Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti
|Estadio Monumental Antonio V. Liberti|
River Plate Stadium
|Full name||Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti|
|Former names||Estadio Monumental (1938–1986)|
|Opened||May 25, 1938|
|Record attendance||100,000 (River Plate-Racing Club, in 1975)|
|Field dimensions||105 x 68 m|
|Argentine national football team
2018 Summer Youth Olympics
Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti (Spanish pronunciation: [eˈstaðjo monumenˈtal anˈtoɲo 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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 a 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. 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
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 14||2||A||West Germany||0–0||Italy|
|June 24||Third place||Brazil||2–1||Italy|
|June 25||Final||Argentina||3–1 (AET)||Netherlands|
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, Vélez Sársfield.
The Monumental also hosted the closing ceremonies and the athletics events of the First Pan American Games in 1951.
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.
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.
Seminal punk rock band The Ramones played their final South American show on March 16, 1996.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Media related to Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti at Wikimedia Commons
- Club Atlético River Plate
- Antonio Vespucio Liberti
- List of association football stadiums by capacity
- The Stadium Guide. "El Monumental". Retrieved 11 May 2012.
- Kinder, Paul. "The Sound+Vision Tour". Retrieved 11 May 2012.
- Madonna site
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti.|
- Sitio Oficial del Club Atlético River Plate
- Stadium picture
- Club Atlético River Plate official history
- In depth history of 'El Monumental'
- History of the stadium 'El Monumental' (written by fans)
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