Estadio Azteca

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Estadio Azteca
Aztec Stadium
El Coloso de Santa Úrsula
Logotipo Estadio Azteca.png
Stadium's exterior
Location Calzada de Tlalpan, 3465,[1] Tlalpan, Mexico City, Mexico
Public transit Estadio Azteca
Xochimilco Light Rail
Owner Grupo Televisa
Operator Club América
Executive suites 856
Capacity 95,500[2]
Record attendance Football: 119,853 (Mexico vs Brazil, 7 July 1968)[3]
Boxing: 132,247 (Julio César Chávez vs Greg Haugen, 20 February 1993)[4]
Field size 105 m × 68 m (344 ft × 223 ft)
Surface Grass
Broke ground 1961
Opened 29 May 1966
Renovated 1986, 1999, 2013[5]
Construction cost MXN$260 million
Architect Pedro Ramírez Vázquez
Mexico national football team (1966–present)
Club América (Liga MX) (1966–present)
Necaxa (1966–70, 1982–2003)
Atlante (1966–82, 1996–2001, 2004–2007)
Universidad Nacional (1967–1969)
Atlético Español (1970–1982)
Cruz Azul (1971–1996)

The Estadio Azteca (Spanish pronunciation: [esˈtaðjo asˈteka]) is a football stadium located in the suburb of Santa Úrsula in Mexico City, Mexico. Since its opening in 1966, the stadium has been the official home stadium of the professional football team Club América and the official national stadium of the Mexico national football team. With an official capacity of 95,500,[5][2] it is the largest stadium in Mexico and the third largest football stadium in the world.

Regarded as one of the most famous and iconic football stadiums in the world,[6][7][8][9][10] it is the first to have hosted two FIFA World Cup Finals.[11] In the 1970 World Cup Final, Brazil defeated Italy 4–1, and in the 1986 World Cup Final, Argentina defeated West Germany 3–2. It also hosted the 1986 quarter-final match between Argentina and England in which Diego Maradona scored both the "Hand of God goal" and the "Goal of the Century". The stadium also hosted the "Game of the Century", when Italy defeated West Germany 4–3 in extra time in one of the 1970 semifinal matches.

The stadium was also the principal venue for the football tournament of the 1968 Summer Olympics.[12]


An internal view of the stadium

The Estadio Azteca was designed by architects Pedro Ramírez Vázquez and Rafael Mijares Alcérreca and broke ground in 1961. The inaugural match was between Club América and Torino F.C. on 29 May 1966, with a capacity for 107,494 spectators. The first goal was scored by Brazilian Arlindo Dos Santos and the second one by Brazilian José Alves "Zague"; later, the Italians tied the game, which ended in 2–2 draw. Mexican president Gustavo Díaz Ordaz made the initial kick and FIFA president Sir Stanley Rous was the witness.

A modern illumination system was inaugurated on 5 June 1966 with the first night game played between Spanish side Valencia C.F. and Necaxa. The first goal of the match was scored by Honduran José Cardona for Valencia. Roberto Martínez o Caña Brava became the first Mexican to score a goal in the stadium after scoring for Necaxa. The result was a 3–1 victory for Valencia.

In 1978 the stadium hosted the final of the Copa Interamericana between América and Boca Juniors of Argentina, and would host a final again in 1990 between América and Club Olimpia of Paraguay.

The Estadio Azteca is also the site in which Pelé and Diego Maradona (during the 1970 and 1986 FIFA World Cup) lifted the trophy for the last time (The Jules Rimet Trophy and the current FIFA World Cup Trophy, respectively).

Estadio Azteca has also been used for musical performances throughout its history. Michael Jackson (5 sold-out shows in 1993),[13] U2 (in 2006 and 2011), Luis Miguel (in 2002), Elton John, Maná, Juan Gabriel, Gloria Estefan, Jaguares, Lenny Kravitz, *Nsync, Hanson, Ana Gabriel, and The Three Tenors all have become part of the stadium's main spectacle. The stadium has also been used for political events, including Mexican president Felipe Calderón's campaign closure in 2006, as well as religious events, like the appearance of Pope John Paul II in 1999.[14]


Estadio Azteca prior to a kickoff

The name "Azteca" is a tribute to the Aztec heritage of Mexico City. The stadium is now owned by Mexican TV consortium Televisa. In order to avoid people associating the stadium's name with that of its rival TV Azteca, Televisa officially changed the stadium's name to Guillermo Cañedo, a top executive, long-time football advocate at Televisa and prominent member of the executive committee of FIFA. The change took place in 1997, following Cañedo's death on 20 January 1997.[15] However, the change did not go well with the general population[citation needed], who generally refused to refer to the stadium by its formally new name. Following a schism where two of Cañedo's sons, who worked at Televisa, switched camps and went to TV Azteca,[16] Televisa quietly returned the stadium's name to its original version. Some people[who?] did not even notice, as they usually referred to the stadium as "Azteca" during the name change.

The stadium has been given[by whom?] the nickname "Coloso de Santa Ursula" which in English means "Colossus of Saint Ursula", due to its large structure. Santa Ursula refers to the part of town where the stadium resides in Mexico City.[17]

Access and entrance[edit]

It is served by the Azteca station on the Xochimilco Light Rail line. This line is an extension of the Mexico City metro system which begins at Metro Tasqueña station and ends in the Xochimilco Light Rail Station.

Tickets are available, up to kick-off times, from the ticket office which is located at the front of the stadium, just down the exit ramps from the Azteca station. Tickets start from as little as 100 pesos (9 U.S. Dollars as of 2013). For bigger matches such as Club América's games against Chivas de Guadalajara, Cruz Azul and UNAM Pumas where sellouts are common, numerous touts circulate offering tickets at competitive prices.

