From a palace in flames to Vistalegre bullring

21st September 2004, Madrid

On the 21st of June 2001, some routine maintenance work carried out on the cover of the Sports Palace of Madrid causes a fire with devastating consequences.

Within hours the roof structure collapses and fell apart. Estudiantes Basketball Club lost what had been their home for over 20 years.

The start of the challenge was mobilizing the entire club to a new sports facility to house the more than 11,000 season ticket holders of the club.

The Club was working against the clock until the 27th of September when the new season of the CBA league started.

Various options were studied such as the Plaza de Toros de las Ventas or the Municipal Hall of Torrejón. The option to play in the Raimundo Saporta sharing field with the «eternal rival» was dismissed immediately.

With the help of the City of Madrid and the Municipal council of Carabanchel, the club decided to play in BULLRING VISTALEGRE.

No other team in the world to date had played professional basketball in a bullring.

An aggressive marketing and sales strategy was initiated by the club. The help of institutions, sponsors, members and local shops in Carabanchel was requested. Everybody responded to the distress call of the club.

On 27th of September 2001 ADECCOESTUDIANTES launched the new sports facility against CB Breogán with 12,500 fans in the stands of VISTALEGRE PALACE.

Over time the new home of ADECCOESTUDIANTES has become a virtually impregnable stronghold.
With Jose Vicente Hernandez (Pepu) on the bench, led by the legendary Nacho Azofra with names like Felipe Reyes, Nicola Loncar, Pancho Jasen or Carlos Jimenez, they have disputed in this bullring some the most memorable matches in the clubs recent history.

With the chant at every game from ESTUDIANTES fans «bring out the bullfighters» the ADECCOESTUDIANTES reached their first final of the ACB League against FC Barcelona in the 2003-04 season.

After a pulsating series of matches, ESTUDIANTES went down to Barcelona in the fifth game.