In celebration of Atlético Madrid’s new stadium, Into the Calderón will be taking you on a season-long tour of the various stadia in LaLiga. We started our tour last weekend in Estadi Montilivi and travel now to the far-flung home of UD Las Palmas, Estadio de Gran Canaria.
The Gran Canaria was opened in spring 2003 to a capacity crowd who saw their side emerge as 2-1 victors over visiting Belgian side RSC Anderlecht. The stadium replaced Estadio Insular, which had been the home of Las Palmas since their founding in 1949.
Despite the auspicious opener, the first season in the new stadium saw Las Palmas in the Segunda Division after relegation the previous year—a fact which saw waning attendance and financial difficulties for the club. It would be 13 seasons before Las Palmas made it back to the top flight.
Originally built as a multipurpose stadium complete with a running track, a renovation in 2014 saw a conversion to a soccer specific ground with a capacity of 32,400—making the Gran Canaria the largest capacity sporting ground in the Canary Islands. The removal of the track has resulted in a much more intimate match day atmosphere— a common complaint during the early years of the stadium.
Last season, Las Palmas held a home record of 9 wins, 6 draws and 4 losses, which included a 0-5 drubbing at the hands of Atlético Madrid in late April. A similar result this weekend would be a great way for Atleti to kickstart their season after a disappointing draw to newcomers Girona last week.
For those who may be unsure of the Canary Islands’ location in relation to mainland Spain, Las Palmas has provided the following promo for their ground, complete with some helpful geolocation.