‘Sports city’ development proposed for Wanda Metropolitano site

Madrid City Council has today (Wednesday) set out a plan to transform the area surrounding the Wanda Metropolitano stadium into a ‘sports city’ development.

The home of LaLiga football club Atlético de Madrid has been proposed for a change of use from a “singular public sports venue” to a private sports venue. The 67,000-seat Wanda Metropolitano opened in 2017 and replaced the Vicente Calderón as Atlético’s home stadium.

It was developed on a site that was originally envisioned as an Olympic Stadium for the Spanish capital’s failed bids for the 2016 and 2020 summer Games. The council believes it can develop an “authentic sports city” in the surrounding area utilising infrastructure put in place for the Olympic bids, such as the half-built aquatics centre which was mothballed in 2010 having already received a reported €100m (£89.8m/$110.1m) investment.

The council said the new development could be utilised by local residents and serve as a base to boost grassroots sport, as well as host major events.

The council said in a statement: “The objective of this plan, which involves the specific modification of the Plan General de Ordenación Urbana del 97 para el ámbito Parque Olímpico Sector Oeste y la Ordenación del Parque Deportivo del Este, is to define the framework for the development and execution of a sports city in service to Madrid and the San Blas-Canillejas district that contributes to territorial rebalancing, accommodates uses and activities appropriate to current demand and takes advantage of the attractiveness of the Atlético de Madrid football stadium.”

The modification of the general plan contemplates a division into two areas – Parque Deportivo del Este, with an area of ​​1.1 million square metres, and consolidated urban land, with an area of ​​88,150 square metres, including the Metropolitano.

The council added: “In short, that what was built for an Olympic Games that never took place ceases to be a ghost of the past and is adapted so that it can be used and enjoyed by the citizens of Madrid and, in addition, serve as a boost to the entire area.”

The council’s announcement comes after it was reported in September that Atlético was exploring plans to build a wide-ranging sports city next to the Wanda Metropolitano.