Mendizorroza Emerging As Possible Venue For Copa Del Rey Final If Played Without Fans
Athletic and Real Sociedad remain steadfast in their belief that the Copa del Rey final shouldn’t be played without the fans. The Spanish Football Federation has been in full agreement with the clubs and recently reached a deal with La Liga and the Higher Sports Council to postpone the match until fans can safely attend, likely in 2021. However, that may no longer be possible.
UEFA have since required that all matches and competitions be played this season if at all possible, even if it means doing so behind closed doors. Stipulations were given which would allow seasons to be canceled or matches postponed if banned by the government, but that has yet to happen in Spain.
There is still hope that the Cup final will be allowed to wait until fans can attend, but preparations are being made to play the match this season if needed. If it must take place in the coming months without fans then both clubs want the venue to be moved closer. La Cartuja was originally set to host the final, and is under contract with the RFEF to do so through 2023, but traveling all the way to Seville and playing in the intense heat makes little sense and would come at a financial loss with fans not able to attend.
According to a report from Javier Lekuona of AS citing Diario Vasco de San Sebastián, Mendizorroza has emerged as the favorite venue to host the final. Located in the Basque capital of Vitoria-Gasteiz, Mendizorroza lies just 70km from Bilbao and 130km from Donosti. The city council who own the stadium, as well as Alavés who call it home, have no issues with the final being moved to Mendizorroza.
Athletic, Real Sociedad, and the Spanish Football Federation are still in the process of trying to get permission to move the Cup final to next season. However, doing so voluntarily could come at the expense of not being able to reward the finalists with European qualification unless the league season is canceled. If the final has to be played this season without fans, then the Basque rivals want it to be held at Mendizorroza.