Tafalla – Estadio de San Francisco

by Chris Clements | Posted on Friday, October 14th, 2011
The small town of Tafalla lies in the heart of Navarra, around 25 miles south of Pamplona. Founded in 1925, the senior team in the town is Peña Sport Fútbol Club, who until the late 1970’s spent the majority of their time kicking a ball around in the Navarran regional leagues. Since 1977 however, the club has become something of a stalwart of the Tercera, winning the league title on no less than eight occasions. It wasn’t until the turn of the century that the club progressed beyond the fourth level, winning promotion to Segunda B in June 2000. Since then, there has been five further promotions to Segunda B, interspersed with visits back to the Tercera.

West Side Storey – The pavilion at the Estadio San Francisco

Peña Sport initially set up home at a field called Valmayor, some two kilometres south of Tafalla. In 1927 the club moved to the district of Barranquiel and a field close to the convent of San Francisco Javier. This remained their home until 1941, when they moved back to Valmayor and an enclosure called Campo de San Isidro. In late 1950, the club started to develop the current stadium on the site of their former San Francisco Javier home. Opened on 26 March 1951 with a friendly against Athletic Club de Bilbao, the Campo de Futbol de San Francisco stands just to the south of town. It holds 3,000 spectators and features a central pavilion on the west side of the ground, which is has a small viewing balcony above the dugouts. This structure is flanked by two short covered stands, where five narrow rows of blue bucket seats sit under a propped corrugated iron roof. Opposite these three fantastic throw-back structures is a more modern, rather spartan half-length covered terrace.

The functional if somewhat plain east terrace

The ground was tested to capacity on 25 October 2006 when Peña Sport met local big-wigs CA Osasuna in the last 16 of the Copa del Rey and drew 0-0. It was the first competitive meeting of the clubs and then like London buses, two came along and they met again a fortnight later in Pamplona with CA Osasuna running out 4-0 winners. Peña Sport won the Navarra Tercera title for a seventh time in 2011-12 and earned a place back in Segunda B despite losing in the Champions play-off to SD Logroñés. Given a second chance against the remaining clubs, Peña Sport won through with play-off victories over CD Vera & Real Racing B. A two-season stay in Segunda B followed before the by now standard drop to the Tercera and another league title in 2015. Too good for the Tercera but too small for Segunda B, Peña Sport seems destined to yo-yo between the third & fourth tiers of Spanish football for seasons to come.

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