The old San Mames stadium stand is without doubt an icon for Bilbao. But why so much fuss? Let us tell you about it.The visual impact is one of the first reasons why the stand has become an icon for Bilbao, but it is not the only one. There are many more reasons why the stand has meant a before and after for the San Mames stadium. It should be borne in mind that this redevelopment stood out from the other constructions, turning the stand into a kind of lighthouse in the city. And it has survived to this day as a historical icon in the company of the San Mames arch.
Why the stand became an icon for Bilbao
- It stood 40 metres above the playing area, 56 if we count the arch.
- The works radically changed the ground.
- Its magnitude left the rest of the stands somewhat dwarfed and out of proportion.
- The final cost of the original stand was 23 million pesetas.
- It was assumed that the new stand would be more than sufficient for applications from new members and subscribers, so it would not be necessary to extend it further. It soon became apparent that it was swamped with fans.
- The day the new stadium was blessed was the same day on which Telmo Zarra received his first Pichichi Trophy.
- In the match that was played that same afternoon, two new players were presented that would be very important to Athletic Club over the next two years. Uribe and Maruri.
But what really made it an icon for Bilbao was its functionality, together with its slim design, making it an architectural landmark along with its arch and an icon of the ground, Athletic and Bilbao.