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Official Review by Gary Foxall, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Estadio de Gran Canaria, built in 2003, is a multi-purpose stadium located in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, the second largest of the Canary Islands off the coast of Morocco. The venue has an all seated capacity of 31,250 and is mostly used for the home for games of Spanish Segunda club U.D. Las Palmas.
The build of the stadium is typically Spanish, oval shaped with just the Tribuna area having any form of covered seating. The venue has hosted one International game between Spain and Northern Ireland in 2007.
Union Deportiva Las Palmas was founded in 1949. The club has primarily been a part of the Spanish premier league (La Liga), but have spent the past several seasons in the Segunda League, with their last La Liga appearance coming in 2002. The club’s best season occurred in 1969 when they finished second in La Liga.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Various kiosks inside the stadium sell crisps, rolls, sweets and chocolate, but nothing more to appease your appetite. Hot and cold drinks including beer are also on sale. The concourse outside the stadium offers slightly more variety, with various stalls selling hot dogs and burgers. More interesting was what looked like some kind of fish delicacy which was being barbecued. However I wasn't brave enough to try it.
As with many multi-purpose stadiums, the atmosphere for football games at Estadio de Gran Canaria is lost due to the pitch being surrounded by a running track. However this is not as bad as others and despite around 10,000 empty seats during my most recent visit, the atmosphere for the game I attended was quite good. It becomes even better when the floodlights go on for evening games.
Gran Canaria is one of the year round sun-soaked Canary Islands, and has plenty to offer. The Island itself measures only fifty square miles, but has some lovely towns to visit. Las Palmas is the island's capital and has many museums, water parks and shopping complexes to visit if you can drag yourself away from the sun bed.
Hotels are plentiful all over the Island and the Sheraton Salobre Golf and Spa Resort near Maspolomas is highly recommended for its facilities and food. There is a small shopping centre to the south of the stadium which has a few fast food outlets.
With no other high profile team on the island, U.D. Las Palmas are the big boys around this area. The island has other football clubs that play in the Tercera and Regional Leagues, but crowds are small. U.D. Las Palmas averages crowds of around 15,000 which would increase if the club could gain promotion to La Liga. The club's fans are vocal with most of the noise and flag waving arising from the ends of the stadium behind the goal. The club's yellow shirts, which most fans wear, add to the colour of the occasion. Local rivals are C.D. Tenerife.
The stadium is located on the outskirts of the city, around fifteen kilometres from the island's airport and five km from the beach. Bus number 45 from the City Centre in the direction of Hoya Andrea goes by the stadium. The stadium has a large car park but exiting it after the game is a nightmare. Street parking is an alternative if you choose to drive.
Tickets prices range between 15 and 30 Euros and can be purchased at the ticket windows around the stadium. Home games rarely sell out so unless one of Spain's big two clubs are in town, tickets can easily be bought on the day of the game.
There is a Club Shop located inside the stadium selling a wide range of club souvenirs. A free match day newspaper is also available inside the stadium and if you collect team sheets you will need to get a seat in the Tribuna to get by the Press Box.
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