Spain's Most Iconic Stadiums: Huesca's Estadio El Alcoraz
Where dreams are made
Wind the clock back five years and imagine that a Spanish football fan told you that SD Huesca would be gracing the top flight in the very near future. The overwhelming majority would have dismissed such an idea as pure and utter madness. Indeed, the club's loyal supporters would have been amongst the few to have had any sort of faith in such a statement. The fans of the modest Aragonese outfit have witnessed their team's meteoric rise, which currently sees them proudly fly the flag for their region.
Huesca has burst onto the LaLiga Santander scene with the full backing of a city that has seen its club take the fast route to the top. In the space of fewer than five years, Los Azulgranas (the ‘blue and reds’) have swapped the depths of Segunda Division B (the Spanish third tier) for the chance to rub shoulders with the likes of Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and the rest of the top tier's big hitters. The team's breath-taking on-field rise has, of course, placed new demands on the club's El Alcoraz home and significant redevelopment work has been required.
Opened in 1972, Huesca's stadium owes its name to the Battle of Alcoraz, which took place just outside the city back in 1096. The arena's origins have clearly left a mark on Huesca's battling charges, who give every last ounce each time they take to the pitch as they bid to send the locals home happy. The stadium's average attendance has risen from around just 450 ten years ago to 7,000 fans today, with considerable effort involved in transforming a somewhat rudimentary ground into an arena fit to host top-flight fixtures.
Huesca enjoys the full support of the small city's 50,000 inhabitants, who display immense pride at being able to watch their team compete in the top rung of Spanish football every fortnight at their stadium, which, just like the club, is developing at breakneck pace.
The future of El Alcoraz revolves around continuing to modernise the arena and adapting it to the demands of elite football. The redevelopment work aims to improve fan comfort and features the installation of a heating system, whilst other improvements include closing all four corners of the ground and the opening of a VIP area, club museum and offices. Huesca will be hoping to undertake this renovation work as proud members of the best competition in the world as they bid to retain their league status. After all, there really is nothing quite like seeing the minnows do battle with the big boys and aspire to one day be just like them.
Follow Huesca battling for points this weekend against Alaves live on Futaa!