built structure has remained an empty concrete shell despite attempts from the City Council to push the club into resuming works.

But there is fresh hope amid the cash injection Valencia received from LaLiga’s CVC deal.

CVC Capital Partners is a private equity and investment advisory firm with approximately US$111 billion in secured commitments since inception across European and Asian private equity, credit and growth funds.
 

Fenwick thoughts

Renowned architect Mark Fenwick’s design firm – Fenwick Iribarren Architects – has lent design to the feet-dragging venue project of Valencia CF.

Fenwick Iribarren Architects, founded in 1990 by architects Mark Fenwick and Javier Iribarren, is a nationally and internationally recognized architectural design studio. Its most signature projects are represented in all types of architecture. The Madrid (Spain)-headquartered company was set up in 1990.

Mark Fenwick, Managing Partner, Fenwick Iribarren Architects, Spain, is a Member of Coliseum – Global Sports Venue Alliance.

‘eldesmarque’ stated that Mark Fenwick talked about the novel roof design of the Nou Mestalla -“In collaboration with our German engineers and our colleagues in Qatar we have designed a roof which will be supported inside the stadium. It will be very light on cables and on it we are going to create a roof with solar panels keeping in mind the sustainability factor. It will be one of the best roofs a stadium can boast in the whole of Spain as well as Europe. In the Western area we have put the concept of plates to create a large bat, which, as the cover is translucent, will reflect the light.”

A pleased as punch Fenwick stated, “June 23rd is a red-letter day for me as well as for Valencia CF. Work is all set to restart on the Nou Mestalla project and it will come to fruition this time. Valencia is a fantastic place. We have designed the seats as such that there will be enough gap between them and will provide more elbow room to fans. The capacity of the stadium will stand at 70,000 for Champions League final fixtures, Union of European Football Association (UEFA) matches and World Cup semi-final matchups.”
 

Upgrades vis-à-vis first project

‘eldesmarque’ further quoted Fenwick as stating, “Compared to the initial project in 2006, this time we have put in varied offerings for fans in the stands which are in a class of its own. We visited stadia in the United States to get a first-hand grip of what they offer to fans in the stands.”
 

Nou Mestalla capacity

He informed that the capacity of the stadium will go up from 49,000 to 59,000.”

He added, “The stadium will, however, be able to hold 70,000 spectators. One only needs to put in more chairs and perhaps equipment. We still need to figure out keeping in mind the best interests of Valencia CF and its fans.”
 

‘Cathedral for Valencia’

Fenwick further stated that the “Nou Mestalla is a cathedral for Valencia. I always say that stadiums are the new cathedrals in Cities. Nou Mestalla will be a historic structure and will hold great significance for the City of Valencia. It will also go on to be a benchmark stadium for LaLiga (men’s top professional football division of the Spanish football league system) and the whole of Europe.”
 

Façade factor

He informed that improvizations have been made to the façade. We have created spaces for balconies to come up so that visitors get more breathing space to walk around. Eateries and cafeterias have been added in the new design renderings. The new stadium will be a transparent one with plenty of room to move around freely.”
 

Parking issue

The celebrated architect remarked that in urban stadiums the parking areas for cars are not “sustainable”.

He lamented that stadium operators are doing very little on this front – “In Madrid, a 90,000-capacity stadium has only 490 slots for car parking. In fact, the stadium is more sustainable.”
 

Concrete construction

Asserted Fenwick, “Concrete materials are best for construction. When there are joints or bars, it has to be repaired. However, 95 percent of time concrete is the best construction material.”
 

Stands’ repurposing

He said that the stands will come armed with more plush fittings and there will be enough space in the stands. The roof will be spectacular and state-of-the-art and the sightlines will be great. Overall, it will be a magnificent stadium.”
 

Tarps

He averred, “From an architect’s perspective, I am not going to put up tarps in the venue. If the sponsors want to put up tarps, they can go ahead. My design renderings have no room for tarps.”

Fenwick summed up by stating that the Nou Mestalla will be one of the “most spectacular” stadiums in Spain when it comes on stream.

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