Valencia’s Mayor hits out over stalled stadium project

Joan Ribó, Mayor of Valencia, has called on LaLiga football club Valencia to “move on now” with a commitment to finish its much-delayed new stadium.

Ribó has spoken out with the club’s current ATE construction licence due to expire in May 2021. Construction work on the Nuevo Mestalla was suspended in February 2009 and the venue has since become one of the world’s most notorious stadium projects.

Valencia president Anil Murthy met with Ribó and other city officials at the beginning of September to request an extension of the ATE given there is no chance the stadium will be finished by May. However, the club has since failed to present to Valencia City Council any plan for the resumption of work, leaving Ribó exasperated.

“From concern we are moving to indignation and from indignation we do not want to move on to other things,” he told local broadcaster À Punt.

Cancellation of the ATE will have a further knock-on effect for the club through the loss of 40,000 square metres of land which it had planned for commercial development. This has been reportedly valued at between €15m (£13.4m/$17.8m) and €25m.

Commenting on the stalled stadium development, Ribó said: “It is a perverse image for the city, it hurts a lot to see a stadium in the middle of construction and to see that nothing is being done to solve it.”

The current Mestalla has been Valencia’s home since 1923.

Image: Ravave/CC BY-SA 3.0/Edited for size