A panorama of Estadio Azteca during a Club América match (Mexico City) vs Tecos (Guadalajara),

Monuments and memorials[edit]

Plaque commemorating the "Game of the Century"

A commemorative bronze plaque of the "Game of the Century" played between Italy and West Germany, as well as Diego Maradona's "Goal of the Century" against England.

There is also a commemorative plaque with the names of the first goal scorer in the inaugural match and in the first match played at night.

Hostile Atmosphere[edit]

Estadio Azteca is famous for having one of the most energetic and hostile atmospheres in football. The United States national team and Canadian national team have never won a competitive encounter with Mexico at Azteca. The United States' only victory was a 0-1 friendly victory on August 15, 2012. Mexico's outstanding record at the Azteca is so impressive at the Azteca, that their last competitive defeat arrived at the hands of Costa Rica in 2001. A daunting task for any visiting team, which leads to many teams that travel to the Azteca to play a heavily defensive style of football in order to shut out Mexico and attempt to silence the hostile crowd; however, this tactic often fails at the Estadio Azteca

Notable events[edit]

Spectators outside Estadio Azteca

Estadio Azteca has hosted a variety of international sporting competitions, including:



American Football[edit]


  • On 12 March 1983, Menudo was the first band to sell out a solo concert at the stadium with an attendance of over 100,000 people.
  • On 29, 31 October and 07, 09 and 11 November 1993, Michael Jackson finished the Dangerous World Tour with five sold out shows at this stadium, for a total of 500,000 people (circa 100,000 per show, more than any other artist or band, Mexican or International).
  • On 14 May 2011, Irish rock band U2 presented the 360° Tour scoring the most-attended concert on the tour with a total attendance of 110,000 people.
  • On 8 May 2012, Paul McCartney performed at the Estadio Azteca for the first time in his career, in a non-sold-out concert for 53,000 people. One of these shows was broadcast by Televisa (Canal 2).[20]
  • On 16 April 2016, Vicente Fernández played his farewell concert, titled "UN AZTECA EN EL AZTECA, ADIÓS A UN GRANDE", to sell out crowd a the stadium with an attendance of over 100,000 people.

Funeral services[edit]

  • The funeral of fellow Mexican comedian Roberto Gomez Bolaños known as Chespirito was held on 30 November 2014. Chespirito was a long-time fan of the stadium's main tenant Club America.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b "Mexico: Azteca up for revamp, capacity falls". 22 February 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2015. 
  3. ^ "El Monumental le gana a la Bombonera como estadio más emblemático". 12 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "StadiumDB: Estadio Azteca". Retrieved 5 September 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Historia #5". Retrieved 20 March 2016. 
  6. ^ "Ranking the Top 10 Most Iconic Stadiums in World Football". Bleacherreport. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "Classic Stadium: Estadio Azteca". 
  8. ^ Smart, Tony. "10 of the world's best sports venues". CNN. Retrieved 9 March 2012. 
  9. ^ Wilson, Steve. "World Soccer Stadiums". ESPN. Retrieved 4 June 2007. 
  10. ^ Gordon, Aaron. "Mexico wins Mexican-American stadium war". Buzzfeed. Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  11. ^ "Mexico's historical stadium". Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  12. ^ 1968 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 2. Part 1. pp. 78–79.
  13. ^ "Cronología Estadio Azteca". Retrieved 13 September 2007. 
  14. ^ "Pide Juan Pablo II "superar" deficiencias en el progreso social". Retrieved 12 October 2007. 
  15. ^ "FIFA Senior Vice President Guillermo Cañedo has died". Retrieved 21 January 1997.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  16. ^ Martínez, César. "Cañedo Whites go to TV Azteca". La Jornada. Retrieved 13 September 2007. 
  17. ^ Rai, Asha (14 March 2014). "Estadio Azteca: Seasons in the Sun". The Times of India. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  18. ^ a b "Cowboys set regular season attendance record". Pro Football Hall of Fame. August 21, 2009. Retrieved July 14, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Back to Mexico: Texans-Raiders to play Nov. 21 in Mexico City". February 5, 2016. Retrieved February 6, 2016. 
  20. ^

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 19°18′10.48″N 99°9′1.59″W / 19.3029111°N 99.1504417°W / 19.3029111; -99.1504417

Preceded by
National Stadium
Summer Olympics
Football Men's Finals (Estadio Azteca)

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Wembley Stadium
FIFA World Cup
Opening Venue

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Wembley Stadium
FIFA World Cup
Final Venue

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Camp Nou
FIFA World Cup
Opening Venue

Succeeded by
San Siro
Preceded by
Santiago Bernabéu
FIFA World Cup
Final Venue

Succeeded by
Stadio Olimpico
Preceded by
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Los Angeles
Final Venue

Succeeded by
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Los Angeles
Preceded by
King Fahd II Stadium
FIFA Confederations Cup
Final Venue

Succeeded by
International Stadium Yokohama
Preceded by
Rose Bowl
Final Venue

Succeeded by
Giants Stadium
East Rutherford
Preceded by
first venue
National Football League
Host stadium of international regular season game
San Francisco 49ers v. Arizona Cardinals

2 October 2005
Succeeded by
Wembley Stadium, London, England
New York Giants v. Miami Dolphins
28 October 2007
Preceded by
National Stadium
FIFA U-17 World Cup
Final Venue

Succeeded by
Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium
Abu Dhabi