Spanish LaLiga football club Atletico Madrid is on track to complete its new Wanda Metropolitano stadium in time for its inaugural game with the pitch finally being laid.
The turf started to be put down yesterday (Monday), giving the grass just two weeks to take root prior to the club’s first game at its new home ground. The match is against Malaga on September 16 and will be Atletico’s first home game of the season.
Eudald Morera, a director at turf engineering firm RoyalVerd, told Spanish newspaper AS: “In 15 days, after laying the new turf, the pitch will be able to be played on. The turf to be used at the Wanda Metropolitano (pictured in March) has been cultivated over the past 12 months. The grass has to meet strict sporting criteria. The Wanda pitch should be a reference for other clubs to follow”.
Meanwhile, other final touches at the 67,000-seat Wanda Metropolitano stadium, which has been built on the site of the La Peineta athletics venue, are ongoing, with new access points being formed to the stadium from the motorway.
Doubts on whether the stadium would be complete in time circulated last week when video footage showed rainwater leaking through the roof of the new stadium.
The club’s president, Enrique Cerezo labelled it “stupid,” and insisted that the Malaga game would go ahead as planned.
The stadium’s official Twitter account moved to ease fears among fans, posting: “It rains in Madrid and drops water on the stairs. It’s normal. We are still heat-sealing the roof. Stay calm, it will be perfect on 16/9!”
Image: Jose Carlos Ortiz Aparicio