Balaídos: Celta Vigo

Avda. de Balaídos, s/n, 36210 Vigo
By Roi González Villa (Vivaelcelta) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Estadio Municipal de Balaídos, or Balaídos Municipal Stadium in English, is the home of Real Club Celta de Vigo and is more commonly known simply as Balaídos. Similarly, Celta de Vigo or often referred to without the ‘de’ or even just as Celta. The club was formed in 1923 and plans to open a purpose-built stadium began to take shape in 1925, though it wouldn’t open for another three years.

The ground is located on the Avenida Balaídos in the Coia district of the city of Vigo. When it opened its doors for the first time it was blessed by Father Faustino Ande, the archpriest of Fragoso. The blessing hasn’t done a whole heap to help the team, however. To date they’ve never won the Spanish top-flight, nor have they been victorious in the Copa del Rey - despite having reached the competition’s final on three separate occasions.

Stats

Balaídos Stats
Year Opened1928
Capacity29,000
Average Attendance17,728
Record Attendance45,000 (Celta Vigo v Getafe (1982))
Pitch Size105 x 68 (7140)
NicknameBalaídos
OwnerConcello de Vigo
Clubs HostedCelta Vigo
First FixtureCelta Vigo v Real Unión (30/12/1928)
Celta Vigo Stats
Year Founded1923
NicknameCélticos (The Celts/Celtics), Celestes (The Sky Blues), Celtiñas (The Little Celta)
Club MascotCelestino
RivalsDeportivo de La Coruña
KitLight Blue & White (Home) / Blue & Yellow (Away) / Grey, Light Blue & Black (Third)
Training GroundInstalacións Deportivas da Madroa
Shirt SponsorCitroën
Team OwnerCarlos Mourino
Record GoalscorerHermidita (110)
Record AppearancesManolo (432)

Balaídos Photos

Balaídos Seating Plan & Where to Sit

juantiagues / Flickr.com

It’s common for European stadia to have a bowl design to their seating plan, with Balaídos being no exception. There are four stands known as the Tribuna, which runs along one side of the pitch, Rio along the other, Marcador behind the Eastern goal and the Gol End in the West. The goal-end stands are single-tiered, whilst the ones that run along the edge of the pitch both have two tiers.

Celta Vigo Ticket Prices

The cost of tickets for top-flight games in any country tend to vary depending on where you sit and how old you are. If you’re hoping to go behind the goal at the Balaídos, for example, then you’ll likely be asked to pay about €25. In the main stand that runs along the side of the pitch then you’ll be looking at a cost of between €40 and €50.

How To Get Celta Vigo Tickets

As with most decent teams you can buy tickets online; in fact that’s probably the best place to go to pick tickets up. You can also get them from official club shops in the city and from the Taquillas, or ticket windows, at the stadium itself.

Where to Buy

Getting To Balaídos

Train - You can get a train to Vigo, but it will take you the best part of a day and a half. You’ll head to Paris Gare du Nord before swapping to Montparnasse in order to get a train to Irún. From Irún you’ll be going to Vitoria – Gasteiz then on to Ourense-Empalme before finally making your way to Vigo Guixar Train Station. There are no train stations close to the stadium, though, so you’ll have to get there by alternative methods.

Bus - Bus numbers 1, 2 and 4 as well as the L9A will all take you from the central station to close to the stadium.

Car - The Balaídos is surrounded by the Rúa de Citroën, the Rúa Val Miñor and is not far from the end of the VG-20.

By Air - Vigo-Peinador Airport is about fifteen miles from the centre of town and is the closest airport by some distance. The next nearest is Santiago de Compostela Airport, but that’s just shy of one hundred miles away.

Taxi - A taxi from Vigo Guixar Train Station to the ground will take about fifteen minutes and will cost just shy of €20.

Parking Near Balaídos

Parking near the stadium is tricky, so if you’re going to drive you are best parking in the centre and making your way out to the ground on public transport.

Useful Resources

Balaídos Hotels

Hesperia Vigo - £30+

Avenida da Florida, 60, Vigo, Pontevedra, 36210
This four-star hotel is close enough to the stadium to mean that you can see it from your hotel room if you’re on the right side of the building. It’s got over one hundred rooms, self-parking, free Wi-Fi and seven different meeting rooms. There’s also a restaurant and bar where you can get breakfast in the morning. More details.

