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  • Writer's pictureCarla Fernández

Stadium Guide: Estadio Wanda Metropolitano

Inaugurated as recently as 2017 and considered one of Spain’s most modern stadiums, the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano is home to Atlético Madrid. Despite its short history, it’s already hosted a Champions League final and some unforgettable nights for the home fans with a capacity of 68,456, making it Spain’s third-biggest stadium after the Camp Nou and the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu.

Where is the Wanda Metropolitano?

The home ground of Los Colchoneros is located in Avenida de Luis Aragonés, a street named after the club legend who passed away in 2014. The stadium is on the outskirts of the capital, in the district of San Blas-Canillejas, and despite its grand opening in 2017, the main stand was built back in 1993 under the name La Peineta, with capacity for 20,000 people. Atleti played the Supercopa de España against Barcelona at this venue in 1996, winning 3-1 with current manager, Diego Pablo Simeone, on the field for the home side.

What is a match like at the Wanda Metropolitano?

Matchdays at the Metropolitano are a lot more than just 90 minutes of football. With many fans gathering with friends and family hours before kick-off, you can find a great atmosphere both around the stadium as well as in the surrounding neighbourhoods.

While fans, especially in the Fondo Sur (South Stand) which harbours the Grada de Animación, always make themselves heard, Champions League nights are just a tad more special. On these rarer occasions, the whole stadium gets involved with the chants and help the team grind out impressive results against the world’s best teams.

How to get to the Metropolitano

The best way to get to the stadium is by taking the Metro (Madrid’s subway system). Depending on which part of the city you’re in, you’ll have to make your way to line 7 which will drop you directly at the ground. Some of the line’s key connections to the city centre are Avenida de América (lines 4, 6 and 9) and Gregorio Marañón (line 10). If you’re travelling directly from the airport, a 10-minute taxi ride may be your best option.

Where to go pre-match at the Wanda Metropolitano

Rojiblancos are big on previas, or pre-drinks, and you’ll be able to find fans in bars, parks or simply around the stadium having a drink or something to eat. The liveliest place to go is Calle Suecia which is just a seven-minute walk from the ground. Here you’ll find Atleti-themed bars such as ‘Espiritú del 96’, ‘La Grada’ or ‘El Estadio’ as well as various other restaurants and shops. You can either walk there or get off at Metro station Las Musas and get a real feel for game-day.

There are also various things to see just outside the stadium such as El Paseo de las Leyendas where you can see plaques of different Atleti legends, as players receive a plaque there after making 100 appearances for the club. Situated by gate 14, there is a statue of Luis Aragonés, paid for by fans, which was also unveiled not long ago and can be observed next to the Paseo. Take a full walk around the stadium to find out other interesting things to see and photograph, such as an aeroplane in honour of the club’s historic links to the Spanish air force.

How to get tickets for Atlético Madrid games

The easiest way to get tickets for a match at the Wanda Metropolitano is via the club’s official website. These usually go on sale from 2-3 weeks before a game and can vary in price and availability depending on the opponent and the importance of the match. However, if the tickets you are looking to acquire still haven’t gone on sale, you can set an email reminder for when they do, that way you’ll be the first to know and have a better chance of getting a ticket that suits your budget.

If you decide upon a spur-of-the-moment outing to the Metropolitano, you can always buy tickets once you get to the stadium at the box offices which are open on matchdays.

The only problem may come with the high-demand matches such as Champions League clashes or games against Barcelona and Real Madrid where tickets go on sale exclusively to club members for the first couple of days and then are available for the general public.

Also, be sure to check both the club and LaLiga websites for any possible changes in game times or dates that can often occur due to various reasons

What’s your favourite match at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano?

As a season-ticket holder, I’m fortunate enough to have been to many exciting matches, but if I were to choose one it would be Atleti 3-2 Valencia earlier in the 2021/22 season in which we managed to come back from 0-2 down to win the game with two goals in stoppage time (91st and 94th minutes). This match also felt a little more special than others because the team was playing with the club’s old crest at home for the first time since we left the Estadio Vicente Calderón.

With regard to the match, even with the team losing, none of the fans wanted to give up and kept singing despite the loss seeming likely. The atmosphere was key in the victory and when Mario Hermoso scored the winner the whole stadium erupted. Where my mum and I sit, the grada de animación, everyone ran down the stairs to get as close to the players as possible. There were people falling over and hugging each other, I remember losing my mum in the crowd and not finding her until the referee blew the final whistle.

The connection between players and fans after the match was just as special as the comeback had been. Most players threw their shirts into the crowd as a way of thanking everyone for their support during the 90 minutes, and everybody left the stadium feeling euphoric and with a whole different outlook on the new week ahead in spite of it being almost midnight on a Sunday night.

Local secrets for the Metropolitano

If you’re lucky enough to go to a match at night, make sure to take your seat in the stadium at least 20 minutes before kick-off so that you can witness the incredible light show that goes on when the club announces the starting line-up. If you’re able to, try and get tickets in the South Stand of the stadium to be more in touch with the singing fans and the atmosphere.

If there’s one chant you can be sure that you’ll hear, it’s ‘Ole, ole, ole… Cholo Simeone’ that is sung various times during each game to make sure the manager is aware of the fans’ support and backing at all times. The club anthem is also sung a capella as the teams walk out on to the pitch, which will surely give you goosebumps too.

Food-wise you can either take a ‘bocadillo’ (baguette sandwich) of choice and eat it at half-time, as most Spanish people do when going to a match, or taste Madrid’s famous ‘bocadillo de calamares’ (squid sandwich) at the food truck by gate 39. If neither of those two options are your cup of tea, there are endless food choices you’ll be able to find at either the restaurants, bars or trucks around the stadium.

If you’re lucky enough to get to a Champions League knock-out game, it’s almost certain that the fans will be awaiting the team bus’s arrival at Avenida Arcentales, prepped with flares to get the momentum going way before the ball even starts rolling.

All in all, going to a match at the Metropolitano can be a full day’s experience that you’ll be sure to remember.

Enjoy your matchday!

For more tips or to ask any questions, reach out to us on Twitter at @LaLigaLowdown.

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