A €40m (£36.1m/$38.5m) renovation project has been proposed for Estadio El Molinón, home of Spanish Segunda División football club Sporting Gijón, as it looks to be included in Spain’s joint bid with Portugal to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup.
Local newspaper La Voz de Asturias has reported that the Gijón City Council has approved the renovation project, which will bring the stadium in line with the standards necessary to host the World Cup.
FIFA dictates that World Cup venues must have a minimum capacity of 40,000. El Molinón’s current capacity is 29,000, meaning that the venue would require significant expansion if it is to make the shortlist.
The council has also approved the availability of between 6,000 and 10,000 square metres of outdoor space for the installation of press and television equipment. The project would also ensure that at least 75% of the energy consumed in the stadium comes from renewable sources.
El Molinón was one of 15 prospective World Cup venues on a shortlist revealed by the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) back in July. The others are Balaídos (Vigo), Riazor (La Coruña), San Mamés (Bilbao), Anoeta (San Sebastián), La Romareda (Zaragoza), Camp Nou (Barcelona), RCDE Stadium (Cornellá-El Prat), Santiago Bernabéu and Wanda Metropolitano (both Madrid), Nuevo Mestalla (Valencia), Nueva Condomina (Murcia), La Cartuja (Sevilla-Santiponce), La Rosaleda (Malaga), and Gran Canaria (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria).
Eleven venues in Spain will ultimately be used if the joint bid is successful. A further three stadiums will be used in Portugal.
Spain has hosted the World Cup on one previous occasion, in 1982. Portugal has never staged the World Cup but hosted the European Championship in 2004.
The winning bid for the 2030 World Cup is set to be announced in 2024.