Athletic’s home at the new San Mames replaced the historic stadium they had occupied on an adjacent site in Bilbao since 1913.
Planned since 2006, construction of the new San Mames began in June 2010, next to the old San Mames on land occupied until 2003 by the Bilbao International Trade Fair. Despite Spain’s economic crisis, more than 50 per cent of the total €211m cost of construction came from the Basque Government, Bilbao city council and the provincial council of Vizcaya.
The new San Mames was inaugurated on September 16 2013, marking 100 years since the club had made the old San Mames its home. The opening game saw Athletic defeat Celta Vigo 3–2.
Only three-quarters of the stadium was completed by the time it opened but work continued on the remaining end during the 2013-14 season and is expected to be completed by March 2015, at which time San Mames will reach its projected 54,000 capacity.