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Will Copa del Rey FInal Be Held At Mestalla?

Mestalla-StadiumIt looks like the 2015 Copa del Rey final between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao will be held at Valencia’s Mestalla stadium as Real Madrid will not offer the Bernabeu as an option.

Barcelona and Athletic have both indicated that the 81,000-seater Bernabeu would be ideal as it would allow the largest number of fans to attend the game on Saturday May 30.

However, Madrid president Florentino Perez would prefer not to have thousands of Catalan and Basque fans inside the Bernabeu in what is Spain’s end-of-season showpiece occasion.

A similar situation arose when the teams met in the 2012 final. Madrid then argued that renovation work at the stadium, including new toilets, meant the Bernabeu was unavailable.

That year’s final was played at Atletico Madrid’s Vicente Calderon stadium, but a concert by veteran rockers AC/DC means the venue is unavailable this year.

Other options include Valencia’s 55,000-seater Mestalla and the 60,000 Estadio de La Cartuja Olympic stadium in Seville, but both grounds are smaller than the Bernabeu and not as accessible for travelling fans of either team.

Spanish FA fixture co-ordinator Miguel Angel Lopez told Deportes Cope that it was not possible to force any club to offer its stadium for the final, saying:

“If Madrid do not want the final played at the Bernabeu, well then it cannot be played there.”

The 2014 and 2011 finals between Madrid and Barcelona, as well as Barca vs. Athletic in 2009, were all played at Mestalla, and Valencia mayor Rita Barbera told AS her city would be delighted to host again.

“These type of games attract a lot of people and media to the city, which has an important impact,” Barbera said. “We really want to host the game.”