First field next to the bullring
On a site next to the bullring the Madrid Football Club installed the playground. The land was owned by Queen Christina, mother of Alfonso XIII, who leased by the almost symbolic price of 150 pesetas (1 euro) per year. In the growing Alcalá street, crossing the tram tracks that reached "Ventas del Espíritu Santo", there was a building, the "Casa de las Bolas", whose bass, was a tavern called "La Taurina". There the players dressed and kept the goal posts.
Opening next to bullring
On March 6, 1902, the organization was officially founded under the presidency of Juan Padrós Rubio. Three days later, the "Heraldo of Sport" published this review: "On Sunday the 9th of this month (meaning March 1902) held a match in the field next to the bullring, the first of which is proposed to hold this company (Madrid Football Club) to serve test for players and be able to form its first team"
The best of the village and court
In the 1911-12 season, Madrid Football Club would be the best course in Madrid city. Urban growth, coupled with the growth of members, was the main reason to move to their new field, located in the block adjacent to the former, between "Duque de Sesto", "Fernán González", "Narváez" and "O'Donnell" streets. The field was packed into a true team effort. Most partners, including Santiago Bernabeu and his brother Marcelo, Pedro Parages, Julio Chulilla, Carlos Aparicio, Bernardo Melendez, José Irureta, Luis Saura ... got to work in preparing the field, paving the way, nailing stakes or arranging seats.
A fence to prevent invasionsA fence to prevent invasions
The increasing influx of spectators forced to take a measure of some significance: separating players from spectators by a physical barrier. Thanks to money from members and a loan that made the vice president Pedro Parages, the vocal Federico Revuelto, and Juan Padrós first president of the club, and the material provided by the timber handler Adrian Piera, a first fence was built, painted white to prevent the invasion of fans on the pitch. Before the official opening, the Madrid held some matches in the field of O'Donnell. One of them in July 1912, with Barcelona as the rival. The opening of O'Donnell Field was the October 31, 1912.
The most modern
In 1914, a year after the premiere, the Club made another large investment in the field of O'Donnell, built a platform of choice for the authorities, the directors and the families of the players, with a capacity for 216 people. Added a general tier iron chairs to accommodate 600 to 800 spectators. A sufficient capacity, if we consider that, at that time, the Club said to have about 400 members. The beginning of every game was a ritual. Players carried the goals post and mounted it with nails and wooden boxes. It was the third most expensive addition of the field that, nevertheless, was considered one of the most modern of the time.
Goodbye to intimate field
On February 6, 1916 opened the new stand of choice. It had a capacity for 6,000 spectators. That year, also was built for 7,000 pesetas (42 euro), a prefabricated house that became a wardrobe, which were installed toilets and showers that were the envy of football in Madrid. At that time, Madrid Football Club disbursed a total of 25 pesetas (0,15 euro) a month for the maintenance of the site, after had installed electric lights in the house.