|El Coloso de Santa Úrsula|
|Location||Calzada de Tlalpan, 3465, Tlalpan, Mexico City, Mexico|
|Public transit||Estadio Azteca
Xochimilco Light Rail
|Record attendance||Football: 119,853 (Mexico vs Brazil, 7 July 1968)
Boxing: 132,247 (Julio César Chávez vs Greg Haugen, 20 February 1993)
|Field size||105 m × 68 m (344 ft × 223 ft)|
|Opened||29 May 1966|
|Renovated||1986, 1999, 2013|
|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, 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, it is the first to have hosted two FIFA World Cup Finals. 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 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.
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), 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.
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. However, the change did not go well with the general population, 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, 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.
Access and entrance
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.
Monuments and memorials
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.
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
Estadio Azteca has hosted a variety of international sporting competitions, including:
- 1968 Summer Olympics
- 1970 FIFA World Cup
- 1975 Pan American Games
- 1983 FIFA World Youth Championship
- 1986 FIFA World Cup
- 1993 CONCACAF Gold Cup
- 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup
- 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup
- 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup
- On 20 February 1993, Julio César Chávez fought Greg Haugen in front of 132,247 spectators. Puerto Rican boxing legend Felix Trinidad also fought there that night, beating Pedro Aguirre of Mexico in a preliminary fight.
- On 15 August 1994, Estadio Azteca hosted a preseason American Bowl game between the Houston Oilers and Dallas Cowboys which still holds the record for the highest attendance at any NFL game, with 112,376 in attendance. The Houston Oilers won the game 6–0.
- On 2 October 2005, the first international regular-season game in the history of the NFL was played in the stadium between the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals. The game was a 31–14 victory for the Cardinals. It set the record of the largest crowd to attend a regular-season NFL game with 103,467, but this record would be broken in 2009.
- On 21 November 2016, the Oakland Raiders will host a home game along with the Houston Texans as part of the NFL International Series.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
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- "Cronología Estadio Azteca". Retrieved 13 September 2007.
- "Pide Juan Pablo II "superar" deficiencias en el progreso social". Retrieved 12 October 2007.
- "FIFA Senior Vice President Guillermo Cañedo has died". FIFA.com. Retrieved 21 January 1997. Check date values in:
- Martínez, César. "Cañedo Whites go to TV Azteca". La Jornada. Retrieved 13 September 2007.
- Rai, Asha (14 March 2014). "Estadio Azteca: Seasons in the Sun". The Times of India. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
- "Cowboys set regular season attendance record". Pro Football Hall of Fame. August 21, 2009. Retrieved July 14, 2016.
- "Back to Mexico: Texans-Raiders to play Nov. 21 in Mexico City". NFL.com. February 5, 2016. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
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