The prolonged closure of the Plaza de Las Ventas has become the bullfighting controversy of the year. The curtain fell on October 19, 2019 and only raised it on May 2 for the celebration of a festival organized by the Community of Madrid.
The Plaza1 company and the regional government no longer know how to justify a situation that inexplicably extends over time
Health reasons persist, but with the Vistalegre and Leganés squares open, among others, an honorable and urgent exit is imposed for what is considered the cathedral of bullfighting.
Ten subscribers comment on this peculiar issue: most of them are trilling against the closure, they distribute responsibilities between the two parties in litigation and demand an immediate opening.
These are their testimonies:
“I denounce a total lack of transparency towards the fan”, Jesús María Fernández, president of the Madrid Subscribers Union.
Antonio Álvarez Barrios, lawyer and ex-monosabio.-
“Simón Casas, businessman from Las Ventas, has offered figures on income and expenses with a capacity of 6,000 people, which seem quite credible. The festival of last day 2 has nothing to do with a bullfight; incidentally, the economic results of that celebration have not yet been published.
The Plaza de Madrid must be opened as soon as possible; I believe that the Community of Madrid should change its policy of ambiguity regarding the opening, clearly bet on the return of the bulls and drastically reduce the annual fee for a season that is born lame. In the end, I advocate that both parties -property and management company- make assignments for the benefit of the party.
The low attendance of the public in the Plaza de Vistalegre leads me to think that a very dangerous trick is being played, because people really want to see bulls, but others are already fed up with waiting ”.
Muriel Feiner, journalist and photographer.-
“Las Ventas has to open its doors. I understand that putting it into operation must be very expensive, but extraordinary times, such as these, require extraordinary measures.
In my opinion, the main responsibility belongs to the Community of Madrid, which is the owner of the square; I would have to forgive the canon this year and make viable proposals.
Both parties should shoulder each other in all directions and buckle up if necessary.
You have to do whatever it takes to get the bulls back to Madrid because Las Ventas is the showcase of the party to the world. I worry that we will lose the habit of going to the bulls. The situation is very serious, and we cannot allow the pandemic to be the finishing touch to the party ”.
François Zumbiehl, Professor of Classical Languages and anthropologist.-
“I am perplexed and misunderstood that the Plaza de Vistalegre has been open while Las Ventas, which is much more emblematic, remains closed. For the international image of the party it is the sign of a defeat.
In my opinion, this is a problem of political responsibility of the Community of Madrid, which aims to avoid being accused of a re-outbreak of the pandemic; or an economic issue in the square, I’m not really sure. Anyway, the current situation seems incomprehensible to me ”.
Jean Louis Personne, President of the Milan Bullfighting Club.-
“The Plaza de Las Ventas should open now. San Isidro is the most important bullfighting fair in the world and must be held in the bullfighting cathedral.
In it I have witnessed more than three hundred bullfights, and every afternoon I have felt the same emotion when I left the hotel on my way to my town.
Celebrating San Isidro in Vistalegre is a catastrophe; and I keep it because I am very traditionalist. This fair only makes sense in Las Ventas, which should open its doors now ”.
“It will be very difficult for the bulls to return to normal in Madrid”, Alejandro de Luis, subscriber.
Rosa Basante, member of the board of directors of the Center for Bullfighting Affairs.
“The closure of the square has been justified because the risk of contagion has been very high and vaccination has not started until last February. Sanitary standards must be respected because health is more important than any other matter.
The manager of the Center for Bullfighting Affairs (CAT) has stated that it could open in the summer, and I trust that it will be possible in the autumn.
That said, Las Ventas is the cathedral of bullfighting, something different, and all parties must work so that fans can enjoy themselves in the conditions required by the situation of the pandemic ”.
Jesús María Fernández, President of the Madrid Subscribers Union.-
“I think Plaza1 has not intended to organize bulls during the month of May under any circumstances. It is true that the pandemic is there, but some effort had to be made. In fact, he took over the May 2 festival and everything went well.
We know that this season will not be normal, but I hope there will be bulls in summer, September and October, as Miguel Abellán, CAT manager, has said; It is essential that this is so for the sector to begin its recovery.
On the other hand, I denounce a total lack of transparency towards the fan. We do not know how the canon is, and if there is infeasibility to celebrate celebrations for some reason that we do not know. We do not know what to expect. I do not dispute the goodwill of the parties, but, at least, I could offer as detailed information as possible about the situation.
Rafael Cabrera, director of the Bullfighting Classroom of the CEU San Pablo University.-
“A shame. The Community and the company have abandoned the square. The season should have started as every year, with the required capacity and adequate posters to settle the accounts. The two parties have had to agree to a reduction of the conditions of the contract, or even the temporary suppression of it, according to the extraordinary moments that we are living. If the capacity is reduced, the fee is reduced.
On the other hand, the CAT’s neglect is total. The necessary works have not been undertaken while the square has been closed. It seems as if they only care about the financial benefit. For this reason, I insist that the square is abandoned; and perhaps the responsibility of the Community is greater, which is what should facilitate and require the company to organize celebrations.
For the rest, there is no transparency whatsoever; we live at the expense of rumors. We are in a democracy, although I don’t know to what extent, and light and stenographers should be required in all this matter ”.
Beatriz Badorrey, Professor of Law History.-
“I don’t understand why celebrations haven’t been held yet in Las Ventas; Above all, after the festival on the 2nd and the Plaza de Vistalegre has been opened.
In my opinion, there is a very great responsibility shared by all: by the company, the Community, -which should have negotiated a reduction in the fee-, the bullfighting world, which has not been involved, and by the fans, who we have not been able to claim that what we love so much is not stolen from us.
I also note a worrying lack of communication. They do not take care of the subscribers, we deserve an explanation about what is really happening and why celebrations are not organized. I am outraged because this lack of complete and truthful information is a lack of respect ”.
Alejandro de Luis, subscriber.-
“Las Ventas could be open, of course it is; but I don’t know if the closure is fully justified for health reasons. With a quarter of a place, expenses are not covered, and less in this place, where prices are limited.
What I do see is that nobody helps the party, and it will be very difficult for the bulls to return to normal in Madrid. Guilt? The degeneration of the show itself, the advance of animalism, the scant interest of the youth …
I will continue with my season ticket, but I doubt that Madrid will be a season seat again ”.
Andrés de Miguel, president of the peña Los de José y Juan.-
“I believe that all of us -administration, company and fans- are against the closure, but the problem is not that, but what has not been done ..
The building suffers from a series of functional deficiencies that came to light during the municipal mandate of Manuela Carmena, and have not been addressed during this black period of pandemic.
I also suppose that the closure is motivated by health reasons, but the way to face a problem of this magnitude is what allows the solution to be better or worse; and I think there has been passivity on the part of the CAT and the company.
It is also evident that fans do not receive adequate and sufficient information. There is no explanation on the details of the problem or follow-up on it.
It is not enough to say that there is interest in celebrating festivities; you have to explain the reasons and clarify the doubts of the fans ”.