Design & Development

Revamp plans presented for Gijón’s Estadio El Molinón

Mexican architecture firm Sordo Madaleno has unveiled plans to redevelop Estadio El Molinón, home of Spanish Segunda División club Sporting Gijón, as the stadium seeks to make the shortlist of venues for the 2030 FIFA World Cup.

Spain was announced as a co-host of the 2030 World Cup alongside Morocco and Portugal back in October. Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay will also host “celebratory” matches during the tournament to mark 100 years since the inaugural World Cup in Uruguay.

Estadio El Molinón is one of 15 Spanish venues seeking to stage matches during the tournament. In September 2022, it was reported that the Gijón City Council had approved a €40m (£34.3m/$43.2m) renovation project for the stadium, which has a current capacity of 30,000.

Orlegi Sports, which owns Sporting Gijon, and Sordo Madaleno have now presented plans to carry out a major renovation of the stadium. The capacity of the stadium would temporarily increase to 42,650, bringing it in line with FIFA regulations which state that World Cup venues must seat at least 40,000 fans.

Almost 6,000 seats will be added in the North and South stands, while a new West Stand would be created with a permanent capacity of 10,550 and 9,000 temporary seats in the upper tier. Following the conclusion of the World Cup, the stadium’s capacity would revert to 33,650.

The façade of the stadium would be built using red concrete and steel, and would also feature semi-open spaces and vegetation areas to connect the stadium with views of Isabel La Católica Park and San Lorenzo Beach.

The project will also feature 10 covered open-access ramps that snake around the exterior of the venue. Other elements will include new food and drinks outlets, shops and cultural activities in the stadium vicinity.

Fernando Sordo, head of Sordo Madaleno, said: “Our close collaboration with Real Sporting de Gijón is about rethinking stadium design in a way that makes for a truly public place for everyone in the city to appreciate. It’s about connecting with Asturias and its people through an inclusive approach to architecture and ensuring that El Molinón thrives beyond 2030.”

Sporting Gijon, which is currently fifth in the Segunda División, has played at El Molinón since 1917.