Club: Valencia CF | Opening: 1923 | Capacity: 55,000 seats
History and description
Estadio de Mestalla opened on the 20th of May 1923 with a friendly between Valencia and Levante. It could initially hold 17,000 fans, but was quickly expanded to a capacity of 25,000.
During the Spanish civil war, the stadium served as a concentration camp and junk yard, and as a result got heavily damaged to the point that not much remained of the stadium after the war.
Mestalla got restored after the war, but remained a modest affair. The club therefore embarked on a grand redevelopment program called “Gran Mestalla”, which involved the construction of a new main stand and the expansion of all other stands. Works were finished in 1955 and raised capacity to 45,000 places.
In 1957, part of the new stadium collapsed after the river Tùria flooded the city, but the stadium was soon rebuilt. In 1962, Nottingham Forest was the first foreign team to play at Mestalla.
In 1969, the stadium was renamed after former president Luis Casanova, an honour that overwhelmed him so much that he asked in 1994 to change the name back to Mestalla.
In the 1970s, Valencia considered moving to a new stadium on the edge of the city, but instead decided to redevelop Mestalla, which was made necessary by the upcoming 1982 World Cup. Works included the reconstruction of the bottom tier, which until then still consisted of a brick structure. They were replaced by a concrete one.
During the 1982 World Cup, Mestalla hosted all of Spain’s three first round group matches.
The stadium remained more or less the same for the next fifteen years. It underwent its last redevelopment between 1997 and 2001 when both ends and one side got expanded with an extra tier, and new access towers were built in the corners.
Estadio de Mestalla still lacked many modern facilities though, and Valencia soon after announced the construction of a new stadium in the north of the city. Construction of the 75,000-seater started in 2007, but works were halted in early 2009 due to a lack of funding. Valencia recently announced to resume works in the second half of 2012, but this is yet to happen .
(photos of the present Estadio de Mestalla below)
Estadio de Mestalla is located just east of Valencia’s historic city centre. The walk from the cathedral or the main railway station (Estación del Norte) takes no more than 20 minutes.
If arriving by car from the north, the A7 motorway (which connects Valencia with Barcelona) will bring you almost directly to the stadium. Get off the A7 by taking the V-21 into town, and once the motorway turns into a normal avenue all you have to do is drive straight on until you see the stadium on your right.
If arriving from the A3 direction Madrid, take the Avenida del Cid into town. Turn left after the hospital and right at where the old Tùria riverbed begins. Follow the riverbed park for several kilometres until you see the Calatrava bridge. Cross the bridge and you have reached the stadium.
Address: Avenida Suecia s/n, 46010 Valencia
Eat, drink, and sleep
Estadio de Mestalla is located in a dense urban neighbourhood close to Valencia’s city centre. There are plenty of cafés and restaurants in the area of the stadium, while more serious nightlife can be found a small walk away in the historic centre.
There is, for example, a pocket of nightlife around Plaza de Canovas at less than 10 minutes walking from the stadium. There is much more nightlife further on in the historic centre, while there is a club scene at the city’s beaches.
There is a wide variety of hotels in Valencia, and some very good options close to Mestalla. Hospes Palau de la Mar, Hotel Husa Dimar, and SH Valencia Palace are on the edge of the historic centre and less than 10 minutes walking from the stadium. Hotel Renasa, NH Villacarlos, and Hotel Kris Consul del Mar are equally close, somewhat cheaper, but a little further away from the centre.
Click here for all hotels near Estadio de Mestalla. There are many more options in the historic centre at just 5 to 10 minutes more walking. Alternatively, you can choose a hotel closer to the beachfront.
Of the VCF Valencia shops, the one at Pintor Sorolla 25 in Valencia’s city centre is most centrally located. There is also a shop at Estadio de Mestalla.
Valencia sells out at most one or two high-profile matches per season.
Ticket prices typically range from €10.00 for the upper tiers to €80.00 for a central seat at the main stand.
Valencia offers guided stadium tours around Mestalla, that include access to the dressing rooms, players’ tunnel, press room, VIP boxes, dugouts, and stadium chapel. The tours last about 45 minutes.
Tours run Monday to Friday at 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm, 5:00 pm, 6:00 pm, and 7:00 pm. On Saturday and Sunday tours only run in the morning at 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, and 1:00 pm.
The tour costs €7.00. Bookings can be made online, by phone +34 902 01 19 19, or at any of the Valencia VCF shops. Walk-ups will be accepted only if there are available places on the tour.
Relevant Internet links