New Atlético de Madrid stadium to be christened Wanda Metropolitano

Chinese company will provide name for new ground after signing deal with soccer club

How the Wanda Metropolitano stadium will look.
How the Wanda Metropolitano stadium will look.

Atlético de Madrid will call its new stadium Wanda Metropolitano, the soccer club announced on Friday, after a sponsorship deal was signed with the Chinese commercial property company, Wanda Group. The club is due to leave its current home – the Vicente Calderón, located in the south of the city – in time for the 2017-2018 season.

Until now, the new stadium, which will have a capacity of 67,000 and is still under construction, was known as La Peineta. The new site is located in the northeast of the city, not far from Adolfo Suárez Barajas Airport.

Wanda, which owns a 20% stake in the club, was one of three possible choices for a sponsor

“We are strengthening yet further our collaboration with Wanda, with the deal we reached today in Beijing,” the president of Atlético, Enrique Cerezo, announced on Friday.

When the club’s move from the Vicente Calderón was announced, a number of companies expressed an interest in sponsoring the new stadium. Several months ago, Atlético narrowed down the candidates to a shortlist of three. Wanda, which owns a 20% stake in the club, was one of the choices.

The name “Metropolitano” is a reference to the stadium the club used prior to the Calderón, until 1966.

The press conference held on Friday to announce the new name marks the beginning of the club’s farewell to the Calderón. The VIP room at the stadium was packed on Friday with members, players and directors, who all waited with baited breath to find out what La Peineta would be renamed as.

The founder and chairman of the Wanda Group, Wang JianLin, 62, occupies the 19th place on the list of the world’s richest man, with an estimated fortune of €30 billion, according to Bloomberg. His companies mostly have interests in real estate, but also cover the tourism, hotel and cinema sectors.

The choice of name follows a worldwide trend, which has already seen London club Arsenal take the name of Emirates Stadium, Manchester City opt for Etihad, and Bayern Munich deciding on Allianz Arena.

English version by Simon Hunter.


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