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Official Review by Gary Foxall, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Not only does Madrid offer the Bernabeu and the Vicente Calderon Stadium, but the Estadio Coliseum Alfonso Perez home to Getafe C.F. is also worth visiting when you’re on a soccer break in the Spanish capital.
Built in 1998, the stadium takes its name from the Spanish centre forward Alfonso Perez who was born in Getafe. Like most venues in the country, the stadium has three sides of open seating with a roof covering the main tribune. The venue is essentially a two tiered structure. Its 17,393 seats are coloured sky blue and the ground has four distinguished corner floodlight pylons.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
This is one of the best Spanish grounds that I have been to with regards to the number of food and drink kiosks within the stadium. Service is quick and the coffee is the best I've had for a long while at a European stadium. The only downside is that other than sandwiches and hot dogs there is not a lot else on offer, although prices are reasonable.
Although only a small stadium, it is more than adequate for the attendances Getafe CF attract. Even when not full, the atmosphere is good and one would suspect even better when Madrid's big boys and Barcelona are in town. Most of the team's vocal support comes from behind the goal to the right of the main stand with one set of ultras located in the corner. It is better to sit in the lower tiers to sample the atmosphere at its best. It is reported that Getafe supporters do not like the stadium and want to relocate, however for me it is fine and much better than expected.
Located on the southern metropolitan outskirts of Madrid, Getafe is a city in its own right. Mainly an industrial city it is also home to one of Spain's oldest military air bases. The city has a number of large shopping malls and cinemas. There are a small number of bars and restaurants by the stadium. Getafe is certainly worth a half day visit before attending a game.
Attendance averages around 12,000 each season, depending in which tier of Spanish football the club are playing. At the moment the team are holding their own in the mid table area of La Liga and it is refreshing to see children wearing the shirts of Getafe and not Real Madrid. Local rivals are Real, Atletico and Alcorcon.
Located around three kilometres north of the city, the M45 motorway towards Madrid runs by the stadium. Exit at Junction 7 and the stadium becomes visible. I travelled in by public transport from Madrid where there are a couple of options. Los Espartales metro station is situated on circular Line 12 of the Metrosur which runs through Madrid's southern suburbs. Be aware that if travelling from Madrid that the Madrid Zone A metro card will take you so far, but you will need to purchase another one Euro 50 cents ticket upon arrival at Los Espartales which is a comfortable five minute walk from the stadium. The journey will take over an hour from central Madrid. Slightly quicker is the Cercania commuter train from either Sol or Atocha stations in the city in the direction of Parla.
La Liga football doesn't come cheap and tickets for games range between 30 and 70 Euros.
Games against Real and Barcelona will be dearer again and this is probably the reason that games hardly sell out unless it's one of the big two. Tickets can be purchased via the club's website and printed at home. However it's just as easy to obtain your ticket from the Taquillas (ticket window) on a match day.
This is an unspectacular, but still fine place to see a football match.
Most people will go to Madrid to watch Real or Athletico but either Getafe or Rayo Vallecano will also be at home on the same weekend in La Liga. In addition there are also numerous other clubs in the lower leagues within Madrid to visit. Unfortunately fixtures are not normally confirmed until two weeks beforehand due to TV schedules.
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