El Molinon, Gijon, Spain | CruiseBe
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El Molinón


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Estadio El Molinón is an association football stadium in Gijón, Asturias-Spain. The stadium is the home ground of Real Sporting de Gijón.

The stadium's address is Parque de Isabel la Católica, 33390 Gijón.

 

History

El Molinón is the oldest professional football field in Spain. It has been in use since at least 1908, and is located on the site of an old watermill, hence the stadium's name, the Asturian word for "big mill".

Real Sporting started to use El Molinón as official ground in 1917. The first official match was held on April 22, 1917 between Real Sporting and Arenas Club de Getxo as part of the 1917 Copa del Rey. Arenas won 0-1. On 2 May 1920, El Molinón held the 1920 Copa del Rey Final, where FC Barcelona defeated Athletic Bilbao by 2–0.

In 1924 Real Sporting bought El Molinón and became the owner of the stadium. In 1931 the main stand was destroyed by fire, but it was later re-built. In 1944, Gijón City Hall re-bought El Molinón due to Sporting's bad financial situation.

In 1968 four floodlights were installed at El Molinón and the first night match was played against Valencia CF. On 30 November 1969, El Molinón became the first all-covered stadium in Spain and on 28 January 1970, the first match to be televised in Spain was played at El Molinón. Sporting defeated Osasuna by 3–0.

During 1997–98, El Molinón prepared to adapt to the new UEFA and FIFA security legislation: all people must be seated and the fences must be removed. The stadium's capacity was reduced from 42,000 to 25,885. However, plans were put forward for the stadium to be renovated and expanded. After the expansion between 2009 and 2011, El Molinón's capacity again grew to 30,000 seats.

International matches

The first international match in El Molinón was held on 22 April 1928 between Spain and Italy. El Molinón had that day a capacity about 36,000 people. The match finished 1–1.

50 years later, El Molinón held again another international match between Spain and Czechoslovakia.

On 22 March 2013, El Molinón held a World Cup Qualifying match between Spain and Finland. The match finished in a 1-1 draw.

Apart from Spain matches, in this stadium Sporting played all of its UEFA Cup matches, including the win against A.C. Milan by 1–0 on 30 September 1987.

1982 FIFA World Cup

The stadium played host to three matches in Group B. Two of them were infamous in the 1982 World Cup, West Germany's shock 1-2 defeat to Algeria being the first. After the result of Algeria's final group game was known, a rather uncontested 1-0 victory of West Germany against Austria which sent both teams through at Algeria's expense. In German the match is known as Nichtangriffspakt von Gijón (lit. Non-aggression pact of Gijón) or Schande von Gijón (lit. Shame of Gijón). This shameful game at Gijon directly led to a change of the rules, requiring the last matches in the group phase to be played simultaneously.



All Spain matches in El Molinón

Asturias autonomous football team

Especially in the decade of the 1920s and 1930s, El Molinón held some friendly matches of the Asturias autonomous football team. The last one was in 2001 against Lithuania.

League attendances

This is a list of league and playoffs games attendances of Sporting de Gijón at El Molinón.

Sporting played all the competitive games at this stadium except one in the 2002–03 season due to the closure of the stadium after the game against CD Numancia. This game, not included in the table, was played against UD Almería at the Estadio Antonio Amilivia in León.

Other events

The stadium has hosted concerts by many famous artists, including Bon Jovi, Paul McCartney, Dire Straits, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Sting and Tina Turner, among others.




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