Estadio de la Cerámica / Calle Blasco Ibáñez, 2 / 12540 Vila-real (Castellón)
Estadio de la Cerámica
The 'Estadio de la Cerámica' is the home ground of Villarreal CF. The stadium has a capacity of 23,500 and the pitch dimensions are 105 x 68m. The home of the Yellows is located next to the Plaza del Labrador (Labrador square) in Vila-real and, interestingly, since its opening in 1923, it has never been relocated. Parallel to the Mediterranean, which is just five kilometres away, the 'Estadio de la Cerámica' stands at an altitude of 50m above sea level.
The stadium was originally opened on 17th June 1923 and was called 'Campo de Villarreal', but only two years later it came to be known as 'El Madrigal', a name that referred to the rural site the facility was built on, which went by the same name. The stadium was inaugurated with a match between CD Castellón and SD Cervantes FC, two teams from the capital of the province.
El Madrigal underwent its first extension in the summer of 1952, taking advantage of the off season. That remodelling also saw the change of the pitch dimensions to match the measurements of the Olympic Stadium of Helsinki, which hosted the Olympic Games that year and became the standard for all football clubs. Thus the pitch went from measuring 95 x 50m to 104 x 65m.
In the 60s, Villarreal built a small covered stand and in the 1971/72 season the original South Stand (Fondo Sur) was set up. The Main Stand was demolished on 19th July 1988 so that a bigger one could be built, which eventually opened on 8th March 1989 with a friendly match against Atlético de Madrid.
On the 75th anniversary of the club, the occasion was used to carry out the most significant remodelling of the stadium, the results of which gave us the latest and most modern version of the El Madrigal. The South Stand (Fondo Sur) was demolished on 22nd May 1998 and construction of the new covered Main Stand (Tribuna) began, as well as the amphitheater, the Grand Stand (Preferencia) and the North Stand (Fondo Norte). The project was completed for the 1999/2000 season.
First Electrical Installation
In 1973, El Madrigal had was fitted with lights for the first time so games could be played late in the afternoon and evening. The city council erected four pylons on each corner of the pitch, with nine halogen spotlights on each. The stadium enjoyed its first game under the lights on 16th September 1973 in a Third Division match that saw the Yellows take on Sociedad Deportiva Ibiza and they lost 0-1.
Believe it or not, the changing rooms have had four different locations since the Yellows ground was inaugurated. Until the 1935/36 season, so for twelve years, the changing rooms occupied the southeast area of the stadium. From that date until the late 60s, they moved to the northeast part of the pitch. Then, with the inauguration of the new Main Stand (Tribuna) in 1989, they were located in the southwest corner until the final remodeling, where they were relocated to their current location just below the centre of the Main Stand (Tribuna).
After undergoing several renovations, the last touches to El Madrigal were implemented in the summer of 2008 with the construction of the Away Stand (Grada Visitante), right above the North Stand (Fondo Norte), allowing away fans to enjoy the game in peace. With a capacity of almost 2,300, this was an exemplary remodelling.
'Yellow Executive Boxes'
The Estadio de la Cerámica provides maximum comfort for those fans that want extra services when it comes to watching Villarreal play at home. Thus, for these fans, the Submarine provides 19 Yellow Executive Boxes. Two boxes with 21 seats, nine with 20 seats, seven with 18 seats and one with 38 seats. All private boxes are tiled with ceramics from the stadium’s official sponsors, giving it a very modern look and feel. What’s more, after the latest remodelling in 2017, the boxes have been expanded and are equipped with more furnishings for the maximum comfort of their users.
In addition, after the stadium was previously refurbished in 2008, fans also have the option to watch the game from the Blue Executive Boxes, located in a privileged spot in the North Stand (Fondo Norte) and full of all the comforts fans could need for the best matchday experience.
'Blue Executive Boxes'
Making the most of the construction of the away stand, Villarreal extended their number of private boxes, giving the Estadio de la Cerámica 27 new boxes. Located in the North Stand, the 27 Blue Executive Boxes are divided into three types, to accommodate groups of 22, 23 and 17 people. Just like the Yellow Boxes, they are also equipped with air conditioning, televisions with a live stream of the match, catering service, individual seats, and independent access.
In order to improve visibility, Villarreal CF remodeled the entire bench area in the summer of 2013, changing it to a similar style used in some of the Premier League stadiums. Thus, the area has increased in size and height, occupying a small part of the Main Stand (Tribuna). Spacious and comfortable, the expansion also led to the extension of the roof of the Main Stand to provide better protection for both fans and players.
Cutting Edge Pitch Technology
Villarreal became the first club in Spain to install a mixed artificial and natural grass pitch. The Submarine committed fully to this cutting edge technology, choosing to use this surface for the three most important pitches: El Madrigal stadium, the First Team Training Ground pitch and the Mini Stadium (Mini Estadi), that holds 5,000 spectators, at the Villarreal CF Training Ground (Ciudad Deportiva). The surface, 'Desso GrassMaster', is a hybrid grass system in which synthetic fibers are injected into the soil allowing the roots of the natural grass to curl around and root the artificial fibers, providing a more stable and lasting field of play.
In its constant commitment to evolving and adapting to modern times, the club created the SUPER TRIBUNE for the 2017/18 season. An area in the Main Stand equipped with everything for fans to enjoy Villarreal CF matches to the full, from an unbeatable perspective. In addition to comfortable seats and and televisions outside, the SUPER TRIBUNE provides a catering service inside and expansive windows that give fans a spectacular view of the pitch.
The launch of the 'Estadio de la Cerámica'
On Sunday 8th January, Villarreal CF unveiled the new name of its stadium: 'Estadio de la Cerámica' (The Ceramic Stadium), as a symbol that identifies and is representative of the province of Castellón, proudly becoming an ambassador for one of the best products our region produces as well as a showcase of this extraordinary material. In addition, with this new initiative, the club has generated a new source of revenue as many ceramic tile companies from the province decided to join the project as partners, obtaining brand presence in various advertising spaces in the stadium with corresponding national and international visibility. The companies that form part of the 'Estadio de la Cerámica' are: PAMESA, PORCELANOSA, ARGENTA CERÁMICA and TORRECID as the Main Sponsors; and TAU CERÁMICA, BESTILE, ESMALGLASS-ITACA and COLOROBBIA as Official Sponsors.
The South Stand (Fondo Sur) of the 'Estadio de la Cerámica' shines with a façade completely covered with high gloss, yellow porcelain stoneware, in traditional Villarreal CF fashion. A material, of great aesthetic elegance, that underwent a state-of-the-art polishing process. Ceramic tiles of the highest quality with magnificent features such as thermal insulation and excellent solar and acoustic protection. 2,000 square metres of this stoneware have been fitted with the ventilated ceramic façade system. All with a double fixation system for maximum security.
The front is illuminated with a modern and revolutionary LED light system. More than 500 light points make for amazing results. It uses a digitally controlled system that allows changes in colours and effects, to be able to alternate between different designs and styles. A formula of high performance and low consumption lighting, thanks to the regulation of times and intensities that have an impact on energy saving.
The surroundings of the 'Estadio de la Cerámica' have also been transformed, as a new, diaphanous square has been built, with ceramic pavement. From the square people have a fantastic view of the stadium’s new façade and it will also serve as a meeting point and space for activities for all fans gearing up for matches. With this new construction, security has also been notably improved, as there will be better fluidity in the circulation of fans in the surrounding areas and in the evacuation routes from the pitch. In addition, all Vila-real citizens benefit from this new space as it is ready to host all kinds of events, as there is a warehouse and changing room area located at the stadium’s base level.