This stadium holds games by Athletic Club since 2013, when it was first inaugurated. Its 114,500 m2 have a capacity of 53,000 people and could be increased to 2,000. This allows the stadium to hold international matches. It cost 173 million euros.
The façade is made out of white EFTE bricks, which together with thousands of LEDs allow it to become a screen in which videos can be played. The stadium looks very different from the river and from the city. From the river it’s an icon which competes with the Guggenheim museum and from the city it’s just another building, just separated by open areas. In order to make it not higher than the nearby houses, the grass had to be placed underground, exactly 7 meters below the street level.
Athletic Club is the second oldest football team in Spain, after Recreativo Huelva. It was created in 1898 and played in a small field in Leioa until 1913, when the new stadium was built in Bilbao, near the hermitage of San Mamés, which explains its current name. As this saint is related to lions, these animals are united to Athletic Club since then.