Argentina hosted the Rugby World Cup Sevens from January 26–28 in Mar del Plata in 2001. This was the first time a major rugby tournament had been held in South America. The tournament was won by New Zealand who fielded a star-studed team including players such as Mils Muliaina, Rodney So´oialo and Jonah Lomu who scored three tries in the final. The tournament was a success with over 40,000 people atending the three day tournament. Hosts, Argentina with a few stars of their own including Agustin Pichot and Felipe Contepomi, exceeded expectations in defeating South Africa 14-12 in the quarter finals but New Zealand were too strong for them in the semi´s.
The Estadio José María Minella was build in 1976 and was one of seven stadiums used for the 1978 FIFA World Cup. It hosted six matches, including high profile games such as France vs Italy and Brazil vs Spain. The stadium has a capacity of 35,354 making it comparable to Toulouse which hosted four matches in Rugby World Cup 2007. It also hosted the 1995 Pan American Games.
Mar del Plata is located 400KM south of the country´s capital, Buenos Aires. It is the seventh largest city in Argentina with a population close to 600,000 and is a popular summer destination. As a previous host of Soccer World Cup matches, the Pan American Games, Rugby World Cup Sevens and international rugby matches it is ideally suited to hosting matches should Argentina host Rugby World Cup 2023.