With Athletic already out of the Europa League, boss Marcelo Bielsa handed an opportunity to a number of young players.
Despite the hosts having the majority of the play, it was already-qualified Sparta who had the better chances as Jiri Skalak shot against the bar when one-on-one with Raul Fernandez in the first half and then fired wildly off target with just the keeper to beat again after the break.
Erik Moran also clipped the woodwork with Athletic's best effort late on, but there was to be no rousing send-off to , the 100-year-old stadium that has hosted so many famous European occasions in the past.
Iker Muniain was one of the few first-team regulars who was handed a start by Bielsa and he was first to threaten after just three minutes with a shot that whistled past a post.
Skalak had his first big opportunity after 18 minutes as he was played in by Tomas Zapotocny, but, despite beating Fernandez, he saw his effort rattle the bar.
After a tame end to the first period, Skalak was again sent clear as Sparta counter-attacked following an Athletic corner.
However, Ismael Lopez got back just in time to put him off his strike and the ball flew well wide of the target.
Lopez then had a decent opportunity as he pulled his shot wide after latching on to a loose ball inside the area with 15 minutes remaining.
Moran fired an effort from 25 yards off the outside of a post, but Athletic could not find a winner.