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ITC Stadium Series: Estadi Montilivi

The first stop on our tour of LaLiga’s storied grounds.

In case you missed it, Atlético Madrid will open the doors on their brand new stadium, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, in just over four weeks’ time. In celebration of our new digs, Into the Calderón will be taking you on a season-long tour of the various stadia in LaLiga. First stop: Estadi Montilivi, home of Girona FC.

In a way, Estadi Montilivi is an appropriate starting place as it is the other “new” stadium in LaLiga this season, as Girona have achieved promotion to the first division for the first time in their history.

Their current ground was first opened in the summer of 1970—an event which was celebrated with a series of friendlies (original flyer pictured below). Since then, the event has been held annually in varying formats as the “Trofeo Costa Bravo”— which earlier this week included a 1-0 victory over Manchester City (more on them below).

Life at Estadi Montilivi has seen Girona make a slow climb from the Tercera División in 1970 to LaLiga this season, with a win and two draws in their final home matches last year sealing their automatic promotion. Their home record last season was 12 wins, 6 draws and just 3 losses, so the ground has been a bit of a fortress for them.

The stadium will have a capacity of 13,500 this season after a small expansion. A full house this weekend will mean Atlético can have a part in shattering the previous attendance record for the stadium—9,286 set in a 2013 matchup with Almería—which would be a truly a historic way for Atleti to kick off the new season.

Despite this somewhat humble beginning to life in the first division, Girona and their stadium may have big things to come. If that matchup with Man City listed earlier seems an odd one, it may interest you to learn that City Football Group have positioned themselves to take a controlling interest in the club. If such a move plays out, Girona could even be the next big club in LaLiga.

For a much more thorough rundown of the stadium’s history, as well as a trove of interesting photographs, I recommend taking a look at this article from Estadios de España.