CD Badajoz was one of the oldest clubs in Spain and probably Extremadura’s most consistent team, having spent over 20 seasons in the second division. Despite some near misses, it never made it to the Primera, and after spending the last six years in the Tercera and Segunda B, the grim reaper paid a visit and Badajoz ceased to be.
El Vivero in the late 1950's
Founded in 1905, the club played at three grounds within the city before settling at El Vivero. Opened in 1917 and situated north of the River Guadiana which runs through the centre of the city, El Vivero saw second division football as recently as 1998. It was basic, quirky and dog-eared, but it has character and history. For it was here that CD Badajoz won promotion to La Segunda for the first time in 1953. They stayed in the second tier for seven seasons, before returning to the Tercera in 1960. Two further, season-long visits to La Segunda occurred in the sixties, before the club endured a 25 year-long spell in the Tercera and Segunda B.The only cover was found on the south west side of the ground and this was only a short 25 metre cantilevered cover, which was erected in the sixties. The remain three sides were open terracing, with the south-east end featuring a larger "kop" behind the goal.
1973 and El Vivero is confined to duty in the Tercera
CD Badajoz finally returned to La Segunda in 1992 and El Vivero continued to serve as the club's home stadium until 22 November 1998. The final match at El Vivero saw Barcelona B defeated by a single goal, scored by Sandro. Work had commenced on a new stadium to the west of the city in September 1997 and it was clearly designed with La Primera in mind. El Vivero was kept open by the local municipality until late 2009, when a 4.8 million euro development saw it replaced with a smaller, more modern one-sided stadium and a sports centre.
El Vivero in early 2009, shortly before demolition
Estadio Nuevo Vivero is the largest stadium in Extremadura with a capacity of 15,598. Situated on the south bank of the Guadiana, about a mile to the west of the city, it was built at a cost of 4.5 million euros with funding from Extremadura’s regional government. Results in the mid-1990's had been promising, with the final three seasons at the old El Vivero ground seeing the club finish in sixth position. Unfortunately, that dream of top flight football never quite came off and after spending beyond their means, particularly in the early 2000’s on a host of Argentinean players, CD Badajoz nearly popped its clogs. In a last minute deal in July 2006 with the President of AD Cerro de Reyes, their debts were paid-off, but they lost their place in Segunda 2b to his club. Very Faustian!
Nuevo Vivero - Big enough as it is thank you.
Following four seasons in the Tercera, CD Badajoz was promoted back to Segunda B for the start of the 2010-11 season. Nuevo Vivero was one of the stadiums included in Spain's unsuccessful bid to host the 2018 World Cup. That would have seen the stadium increase to over 35,000, which bearing in mind Badajoz struggle to get a tenth of that, does seem ridiculous.It has seen international football however, when it hosted two full Spanish internationals, an 8-0 thrashing of Cyprus in 1999 and a more restrained 4-0 victory over Liechtenstein in 2006.
In Segunda B for the 2010-11 season. Maybe crowds of 2,000 then?
The Estadio Nuevo Vivero saw its first competitive match on 6 December 1998, with the second division tie against CD Toldeo. Unfortunately for the home fans, Toledo spoilt the party with a 0-1 win. It was the shape of things to come, for results at home and away over the past decade and a half, have been poor. The stadium sits on the edge of a development of a series of sports facilities, of which the municipality is rightly proud. It is a bright, modern, if slightly formulaic stadium, featuring a single tier of blue seats. The cantilevered roof on the west side of the stadium is impressive, snapping on to the supports like a giant white lid. It is however, ridiculously over-sized for a club of CD Badajoz's stature and one doubts that they would ever have filled it regularly had the reached la Primera. That's all water under the bridge nowadays, as Badajoz's football fans have to content themselves with Tercera division football and the exploits of UD Badajoz at the rebuilt Estadio Viejo Vivero. Some more fabulous shots of the stadium can be found here on euro.stades.