Andalucía has detailed plans to make a €20m (£17.5m/$21.3m) investment in Seville’s Estadio de la Cartuja, with a view to transforming it into Spain’s “national stadium”.
The autonomous community’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sports, Arturo Bernal, told Canal Sur Radio that the funds are designed to expand La Cartuja’s capacity up to 75,000 seats. The stadium has a current capacity of 57,600.
The intention is for La Cartuja to become a venue akin to Wembley Stadium in London, England or the Stade de France in Paris. Bernal said that €5m has already been invested in improvements after a project drawn up by Andalucía’s previous administration to demolish the stadium was scrapped.
The investment of €20m seeks that La Cartuja will become the “national stadium” for major sporting events and other cultural events. Expansion to 75,000 seats would make La Cartuja the third largest stadium in Spain, behind Spotify Camp Nou in Barcelona and Estadio Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid.
The stadium opened in May 1999 for Seville’s staging of the World Athletics Championships before closing in 2018 after the local authorities determined that its roof required costly renovation work. The necessary work was subsequently carried out and in February 2020 a deal was struck with the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) for hosting rights to four editions of the Copa del Rey final, a contract that is currently in place until at least 2024.
La Cartuja also ended up hosting matches at the rescheduled UEFA Euro 2020 national team tournament after Bilbao was forced to withdraw due to uncertainties regarding fan attendance, while it is on the shortlist of Spanish venues for the joint hosting of the 2030 FIFA World Cup with Portugal and Morocco.
La Cartuja has also been lined up as a temporary home for Real Betis for two seasons from 2024-25, as the LaLiga club redevelops Estadio Benito Villamarín.
In June, the RFEF presented a plan to build a new stadium that would serve as the home of the Spanish national team. Former RFEF president, Luis Rubiales, revealed that the idea drawn up by the governing body’s board of directors proposed a stadium with a capacity of between 30,000 and 40,000.
The stadium would be built on land acquired by the RFEF and feature office space for the organisation. As well as hosting national team games, the stadium could stage the Copa del Rey final.