August 3, 2021

El Eibar, soccer on the border | sports

El Eibar, soccer on the border | sports

Eibar is the only First Division football club that does not have a sports city. The team trains in Atxabalpe, in Mondragón, 29 kilometers from Ipurua. They are there for rent. The press room is located in a building booth enabled for this function. There are three other similar modules that serve as a gym. The 500 players of lower categories belonging to the Eibar are scattered by four other different facilities. They share fields and workouts are reduced due to lack of space and time.

This is going to change in a few months, but how? For three years, the society of Eibar has studied the construction of a sports city. The board of directors presided by Amaia Gorostiza has had to overcome even internal resistances. Some councilors considered that the presence in the elite would be ephemeral and Eibar would not need something like that. In the end, everyone has agreed that it is a future project, but the question was where to locate the facilities. Eibar in a town of Gipuzkoa of 27,000 inhabitants, corseted between mountains. Every time a building is built it seems like a miracle. The circumambulation works have had to overcome endless difficulties. The Ipurua field itself does not have an easy expansion, between residential buildings and the AP8 motorway, which connects Bilbao with San Sebastián.

Gorostiza and his board shuffled various scenarios. After discarding a few as unviable, they decided on two. One of them, that of Azitain, in the same municipal district of Eibar, and another one, in Areitio, located just ten minutes by car from Unzaga Square -the city's nerve center-, but outside the limits of Eibar, and even from Gipuzkoa. It is located in Bizkaia. And there the problem has arisen.

In the town, this option is awakening a lot of criticism. The actions of Eibar are very fragmented and many of them are in the hands of eibarresse citizens and businessmen in the area, who supported the directive when it was presented, but who have doubts about the possible construction of the sports city outside the historic territory.

In view of the data provided by the club, the second option, that of Areitio, is clearly more viable: it would cost 16 million euros, 21.4 euros from Eibar. It would occupy 81,000 square meters for the 66,200 square meters of the other alternative, and could build up to five soccer fields for three in Azitain. Even the construction period would be shorter: 18 months by 20, because the central building of the sports city is already built on the land and the local option would have to proceed to the clearing of a hillside to fit the fields. The sports city of Azitain would rise in a shady area, full of forests, and that of Areitio in a sunny place.

And yet, the leaders of Eibar do not have all of them for the assembly in which the location will be decided at the end of October. The club has 34 million in cash waiting for the start of the works. The logic would point out that the option of Areitio should be chosen, for costs and benefits, even by access: a bus line arrives there every 20 minutes, but the heart has reasons that the reason does not understand and many Eibar shareholders do not want leave Gipuzkoa.

In the first meeting with shareholders, there were discrepancies. The mayor came, Miguel De los Toyos, and said that he did it as a shareholder and not as the maximum leader of the city. In his opinion, the sports city should be in Eibar: "This is the football team of the city and we must translate that is something different from a company. And this project should serve to underline that. We are the capital of the region and the services must be here, "he said. Amaia Gorostiza replied harshly: "If five and a half million difference are few, why do not the City Council? We want to do it in Eibar, but not at any price. "

Eibar will have a sports city, but … in Gipuzkoa or Bizkaia?

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