Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti

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Estadio Antonio Vespucio Liberti
El Monumental
River Plate Stadium
002.Buenos Aires desde el cielo (Estadio de River).JPG
Full name Estadio Antonio Vespucio Liberti
Former names Estadio Monumental (1938–1986)
Location Buenos Aires, Argentina
Owner River Plate
Capacity 66,145
Record attendance 100,000 (River Plate-Racing Club, in 1975)
Field size 105 x 68 m
Surface Grass
Construction
Built 1936–1938
Opened May 25, 1938
Renovated 1978
Architect José Aslan
Héctor Ezcurra
Tenants
Argentine national football team
River Plate
2018 Summer Youth Olympics
Argentina national rugby union team

Estadio Antonio Vespucio Liberti (Spanish pronunciation: [eˈstaðjo monumenˈtal anˈtonjo βesˈputʃo liˈβerti]), also referred to as River Plate Stadium or simply El Monumental, is a stadium in the Núñez district of Buenos Aires, Argentina, home of the football club River Plate.[1] It was opened on 25 May 1938 and named after former club president Antonio Vespucio Liberti. It is the largest stadium in Argentina with a capacity of 67,664 and also home of the Argentina national football team. It was a venue in the 1978 FIFA World Cup and hosted the final between Argentina and the Netherlands. Additionally, it hosted four finals of the Copa América, most recently in 2011 for the 2011 Copa América.

Is the official stadium of Argentina national football team (Spanish: Selección de fútbol de Argentina).

In 2018, the stadium will host the Opening and Closing ceremonies of 2018 Summer Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires.

History[edit]

The Club Atlético River Plate was founded in 1901 and by 1934, it had won two championships. At the time, the club was nicknamed "Los Millonarios" (The Millionaires in Spanish) because of the purchase of forward Carlos Peucelle for whom River had paid a huge amount of money. On October 31, 1934, River Plate purchased the land where the club was to build the new stadium in the neighborhood of Belgrano.[1]

El Monumental was built on land reclaimed from the marshy coast of Río de la Plata. On May 25, 1935, the cornerstone was laid on the Centennial (now Figueroa Alcorta) and Río de la Plata (Udaondo) Avenues. On December 1 of that year, the Steering Committee presented the approved project in detail to its members at an assembly. They obtained a loan of $2,500,000 from the government and on September 27, 1936, construction began under the direction of architects José Aslan and Héctor Ezcurra.

The initial cost of work reached the figure of $4,479,545.80, but was reduced to about 3 million dollars when the committee decided to halt the construction of the north end of the stadium due to a lack of adequate funds.[1]

The foundation of the stadium was to be six or eight feet deep. This required open pit excavation to ensure the stability of the ground, and pumping bilge water from the site. The construction of the three stands was completed in two years. There are 50 km of steps, with 26,000 square meters of reinforced concrete and almost 3,000 tons of steel.

The stadium was inaugurated on Wednesday 25 May, amidst a crowd of approximately 65,000 people. They witnessed the handing over of an Argentine flag, one from the club, paid for by a group of associates, and then sang the national anthem and the River Plate chant.

The next day, nearly 68,000 spectators were present. After various activities the evening ended with a match between River Plate and Uruguay team Peñarol, with a 3–1 victory for the home squad.

Notable events[edit]

When the Monumental project was originally designed, it consisted of four double decker stands. As the bank loan was not enough to carry out the entire project, the stadium was left with a horseshoe shape. The horseshoe was partially enclosed in 1958, under the club presidency of Enrique Pardo. The new construction, the first tier Colonia stand, was financed by proceeds from the 10M pesos transfer of Omar Sivori to Juventus of Italy. With the new construction the stadium's capacity reached 90,000.

The stadium was remodelled and finally completed to meet the original project after Argentina was awarded the right to host the 1978 World Cup. River Plate was lent money by the Military Government in charge of the country at the time but they struggled to meet repayments due to the changes of currency, which had a detrimental effect on the team. Monumental was the headquarters for the 1978 World Cup. The venue was opened on June 1 for the match between West Germany and Poland. They hosted seven more games, including the final between Argentina and the Netherlands.

