Real Zaragoza - La Romareda - Capacity: 34,600 All seater
The Stadium – La Romareda Paseo Isabel la Catolica s/n, Zaragoza
The Romareda has been home to Zaragoza for over 50 years now, and whilst it is not the most modern of stadiums in La Liga today, it is one of the most atmospheric, with the crowd on top of the players on all four sides. The stadium today is all seated, although the hardcore fans in the Fondu Norde will never be seen dead sitting down during a game. Three of the stands are two-tiered, with the upper level enjoying some cover from the roof. The lower tier is much bigger with good sight lines from all angles.
The main stand has a divided lower tier, giving it the appearance of having three tiers. The stadium also has unusual floodlights, with single blue columns rising from the ground on each corner holding up the lights.
The stadium was upgraded in 1982 in time to host a number of games in the World Cup Finals, including the games between Honduras, Yugoslavia and Northern Ireland. The latest planned redevelopment which would see the capacity rise to over 42,000 has been put on hold after a planning permission issue was raised.
Who Plays There? Whilst Real Zaragoza have never hit the heights of Spanish football, they have had their fair share of highlights, and have won a European Trophy – a feat that only five other clubs from the country can claim. The trophy was the 1995 European Cup Winners Cup in Paris when, as every Tottenham Hotspurs fan will forever remember Nayim lobbed Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman from close to the halfway line in the dying minutes to take the trophy 2-1. They first tasted European glory in 1964 when they beat Spanish rivals Valencia in the Fairs Cup. Twelve months later they reached the semi-final of the European Cup Winners Cup before losing on aggregate to West Ham United. Less than 12 months later they reached their 2nd Fairs Cup final, losing on this occasion to Barcelona 5-2 on aggregate.
More recently they have tasted Spanish Cup success, beating Real Madrid 3-2 to take the trophy from under the noses of the Galacticos in 2005, as well as capturing the cup on five other occasions in 1964, 1966, 1986, 1994 and 2001 when they beat Celta Vigo 3-1 in the final in Seville. Last season they were runners up losing 4-1 to Espaynol. The team have never won La Liga, but were runners up in 1975. The club has spent most of the last twenty years in the top flight, apart from a small blip in 2002/03 when they were relegated on the last day of the season before bouncing straight back up.
Last season the team finished 11th, with the major success coming in the Copa del Rey. The current squad is a mix of experience such as top scorer Diego Milito, Brazilian Ewerthon and ex-Valencian star Pablo Aimar, as well as some young stars such as Alberto Zapater, Gerard Pique and Oscar. This season the team have started well, and going into the Christmas break they are in 5th place.
How to get to the Romareda The stadium is located quite away out of the centre of Zaragoza and so public transport is really the best option. Bus numbers 30, 35 and 40 run regularly on a matchday to the stadium from Plaza de España. If you do fancy the walk then just simply follow directions for the Jardin Botanico which is located opposite the stadium on the main Paseo Isabel la Catolica road – the walk should take around 20 minutes.
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How to get a ticket for the Romareda The average crowd for the Romareda is less than 30,000 and so you shouldn’t have many problems getting a ticket for an average game. When the big boys of Real Madrid and Barcelona are in town then it is best to get your tickets in advance by calling the ticket office on +34 976 565 691. Tickets for the Preferencia and Tribuna start from €35, with places in the Fondu starting from €20. Tickets can be bought from the ticket office on the day of the game.
Around the Romareda The Romareda is located on the outskirts of city, opposite the Jardin Botanico and the maternity hospital. Around the stadium are a number of churches and a convent, so do not expect to find many places to be fed and watered – best stick to the city centre for your pre-match refreshments. The one exeption is the expansive Foro which is next to the multiplex cinema where home fans congregate hours before the game to share stories and the odd beer. Click here to buy the full guide to Zaragoza.
The small Zaragoza is located 10miles west of the city. It was originally built as a US airforce base, and converted into civil use during the 1980’s. The airport is currently used by internal flights only, apart from the daily flight run by Ryanair to London Stansted. The easiest way to reach the city from the airport is to catch bus 19 from outside the terminal building and costs €1.80 each way and takes less than 20 minutes.