Estadio Ramón de Carranza, the home of Spanish LaLiga football club Cádiz CF, has been renamed Estadio Nuevo Mirandilla following a near year long process to remove the name of a figure connected to the Spanish Civil War.

The stadium, owned by the Ayuntamiento de Cádiz, has been known as Estadio Ramón de Carranza since it opened in 1955 but a process was launched last year to rename the venue in-line with Spain’s Law of Historical Memory and the Law of Democratic Memory of Andalusia.

The laws were drawn up principally to recognise victims on both sides of the Spanish Civil War, as well as granting rights to the victims and the descendants of victims of the Civil War and the subsequent dictatorship of General Francisco Franco.

In confirming the name change, Councillor for Democratic Memory, Martín Vila, stated Cádiz City Council began the process of renaming the stadium in 2020, as it referred to Ramón de Carranza, “a character who participated in the 1936 coup, who was closely linked to the Franco dictatorship and who actively contributed to the purge policy carried out by the regime in Cádiz”. 

A process was then started so that the people of Cádiz could themselves propose, advise and vote on a new identity for the stadium. The first phase of drawing up potential new monikers ran from July 27 to August 10 last year, with eight names decided on. These were: Ciudad de Cádiz, La Pepa, Gades, Bahía de Cádiz, Gadir, Nuevo Mirandilla, Tacita de Plata and De La Laguna.

However, the process was then hit by various setbacks, delays and boycotts, both due to COVID-19 and also administrative issues such as a massive cyberattack by bots that automatically generated votes in the first election, which was ultimately annulled for breaches of the Data Protection Law.

Finally, a vote was conducted from June 14-20 through which all people of an eligible age were invited to participate. This saw 25.8% of recognised votes opt for Nuevo Mirandilla, with the next two most popular choices being Tacita de Plata (17.8%) and Ciudad de Cádiz (15.9%).

Ramón de Carranza was the Mayor of Cádiz between 1927 and 1931, and then between 1936 and 1937. Campo de Deportes Mirandilla was the first football venue in Cádiz between 1933 and 1955. It was also the place where the city’s first team, Mirandilla, played before it changed its name to Cádiz CF.

A total of 1,260 votes were made, of which only 1,068 were deemed legitimate. In defending the levels of participation, Vila said, according to the Diario de Cadiz: “Some will want to tarnish the process saying that it has had a low participation, but I tell you that it has far exceeded how the name of Carranza was decided on, because then it was called that not by popular will, not because the people chose it, but because a son wanted to identify the stadium with his father’s name.”

Vila, who is also Deputy Mayor of Cádiz, stressed that authorities had a duty to “repair the pain” of victims of the Civil War. He added: “We had a moral and political duty towards our citizens because today, and many ignore it with total ignorance, there are still relatives who have not been able to bury their victims.

“Citizens were having to pass in front of the stadium and see how the name of the repressor continued to have a place of honour in the city.”

Image: Joselulobato13/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size