Thursday, June 17, 2010

Salta - Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena

Photo Gobierno de la Provincia
The Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena at present has a capacity of approximately 20,400 which makes it larger than several venues used in New Zealand for Rugby World Cup 2011 and also larger than England 2015 venues Gloucester and Exeter. It was constructed for the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship for which it hosted seven matches. It also hosted matches in the 2011 Copa América and has been used for the purposes of international rugby to host test matches against elite opposition including England and South Africa. It is another instance of Argentina having adequate venues to be the host nation of Rugby World Cup 2023.

Argentina showed in hosting England in June 2009 that northern Argentina´s city of Salta is another which has the capability of acting as a successful stadium for Argentina in rugby matches. The match was a success for the city with a vibrant and vocal crowd present which is a recipe for success should Argentina have the honor of hosting a Rugby World Cup. Argentina won 24-22. 

It was the second rugby test held there following Argentina´s 35-21 victory over Italy in 2005. The 2009 victory featured newcomers Gonzalo Camacho and Lucas González Amorsino who have gone on to be big name players. Juan Martín Hernández had a solid match.

Salta has a population of over 460,000 and is located 220KM north of Argentina´s rugby heartland, Tucuman and is Argentina's ninth largest city. The proximity of Salta to San Salvador de Jujuy (68KM to the north) and San Miguel de Tucumán provides the Rugby World Cup with three different northern Argentine cities which could each host matches. 

The benefit of this to the World Cup itself is that teams and fans alike would be able to move between these northern cities to take in pool matches featuring their team. It has the ability of being organized to host up to three matches of certain teams in a similar manner to Bordeaux-Toulouse-Montpellier in 2007 or Invercargill-Dunedin-Christchurch which will be used in 2011. Salta could be used much like Napier, which hosted Canada vs France and Canada vs Japan, for Rugby World Cup 2011. 

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