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THE TRACK - Moratalaz Municipal Sports Centre

Moratalaz Municipal Sports Centre has become over the last few years one of the most important sports facilities in the Spanish capital due to the diversity of its facilities and to the important sporting events it has hosted. Its history, as it cannot be in any other way, runs parallel with the District in which it is located: Moratalaz. This district is located in the east of the city, surrounded by four motorways: the M-30 towards the west, the M-40 to the east, the A3 to the south and the continuation of O'Donnell Street (M-23) to the north. It started developing in the late fifties as a suburb of the capital due to the great influx of immigrants from the rural areas. The District quickly grew from a population of 40.000 in 1962 to more than 100.000 at present.

At the start of the seventies the District began to modernise along with new uses and traditions of its residents, the majority of whom belonged to the middle class. Moratalaz started having leisure and recreational facilities and in this context it began the construction of the Moratalaz Municipal Sports Centre. It was constructed in 1974 with a cinder athletics track, a football pitch, an outdoor swimming pool and several pelota courts. As regards the athletics track, it became popular during these years with the growth of our sport. Some important milestones include the foundation of the Associación Atlética Moratalaz Athletics Club in the 1975-1976 season whose athletes started training there and the inauguration of the Moratalaz Race Walk Grand Prix in 1975 and the Moratalaz Half Marathon in November 1976, with the finish line on the track.

During the eighties the Moratalaz Municipal Sports Centre underwent an important extension, linked to the successive changes in the social behaviours of the residents and the sports "boom" at the beginning of this decade. Tennis courts were constructed during these years as well as multi-sports leisure courts and pitches (five-a-side football, basketball, skating...) and the indoor pavilion with it artistic gymnastics area. In the nineties the construction of a heated pool was the final addition to the centre, which made it very attractive to all the residents of the area.

However, the old track remained a cinder one and had to be changed to the modern synthetic surface, which would permit the hosting of top quality athletics events. The change began towards the end of the year 2000, with its baptism of fire in May 2001 with the staging of European Athletics Clubs Cup. In addition, the Centre was completed with an archery field and an artificial grass football pitch as well as separate rooms for fitness, martial arts and indoor cycling.

All these investments represent a continuous effort to achieve the highest standard of quality, which allows this Sports Centre to be the vanguard for sports facilities, being at the same time a public municipal venue which serves all the inhabitants of the District.

The last big refurbishing of the track was done in 2014, with the replacement of all the synthetic surface, impaired by the usage. This change was also an aesthetic one because the red color was replaced by an intense blue one. This is the new color of Moratalaz's track. The inauguration of the track was done by Madrid City Major Ana Botella some days prior of the celebration of the Meeting.

Proof of the quality of its facilities is the important list of sports events held in the Centre. In addition to the already mentioned European Athletics Clubs Cup in 2001, the Spanish Archery Championships were held here as well as several rounds of the Spanish Athletics First Division Clubs Championships, which have been accompanied by promotional campaigns and a massive increase in the numbers of spectators.

To sum up, we have a great sports facility whose worth is very difficult to assess since it has been meeting the continuous changing sporting demands over the last thirty years in one of the most popular districts in Madrid.



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