Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Córdoba - Estadio Mario Alberto Kempes

Photo Stadium DB
As one of seven stadiums used by Argentina to host the 1978 FIFA World Cup, the Estadio Mario Alberto Kempes, formerly known as Estadio Córdoba, the Estadio Olímpico Chateau Carreras, or the Estadio Olímpico in Córdoda appears to be a as a certainly to host matches should Argentina host the 2023 Rugby World Cup. It was construced in 1976 for the pupose of hosting matches in Córdoba for the 1978 FIFA World Cup. 

The stadium hosted 8 out of the tournaments 38 matches, or 21% of the tournaments matches. Since 1978 it has continued to host matches of high profile soccer tournaments that have taken place in Argentina such as the 1987 Copa América, the 2001 World FIFA Junior Championship and it hosted matches in the Copa América again in 2011. The stadium was renovated for the Copa America, giving the city of Córdoba a vastly improved stadium.

In addition to having an extensive history in soccer, the Estadio Mario Alberto Kempes has also hosted international rugby. Argentina have played three international matches at the stadium. The first v Fiji in 2003 was followed by Argentina v Italy in 2008 and Argentina v France in 2012. The stadium could be a similar host city to the likes of Melbourne for Rugby World Cup 2003, Marseilles for Rugby World Cup 2007 or Wellington for Rugby World Cup 2011.

With a capacity of 57,000 the stadium is, indeed, large enough to host Quarter Final and Semi Final matches. In comparison to Wellington which hosted two Quarter Finals in New Zealand both 2011, Córdoba is a more attractive option in terms of capacity and the size of the city. Córdoba's strong crowd for its home match v France in June 2012 is certain to see the venue host matches much more frequently than previously.

The city of Córdoba is the second largest in Argentina after the capital, Buenos Aires. With a population of 1.3 million it is a city rich in history dating back to 1573 and is famous for its Spanish architecture. It is also a very beautiful city surrounded by mountains and is considered to be one of the most beautiful regions of the country.

Córdoba is located in central Argentina. Unlike all other potential host cities it belongs neither to the west nor the east. To complicate matters further, despite being in the northern half of the country it is not far enough north to be called northern Argentina. It is located 700KM northwest of Buenos Aires and 400KM west of Rosario. It is 465KM east of Mendoza, 410KM east of San Juan and 520KM south of Tucuman.

It is therefore not close to any other potential host city but has the advantage of being central as it could act as a bridge between them. It could be used to stage 4 of 5 pool matches in an identical way to the above mentioned cities from 2003, 2007 and 2011. Fans would therefore be able to follow their teams and take in 3 or 4 different cities going from east to west or vice versa.

1 comment:

  1. I love your work.

    I saw somewhere that this stadium would be upgraded.