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Design & Development

Atlético advances plans for sports city development

Featured image credit: Rob Ridley

LaLiga football club Atlético de Madrid is planning to commence work on its Ciudad del Deporte project, which has been adjusted and has seen its budget rise to around €350m (£297.7m/$379.3m) from when it was first announced.

Mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, initially announced in July 2022 that the City Council would give the green light to a new sports city project surrounding the Cívitas Metropolitano, home stadium of Atlético.

According to multiple Spanish media reports today (Wednesday), the project has now advanced to a point whereby the design and planning phase has been concluded, with applications made to the City Council for permits to commence work.

A circa €200m price tag had been attached to the project, a joint venture between the club and the City, when it was announced two years ago. This has inflated by around €150m with the goal of having the complex operational by the end of 2026.

The development will have a total area of 265,000 square metres, according to El País, distributed among five plots, of which two will be designated for municipal use. Madrid City Council has transferred the land to Atlético for a period of 75 years in exchange for the club overseeing investment.

Atlético will partly fund the project through the LaLiga Impulso venture. This funding will reportedly amount to around €258m, with the club said to have approached investors to come up with the remaining funds and become involved with some elements of the project.

This, said El País, has meant changes to the final project when compared to what was originally outlined. On one of the plots, the construction of a shopping centre is now envisioned “that will bring together a wide range of sports, shopping, restaurants and leisure outlets”, where a hotel and a parking lot were initially planned. A small golf course has also replaced plans for a mini stadium with capacity for 6,000 spectators.

Of the project’s five plots, according to El Confidencial, only one is planned for purely sporting use by Atlético. This will be a High Performance Centre, with football fields and training facilities for the men’s and women’s first teams and also for the youth categories.

Two others will be dedicated to municipal sports facilities. One will house an athletics track and several football fields, while the second will see the development of four covered multi-sport facilities.

The remaining two plots will comprise the shopping centre; along with a leisure and multi-sport space that will include an artificial beach for surfing and a golf course, as well as spaces for climbing, skating, padel and zip lines.

The Ciudad del Deporte, whose official name is expected to be decided soon, is estimated to generate more than 3,500 direct and indirect jobs and according to Óscar Mayo, Atlético de Madrid’s general director of revenue and operations “is designed for all Madrid residents, in addition to improving infrastructure and revitalising this area thanks to the development of land that, to date, was in disuse”.

Mayo, who joined the club in January from LaLiga, added: “This is an initiative that redefines the northeastern part of Madrid with the aim of becoming a new epicentre of attraction by making this area of ​​Madrid one of the main sports and leisure attractions in the country.”