Hotel Coia de Vigo - £50+

Calle Sanxenxo No 1, Vigo, Pontevedra, 36209
About ten minutes walk from the ground is this hotel with more than one hundred rooms. There’s a restaurant and bar, a fitness centre and a garden for when the weather’s good. That said, the hotel is close to the beach so you’ll probably head there when the sun’s shining. There’s Wi-Fi in the reception area as well as free parking for those of you that want to drive. More details.

Pazo Los Escudos Hotel And Spa Resort - £80+

Avenida Atlantida 106, Vigo, Pontevedra, 36208
This boutique hotel has just over fifty rooms and on the beach front in Vigo. There’s an outdoor pool, a full-service spa and free Wi-Fi. You’ll also have access to the hotel’s rooftop terrace and there’s a restaurant and bar where you can get a drink or two if you’re there to relax.
More details.

Pubs & Bars Near Balaídos

AD Sports Bar

Av. da Florida, 69, 36210, Vigo (+34 886 11 28 42)
When it comes to watching live sports you’ll struggle to find a better venue than a place literally called ‘Sports Bar’. There are loads of TVs all around the place, plenty of sports memorabilia adorning the walls and you’ll be able to get a decent bite to eat as well as pretty much any drink you fancy. From Premier League football through to major events like the Superbowl, this is the place to go if you want to watch some sport live.

Oz Fosters Australian Bar

Praza de Compostela, 29, 36201, Vigo (+34 678 61 64 86)
If you want to watch sport in a foreign country then there’s two types of bars you’ll want to keep your eye out for: Irish pubs and Australian bars. This falls into the latter category and boasts a number of TV screens to watch sport on as well as a decent menu of bar food. There are often deals on drinks, too.

Cafetería Gran Sol

Calle Eugenio Kraff, 33, 36210, Vigo (+34 986 21 01 12)
The Cafeteria Gran Sol is not far from the Balaídos, so it’s little wonder that you can watch sport there. It’s not the same sort of grand sports bar as the other two on this list, but if you fancy watching a game whilst having a bite to eat in a quiet environment then this is the place to do it.

Hospitality

By juantiagues from Pontevedra, España (Balaídos desierto) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

There is limited information regarding hospitality at the Balaídos, but it’s fair to say that there are numerous options for you depending on the level of service that you expect from your experience. It won’t be the sort of thing you’re used to from the likes of Camp Nou or the Santiago Bernabéu, but it will be good enough!

Private Hire

Much like with the hospitality there’s not a whole heap of information regarding private hire options of the Balaídos. If you can speak fluent Spanish, though, you’ll doubtless be able to work something out with the club if hiring the venue matters to you.

About Celta Vigo

GRodal / Flickr.com

Real Club Celta de Vigo was formed on the 23rd of August, 1923. It was actually a merger of two different Spanish teams, Real Vigo Sporting and Real Fortuna Football Club. The club plays its games in light blue shirts and that earned them the nickname Os Celestes, or The Sky Blues. In the 1970-1971 season they went the entire campaign without losing a game at home. Remarkably they still only finished sixth in the league, though they did earn a UEFA Cup place as a result.

The club’s most successful period came between 1997 and 2003. Though they only one won trophy in this time, the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 2000, they did manage to achieve some notable scalps in European competition. They beat Liverpool 4-1 on aggregate in the UEFA Cup in 1998-1999, put four past Juventus in the second-leg of the same competition the following season and also trounced Benfica 7-0 at home that year.

Balaídos History

Ines11thiago / Flickr.com

The first stage of the construction of the ground came in September of 1924 when local businessmen came together and bought the land on which it would be built. In 1926, after having invested time and money diverting the river Lagares away from the area they were hoping to build on, they created a company that they named Stadium de Balaídos, S.A. The plan was that this company would complete the construction work that would end in Vigo having its own football stadium.

Celta Vigo supporters would have been forgiven for thinking that the future was likely to be bright for the club. Formed when two teams in the city merged together in order to create a club that could take the fight to the more popular and prevalent Basque sides, they won their first game 7-0 in the stadium against a Basque team called Real Unión. Admittedly the game was only a friendly, with the kick-off completed by Carmen Gregorio-Espino, the daughter of a former mayor.

Future Developments

By Jsmq (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

From 2014 though to 2016 a project entitled New Wave was completed at the stadium. This involved the virtual complete reconstruction of the ground, so it’s unlikely that any major developments will be carried out there for some time.

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