Estadio Municipal de Balaídos
Club: RC Celta de Vigo | Opening: 1928 | Capacity: 31,800 seats
History and description
Estadio Municipal de Balaídos opened in 1928 after a three-year construction period. The first match was played between Celta and Real Union on the 30th of December of that year (7-0).
The stadium got gradually improved over the next decades, but received its current shape between 1968 and 1971 when three of the four stands got rebuilt. The result was an enclosed fully covered bowl with a capacity of 40,000 places.
The one remaining old stand, the south stand, got rebuilt for the 1982 World Cup. The new two-tiered stand was significantly larger than the previous stand, but because seats were installed in most parts of the stadium capacity dropped to 33,000.
During the 1982 World Cup, Estadio de Balaídos hosted the three group matches of eventual winner Italy.
Estadio de Balaidos hardly changed in the following decades and over the years severely aged. In 2010, plans were presented for the complete rebuilding of the stadium into a modern 42,000-seater, however as these were part of the failed Spanish 2018 World Cup bid, these got eventually shelved.
A few years later though, new more modest plans were presented for a gradual renovation and rebuilding of the stadium with the stands being extended towards the pitch, refurbished, and a new roof and exterior covering all stands.
Works began in the summer of 2015 on renovating the Tribuna stand on one of the sides, which were completed in early 2017. The next phase is going to be the redevelopment of the Rio stand on the other side.
(photos of the present Estadio de Balaídos below)
How to get to Balaidos
Estadio de Balaídos is located in the south-west of the city of Vigo at about 3 kilometres from its historic city centre and a little more from the train station.
If arriving by train at the RENFE train station, you can reach the stadium with bus 23. Take the bus from Calle de Pizarro, a few blocks south of the station. Get off at the Avenida Fragosa, from where it is a few minutes walking to the stadium. The journey takes a little over 10 minutes. Buses run about twice an hour.
An alternative is line 11, which you can take from the Rua de Urzáiz. Line 11 also passes right through the historic centre, for example on the Rua de Colón. Get off at the Avenida Florida after an approximate 15-minute journey. It is a few minutes walking from there.
Line C5 “A” follows an almost similar route through the centre. Line C7, 12B and 17 also all connect the city centre with the stadium. Get off at the Avenida Castrelos.
From the main bus station (in the east of the city) first go to Plaza de Madrid (15 minutes walking, or bus U2 or 12), and then take bus 23 to the stadium.
Address: Avd. de Balaídos s/n, 36210 Vigo
Eat, drink, and sleep near Balaidos
Estadio de Balaidos is located in a residential area mainly consisting of apartment blocks. It has the usual variety of local Spanish bars and restaurants around, but needless to say that Vigo’s historic centre offers many more options.
The area around Balaidos does not house many hotels, but with Hesperia Vigo, Hotel Coia de Vigo, and Hostal Geneve there are a few options at walking distance. Otherwise there is a good selection of hotels in Vigo’s historic centre and around the train station.
Tickets for Celta de Vigo games can be bought online, or at the ticket windows of the stadium from a week before the match.
Tickets can also be bought on the day at the stadium. Celta only sell out the occasional high-profile match.
Ticket prices depend on the opponent, but typically range in price from €20.00 for a seat behind the goal to €50.00 for an upper-tier seat at the main stand. Expect to pay significantly more for the derby against Deportivo and the Barcelona and Madrid games.