Facility Notes: La Liga Athletic Bilbao's New San Mames Stadium On Schedule Ahead Of Debut
La Liga side Athletic Bilbao's new San Mames stadium will on Friday "be the site of a closed-doors practice, two weeks before it will hold training sessions for Champions League qualifiers and the facility's continental debut." The "only remaining concern is the completion of the stadium's cover, which is close to completion." There is "still time to complete all the work, as in the best of cases the first official game at the stadium" will be held Aug. 26. The other possibility is that San Mames could host a Champions League playoff on Aug. 19 or 20 (MARCA, 8/5). ... The new "Grada de Animación" (Grada93) at Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabéu will be "located in the central zones of the third and fourth levels of the Fondo Sur." The seats in this zone "have already been removed and will be replaced by ones that will allow fans to stand." The capacity in this section will increase from 800 to 2,000 (AS, 8/5).