In the twenties, after spending a brief affair in the Linear City Velodrome, Real Madrid built a field which caused great excitement inside and outside the capital of Spain. In 1924 the club built the Old Chamartin, historical sports field with a capacity for 15,000 spectators. That was his home for 23 years.
At the end of the 1922-23 season, after winning the Central Region champion, the great event of the campaign was the forced abandonment of the old field in O'Donnell street. The landowner, Laureano Garcia, asked Madrid to let him free to build houses. Club leaders, started negotiations with Arturo Soria, creator of velodrome that existed in the Ciudad Lineal. There were no problems with the Soria family and within a month, as directed by the architect José María Castell, Real player for six seasons (1913-1919), the velodrome will be adapted for football practice.
A memorable date
The opening of the stadium, one of the first grass fields of the capital and a theoretical capacity of 8,000, had a great impact. To celebrate the opening, the Board of Directors of Real Madrid hosted a banquet in the superb restaurant of the Ciudad Lineal, sitting at the table with the notable players who then opened the field and the representation of the Press and the Federation.
The spectators were in the stands, space and comfort, but failed to be sufficient grounds for the exodus of a great number of fans. Move to the Velodrome was an adventure. Had to take the tram to “Ventas” and there a yellow tram, very slow, which arrived at the “Ciudad Lineal”. The assistance was resented and the Club, after failing to reach an agreement with the owners of the new Metropolitan Stadium, decided to take the great adventure of building a new field.
Loan of 500,000 pesetas (3,000 euro)
Chamartín field was a vision of Carlos López-Quesada. Former Real Madrid player and manager on several occasions, proposed the idea and how to carry it into effect. In late 1923, the Real Madrid leased for a period of six months and half a field located 900 meters from the Hippodrome, known by the name of “Villa Rosa”.
The completion of the works demanded a loan of 500,000 pesetas (3,000 euro), which was endorsed by Carlos López-Quesada, the president and directors Pedro Parages, José de la Peña and Bernardo Menéndez. Took over the leadership of works José María Castell. Their project included the construction of a grandstand with 4,000 seats and all developments and existing facilities of the best sports fields.
Election of the new name
There was discussion about the name that should bring the new field. Some wanted to call it “Real Madrid Sports Park”, but majority chose the more modest “Real Madrid Football Club Field”. The fans called it Chamartín and it has passed into history, but never was its official name. The final purchase of the land became effective on June 30, 1927. The club was headed by Luis Urquijo.
To inaugurate the stadium was organized a match against Newcastle, the english professional team, which offered such an excellent game in the traditional FA Cup. Real Madrid won the match 3-2 and created great enthusiasm among his supporters.
Future in Focus
More than twenty-four years passed before the Real Madrid opened the New Chamartin, seated on the pillars of the old, which was sublime prologue of the current stadium. Years in which the joys and sorrows came together on that historic field. A field, the Old Chamartin, which practically had to be rebuilt after the Spanish civil war.
In 1943, Santiago Bernabéu, after becoming president, thought the initiative to build a stadium that was the envy of European football. The Old Chamartín was the prologue to the new and majestic coliseum Madrid.