Atletico Madrid will say an emotional farewell to the Vicente Calderon this month ahead of their move to the Estadio La Peineta for the start of next season.
Their current home, dubbed ‘the volcano’, has developed into such a fortress in recent seasons that people are still believe they can mount an unthinkable turnaround in their Champions League semi-final with Real Madrid on Wednesday night.
Atletico, particularly since Diego Simeone stamped his undeniable print over the club in 2011, have made the Calderon one of the most hostile environments to come to for any opposition.
Under the growling Argentine Los Rojiblancos have gone unbeaten at home in their La Liga winning 2013/14 season, lost just six times in the three following seasons and failed to concede a single goal in a Champions League knockout tie in front of their own supporters since March 2014.
It’s that kind of evidence that provides fans and pundits alike with genuine hope they can overturn the 3-0 deficit to make yet another European Cup final.
But how will moving home affect the club’s performances in the coming seasons? And how did other major clubs fare when doing the same? We looked at a few examples…
Arsenal left their cosy hotbed that was Highbury to a brand-spanking new 60,000-seater stadium at the Emirates in 2006, and it coincided with their fading relevance at the top of the Premier League.
The Gunners went unbeaten, obviously, during the Invincibles season in 2003/04 and lost just once and twice in the two respective league campaigns prior to the move.
Migrating slightly across north London didn’t have too much of a detrimental impact on results, but six draws and a defeat to lowly West Ham meant Arsenal finished way off the title pace in the 2006/07 season and began making fourth their trademark.
Juve cheated a little, much like Tottenham are, by razing the famous Stadio Delle Alpi to the ground and instating the Juventus Stadium almost exactly in it’s place in 2011. How long did it take them to come up with that name?
They haven’t exactly missed it though, leaving the torrid match-fixing days and Serie B era well behind with the ruins of the old ground.
Since then Juve have been nothing short of sensational at home, losing just four times in six Serie A seasons including an unprecedented 100% record on their way to the title in 2013/14.
They’ve dropped just two points at home all of this season too, with their last league defeat at the Juventus Stadium coming way back in August 2015 to Udinese.
Another European super power to move home in the last decade or so were Bayern Munich in 2005, leaving the Olympic Stadium behind but still sharing with 1860 until they find another ground.
Like Juve, the Bavarians are the dominant force in their domestic league and saw little change after their move to the Allianz Arena.
The German giants won the Bundesliga in the first campaign but fell dramatically off the pace by their standards the year after, finishing a lowly fourth after home defeats to Hamburg and Hannover 96.
The most recent major club to head to pastures new are West Ham – and with some acrimony.
Huge swathes of the Hammers faithful feel the club’s identity has been ripped apart after ditching the Boleyn Ground for the isolated Olympic Stadium.
The results back that up too, with Slaven Bilic’s side already losing over double the amount of home games this season (seven) as they did in the entirety of the term before (three).
They had the seventh best home record in the Premier League in their final season at the Boleyn, compared with the sixth worst this time around.
CAN ATLETICO FIND INSTANT HOME COMFORTS?
Juve and Bayern have been exemplary since moving homes but West Ham’s debacle is a lesson for any club following suit.
Much like the Boleyn Ground, the Vicente Calderon is as atmospheric and intimidating as any stadium in Europe gets and Atletico’s players utilise that to maximum effect.
And worryingly it’s a very similar case study to the Hammers.
The new stadium is based nearly 8km away from the city centre and was based upon a VIP experience that “will be at the level of the best in the world.”
After reaching two Champions League finals in three years and ending the Barcelona-Real Madrid duopoly in La Liga, many fans are concerned they will lose momentum with the switch.
Can Atletico give the Calderon the last hurrah it deserves against Real?