Reale Arena capacity expansion-jazz-up plans



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Real Sociedad is targeting stadium expansion Image: Anoeta Stadium, Bhgh543bgf, CC BY-SA 4.0

The LaLiga team Real Sociedad will go for a capacity increase of its home venue – the Reale Arena in San Sebastián, Spain – to over 41,000 seats.

The above decision has been taken to meet the FIFA requirements of a venue boasting a minimum capacity of 40,000 to hold the World Cup. The capacity expansion work will be undertaken with an eye on the 2030 World Cup.

‘2Playbook’ stated that the club’s Board of Directors has proposed an expansion of 1,700 seats. The architect who is in charge of the design work, Izaskun Larzabal, had opined about the project way back in 2020, “Up to 42,000 we can keep it very simple, and we can even add 2,000 more seats (44,000 seats) without going in for too much of flashy stuff.”

The Real Sociedad is a Spanish professional sports club which plays in LaLiga – the top men’s professional football division of the Spanish football league system – and is based in the City of Donostia-San Sebastián, Basque Country (Spain). The club was founded on September 7th, 1909. It plays its home matches at the Reale Arena.

The 40,000-capacity Anoeta Stadium, currently known as the Reale Arena for sponsorship purposes, is a football stadium in San Sebastián, Basque Country, Spain, which was inaugurated in 1993. The stadium lies within the Anoeta Sports Complex and is mostly used for football matches. It is the home facility of the LaLiga team Real Sociedad.

The Anoeta Sports Complex is a sports area in the Southern part of Donostia (San Sebastián), Spain. It includes several sports facilities, including the Reale Arena, which is the main sports ground.

The Izaskun Larzabal Architecture Studio is helmed by Izaskun Larzabal and is based in San Sebastián’s El Antiguo neighborhood (Spain). The design firm has a strong commitment to sustainability and believes in offering a high quality service as an architecture and urban planning studio.

The 2030 FIFA World Cup™ will be the 24th FIFA World Cup™, a quadrennial international football tournament contested by the men’s national teams of the member-associations of FIFA. The 2030 World Cup will mark the centennial World Cup competition. For the first time, three countries from two continents will host the competition, with Morocco, Portugal and Spain as the host nations. Additionally, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay will serve as the nations that open the event as a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the first World Cup in Uruguay. This will be the first World Cup held in Africa since 2010, in South America since 2014, as well as in Europe since 2018.

‘2Playbook’ further stated that the Real Sociedad President Jokin Aperribay explained that the increase in capacity is expected to be carried out “hitch-free”. The club is already in touch with the City Council and has requested permission to be able to undertake the expansion work.

The capacity expansion work will entail expanding the area above the East Grandstand and the corners where presently there sits no stands.

A stadium is required to have a minimum capacity of 40,000 to host the World Cup and once the expansion work is carried out the venue will be in a position to accommodate more fans who otherwise miss out the opportunity to watch soccer shows at the Reale Arena. The capacity expansion would also result in meeting the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) criteria.

Nyon (Switzerland)-based the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is one of six continental bodies of governance in association football. It governs football, futsal and beach football in Europe and the transcontinental countries of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Kazakhstan, as well as some Asian countries such as Israel, Cyprus and Armenia. The UEFA consists of 55 national association members. Since 2022, due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the FIFA and UEFA has suspended all Russian national teams and clubs from any FIFA and UEFA competitions.

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