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  • Writer's pictureMatt Clark

Stadium Guide: Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán

If you are lucky enough to be taking a trip to Seville, two things become clear. One, we are very jealous, and two, you have hit the groundhopping jackpot. Seville is home to not just one, not two, but three grounds with a capacity in excess of 40,000. There is La Cartuja, recent host of Euro 2020 and many Spain games; Estadio Benito Villamarín, the local venue for Real Betis; and last but by no means least, there is the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán, the place Sevilla call home.

The smallest of the three with a capacity of just approximately 43,000, don’t let that diminish your excitement or anticipation. When the place is rocking, it is still incredibly loud, and that Andalusian passion, combined with the beautiful weather, makes this one of the best places to watch a game of football anywhere in Europe. It is often nicknamed La Bombonera de Nervión, such are the similarities with the raucous home of Boca Juniors in Buenos Aires.

Where is the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán?

Located very centrally in the heart of the city, it is situated in a perfect position for anyone staying for a short getaway, city breaks or even just for the match itself. Despite being planned long before, the stadium opened in September 1958 and was named in honour of the long-serving president who died before it was completed. The architect designer was Manuel Muñoz Monasterio, who was also hugely influential on the design of the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid. A fitting name for a man who helped to craft some of the finest temples of Spanish football.

What is a match like at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán?

Matches at the Sánchez-Pizjuán are fortunate enough to count on “one of the most atmospheric arenas to watch a game of football in the whole of Europe” as Alan Feehely, editor of Football España, explains.

The team’s ‘ultras’, known as the Biris Norte, sit in Gol Norte, and create a raucous atmosphere from the first whistle to the last. The Preferencia area is for more casual fans, looking to enjoy the game with a fantastic view while taking in the atmosphere from a distance.

How to get to the Pizjuán

There are two metro stations very close, as well as numerous bus services. Your best options for proximity and cost are the Nervión or Gran Plaza metro stations, both located on Av. Eduardo Dato, to the west and east of the stadium respectively, and can be accessed on Line 1 from Puerta de Jerez station, close to the university and historic centre.

Alternatively, if a longer walk to a ground is more up your street, the stadium is only a 10-20-minute walk from the Santa Justa station in the city centre.

Where to go pre-match at the Pizjuán

Nervión Plaza is a commercial hub close by with shopping, cinema and restaurants too. There are also numerous bars very close to the stadium where food and drinks can be enjoyed pre-game. The atmosphere is sure to be building around an hour before the game, with fans gathering to chant and sing, so if soaking it all in is in your ideal vision, get there in plenty of time to savour it.

Among the best spots is Bar Europa, which is often heaving on a matchday. If you take your beverage outside to the terrace, you’ll be able to see the stadium which is an even better experience for evening games. Alternatively, you can buy your own drinks and head to the area around the stadium, which should certainly be one of the trademark litre bottles of Cruzcampo.

How to get tickets for Sevilla games

Getting tickets works in the usual ways. They will be available online via the club website, and for most games there should also be the possibility of purchasing in person at the ground itself.

Prices can range from €30 up to €60 for most matches, depending on which stand you want to be in. However, for higher-profile matches, prices will be higher and availability cannot be guaranteed. There are also the usual warnings about fixture scheduling and changes to kick-off times at relatively short notice.

What’s your favourite match at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán?

For Gregor Chappelle, La Liga Lowdown’s man in Seville, his first experience of the stadium was one he will never forget. “My first game was the Gran Derbi” he recounts, “they won 3-2, atmosphere was electric. The anthem before was one of the best I’ve heard and the bars and streets outside were buzzing after.”

Local secrets for the Pizjuán

Be sure to also make time for a walk around the exterior of the stadium. Apart from being aesthetic in itself, there are many banners and mosaics that you simply can’t miss out on. The club proudly presents its honours, including a record six Europa League trophies in large style on the exterior, while the mosaic façades are genuinely spectacular. The first was created in 1982 ahead of the World Cup, and depicts the original club crests of numerous clubs who visited the stadium. The second one is more recent, dating to the club centenary in 2005, and depicts the club crest rising and floating in the sky. There is also a huge canvas with some club legends on display, including current club captain Jesús Navas. These span almost the entire height of the stand, to give you a sense of their magnificent scale.

Inside the ground there are four steep stands, and they helpfully correspond to compass points. Only one of them is fully covered, but in Seville you will be highly unlucky to see any rain. Sun screen, water and a sunhat are all more likely requirements for a trip there. The covered stand is to the West, the Preferencia, with the South and the East uncovered. Away supporters are positioned high in the south-east corner.

While the fiercely-contested derby may be the pinnacle, every home game has its quirks and charms that you can look out for on your visit. As Gregor mentioned, the himno, or anthem, is sung a cappella before every home game without exception, and is always given the resounding backing it deserves. It originated in 2005 as a centennial song, written by Javier Labandón, or El Arrebato as he is affectionately known. Its popularity was immense and the home crowd adopted it as a lung-buster before matches. It is the perfect blend of musicality, rhythm and expression of Sevillano identity. It is impossible to think of the beginning of a match there without this now-iconic anthem. You don’t have to understand the lyrics to appreciate it, merely being part of the masses will make your soul sing and spine tingle.

Amid the constant rustling of pipas, sunflower seeds which are another matchday delicacy across Spanish football, there is always a poignant moment in the 16th minute, as the supporters remember Antonio Puerta, their beloved player who tragically died in August 2007. Outside the ground, Gate 16 is also dedicated to his memory, with a large illustration towering above the turnstiles.

We hope that you get the chance to visit Seville and that when you do, getting to a game is on your to-do list. The atmosphere generated at Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán has to be lived and experienced to be fully appreciated. Armed with the information here, you can confidently plan your trip in the very near future. Enjoy!

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

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