San Lorenzo earned the record for highest number of persons attending a match for a visiting team in 1982. In their second division match against Tigre, San Lorenzo (which did not have a stadium at the time), brought more than 70,000 people to River's stadium. In 1975 when River played Racing for the title (after an 18 years drought) 100,000 were present. At the end of the 1986 and 1996 Copa Libertadores second-leg finals (both against América de Cali), more seats were added and approximately 86,000 spectators were in attendance. It is estimated that for the Argentina versus Uruguay 1987 Copa América semifinal more than 87,000 spectators attended. In 1993, Colombia became the first and only team in history to beat the Argentina national football team (5-0) in World Cup Qualifying history in this stadium.[2] Since then, Argentina has never lost a match in World Cup qualifying within the stadium.

The total length of the seating in the stands of the stadium is over 70 kilometers.

1978 FIFA World Cup[edit]

Entrance to the locker room.

The stadium served as venue for the following matches during the world cup:

Date Round Group Team 1 Vs. Team 2
June 1 1 2  West Germany 0–0  Poland
June 2 1 1  Argentina 2–1  Hungary
June 6 1 1  Argentina 2–1  France
June 10 1 1  Italy 1–0  Argentina
June 14 2 A  West Germany 0–0  Italy
June 18 2 A  Italy 1–0  Austria
June 21 2 A  Netherlands 2–1  Italy
June 24 Third place  Brazil 2–1  Italy
June 25 Final  Argentina 3–1 (AET)  Netherlands

International Friendly Matches[edit]

Date Local Result Visit
14 May 1953  Argentina 3-1  England
5 July 1953  Argentina 1-0  Spain
24 June 1956  Argentina 1-0  Italy
24 July 1960  Argentina 2-0  Spain
18 November 1961  Argentina 1-2  Soviet Union
28 March 1962  Argentina 1-0  Mexico
1 December 1965  Argentina 1-1  Soviet Union
28 November 1976  Argentina 0-0  Soviet Union
25 April 1979  Argentina 2-1  Bulgaria
9 October 1980  Argentina 2-0  Bulgaria
12 October 1980  Argentina 2-1  Poland
28 October 1981  Argentina 1-2  Poland
11 November 1981  Argentina 1-1  Czechoslovakia
24 March 1982  Argentina 1-1  Germany
14 April 1982  Argentina 1-1  Soviet Union
2 August 1984  Argentina 0-0  Uruguay
9 May 1985  Argentina 1-1  Paraguay
14 May 1985  Argentina 2-0  Chile
20 June 1987  Argentina 0-1  Paraguay
18 June 1992  Argentina 2-0  Australia
27 December 1994  Argentina 1-0  Yugoslavia
8 November 1995  Argentina 0-1  Brazil
25 May 1998  Argentina 2-0  South Africa
4 September 1999  Argentina 2-0  Brazil
24 May 2010  Argentina 5-0  Canada
7 September 2010  Argentina 4-1  Spain
20 June 2011  Argentina 4-0  Albania
4 June 2014  Argentina 3-0  Trinidad and Tobago

Sporting events[edit]

The stadium during a River Plate football match in 2006.

The Monumental, aside from being River Plate's home ground, also accommodates the Argentine National Football Team in their home games for events such as the FIFA World Cup qualification.

Rugby union matches featuring the Argentina national rugby union team, Los Pumas, also take place occasionally on this field, although the Pumas more frequently play at another Buenos Aires venue, the José Amalfitani Stadium.

The Monumental also hosted the closing ceremonies and the athletics events of the First Pan American Games in 1951.

Concerts[edit]

When an international performing artist or band visits Buenos Aires, the concerts are usually held in this stadium, as it is the biggest in the city and in all of Argentina.

The stadium played host to Amnesty International's final Human Rights Now! Benefit Concert on October 15, 1988. The show was headlined by Sting and Peter Gabriel and also featured Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Tracy Chapman, Youssou N'Dour, León Gieco and Charly García.

David Bowie's Sound+Vision Tour was held in September 29, 1990. He sold more than 81,900 tickets from only one show.[3]

Elton John performed at the stadium on November 21 & 22, 1992 during The One Tour. It was his first performances at Argentina.

On July 16–17, 1993, Guns N' Roses performed the final concerts of their Use Your Illusion Tour, marking their last performance with most of their original lineup.

In 1993, the American superstar Michael Jackson performed three sold-outs concerts as part of his Dangerous World Tour at the stadium, in October 8, 10 and 12, for a total audience of 210,000 fans (70,000 people per show).The last concert was recorded for a documentary but it was later cancelled by Michael.

Paul McCartney played 3 concerts at the stadium on December 1993 during The New World Tour, for the first time in the country.17 years later he returned to Argentina to play 2 concerts to a crowd of 82.000, as part of his Up and Coming Tour on November 2010.

