Design & Development

Deal struck for reimagining of La Romareda

President of the Government of Aragón, Jorge Azcón (C), Mayor of Zaragoza, Natalia Chueca (L), and director general of Real Zaragoza, Raúl Sanllehí (R)

Featured image credit: Zaragoza City Council

Real Zaragoza, Zaragoza City Council and the Government of Aragon have agreed terms on a financial plan for the complete redevelopment of Estadio La Romareda, with a view to the new-look stadium being one of Spain’s venues for the 2030 FIFA World Cup.

The three parties have today (Friday) committed to establish a limited commercial company dedicated to the project before December 31, with the objective of financing the works necessary for the construction of the new Romareda.

The share capital of the new entity, which will amount to €120m (£104.5m/$127.1m) once all contributions have been made, will be distributed equally between the City Council (33.34%), Regional Government (33.33%) and Segunda Division football club (33.33%). 

An initial injection of €50.5m will be made to get the project started. The City Council will contribute the value of the surface right corresponding to the ownership of the land of the existing Romareda, valued at €24.5m. The Government of Aragon has committed to provide capital of €20m, while Real will contribute €6m.

Before the end of 2028, the signatories commit to successive capital increases carried out by the new company up to the limit of €15.5m in the case of the Zaragoza City Council, €20 million for the Government of Aragón and €34m for Real.

The partners will also seek out backing from public and private entities in order to strengthen the economic capacity of the company. It is estimated that the construction costs of the new stadium amount to €140m.

Regarding deadlines, the protocol signed today indicates that the tender for the demolition works of the current stadium will be issued around the first quarter of 2024, with the tender for the construction works of the new facility following around the second half of next year.

The City Council states today’s announcement effectively fires the starting gun on the new Romareda. The stakeholders held a meeting with the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) on October 10 where they assured that, before the end of the month, the Romareda would have a legal and economic model that guarantees the viability of the new stadium.

General director of Real Zaragoza, Raúl Sanllehí, said: “Today is a very happy day. Having a stadium that we can be proud of is a dream for everyone. For Real Zaragoza, for Zaragoza and for Aragón.

“This shows the commitment of the group investor, who understood the roots of the club from the beginning. He understood those deep roots that this great club has and we are watering them, always making decisions thinking about them.”

President of the Government of Aragon, Jorge Azcón, added: “This is the beginning of the project that must lead to Zaragoza’s candidacy as a host of the 2030 World Cup.”

Today’s news comes after the project appeared on shaky ground last month as Real scrapped plans to spearhead the proposed €140m redevelopment of the Romareda – for the time being at least.

In May, Real presented plans for a project that would expand the Estadio La Romareda to a capacity of 42,500 in an effort to be part of what was then a joint bid between Spain and Portugal for the 2030 World Cup.

The plans, which have been drawn up by Spanish consulting, engineering and architecture company IDOM, were presented to tie in with the RFEF’s deadline of May 12 to submit required documentation for venues aspiring to be part of the World Cup.

With a current capacity of around 33,000, La Romareda first opened in 1957 and hosted three games during Spain’s staging of the 1982 World Cup, but is widely considered in need of renovation.

The 2030 World Cup will take place in six countries spanning three continents after FIFA this month confirmed that the bulk of games will be held in Morocco, Portugal and Spain, with Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay to host “celebratory” matches during the tournament.