The Rolling Stones performed 5 sold out concerts at the stadium during the Voodoo Lounge Tour in 1995.

Seminal punk rock band The Ramones played their final South American show on March 16, 1996.

Backstreet Boys performed at the stadium on April 28, 2001 during Black & Blue Tour.

Red Hot Chili Peppers played a concert at the stadium on October 16, 2002 during their By The Way Tour. Later they played another concert on September 18, 2011 during the I'm with You World Tour.

In 1998 Irish rock band U2 brought their PopMart Tour to South America and performed Mothers of the Disappeared with the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, the mothers of the children who had disappeared under the Argentinian and Chilean dictatorships brought on stage. The band returned again for their Vertigo Tour in 2006 to film what would become U23D, the first live-action 3D digital film.

Madonna performed two sold-out concerts in October 1993 during The Girlie Show[4] and another four in December 2008, during her Sticky & Sweet Tour; two of these concerts were filmed and later released in CD/DVD titled Sticky & Sweet Tour. She holds the record for fastest sell-out concert at the stadium for her first show, with more than 263,000 tickets sold in 3 hours. She also performed at the stadium on December 13 and December 15, 2012 as part of The MDNA Tour.

In May 15–16, 2007 High School Musical performed their hits from High School Musical The Tour, entitled High School Musical The Concert

In 2009 the British band Oasis presented one of the biggest concerts in their history. Noel Gallagher and the Argentine public shared an emotional moment, playing "Don't Look Back in Anger".

AC/DC performed three sold-out shows in December 2009, during their Black Ice World Tour. These shows were filmed and released on the DVD and Blu-ray Live at River Plate, was released in May 2011. In November 2012, they released a live album of the second of the three shows, which happened on the 4th of December.

Legendary New Jersey rockers Bon Jovi have played the stadium numerous times, most recently in 2010 as part of The Circle Tour.

The band Coldplay performed at the stadium on February 26, 2010 during Viva la Vida Tour.

In May 2011, the Teen Queen, Miley Cyrus brought her Gypsy Heart Tour which sold out in a week, filling the stadium with 65,000 people becoming the second female artist to fill the stadium after Madonna.

Roger Waters performed a record-breaking nine concerts at the stadium in March 2012, during which he and his band performed The Wall in its entirety on their 2010-2012 The Wall Live tour.[5]

Kiss played in September 3, 1994; March 14, 1997; April 10, 1999; April 5, 2009 and November 7, 2012.[6]

Lady Gaga performed a show here for her tour The Born This Way Ball on November 16, 2012, this show was sold out.

Iron Maiden is due to perform at the venue on September 27, 2013 as part of the Maiden England World Tour. British legendary metallers have performed to over 60,000 people during 145 minutes.[7]

Panoramic view from inside the stadium. River Plate played Independiente in the Apertura 2004, Round 16. River Plate won 3–0.

Facilities[edit]

The stadium can house 74,624 people, after its renovation for the 1978 World Cup. The opening and final matches were both held in the Monumental, which had a capacity of 76,600 at the time because all of the popular stands were standing-only.

The stadium complex also has facilities for tennis, basketball, and other sports, as well as living quarters for young footballers, a theatre hall, a parking lot, museum etc. It can be accessed by several train and bus lines as it is located within walking distance from the Barrancas de Belgrano transportation hub. Contrary to most other stadiums in the Buenos Aires area, there is a sizable car park outside the stadium.

See also[edit]

Media related to Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti at Wikimedia Commons

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Estadio Nacional
Santiago
Copa América
Final Venue

1946
Succeeded by
Estadio George Capwell
Guayaquil
Preceded by
Estadio Nacional
Lima
Copa América
Final Venue

1959
Succeeded by
Estadio Modelo
Guayaquil
Preceded by
Olympiastadion
Munich
FIFA World Cup
Final Venue

1978
Succeeded by
Santiago Bernabéu
Madrid
Preceded by
two-legged final
Copa América
Final Venue

1987
Succeeded by
Estádio do Maracanã
Rio de Janeiro
Preceded by
Estadio José Pachencho Romero
Maracaibo
Copa América
Final Venue

2011
Succeeded by
incumbent
Preceded by
Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre
Nanjing
Summer Youth Olympics
Opening and Closing Ceremonies

2018
Succeeded by
[to be determined]

Coordinates: 34°32′43.15″S 58°26′59.05″W / 34.5453194°S 58.4497361°W / -34.5453194; -58.4497361