Wednesday, August 4, 2010

La Plata - Estadio Ciudad de La Plata

One of South Americas newest and  most impressive stadiums is the Estadio Ciudad de La Plata in the capital of Buenos Aires province, La Plata. It was selected as a key venue for the 2011 Copa América and hosted the opening match of the tournament. The stadium opened in 2003 with Argentina playing host to Uruguay in a friendly soccer match. It has become an important venue for Argentine rugby in the Rugby Championship with the UAR having it host the hom fixture against the All Blacks in 2012, 2013 and 2014.  

The Estadio Ciudad de La Plata has a seating capacity of 53,000 making it larger than twelve of the thirteen venues selected to host Quarter-Finals for Rugby World Cup 2011 and eight of the ten French stadiums used for Rugby World Cup 2007. Its size and modernity makes it an ideal venue to host Rugby World Cup matches. Should Argentina bid to host Rugby World Cup 2023, La Plata could host at least four pool matches and at least one Quarter-Final.

It appears to be a very similar stadium to Loftus Versfeld Stadium (51,000) in Pretoria, South Africa which hosted five matches at Rugby World Cup 1995, including one Quarter Final and the Bronze Final. It also hosted six matches at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Like Pretoria, La Plata is located close to the country´s largest city. Pretoria is located 53KM from Johannesburg and La Plata is 60KM from Buenos Aires. In addition to Pretoria, two different stadiums from Johannesburg were used for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Should Argentina 2023 become a reality, the idea should be to do exactly the same thing with Buenos Aires having two stadiums and La Plata one.

La Plata is Argentina´s sixth largest city with a population of  732,000 and is the capital city of the province of Buenos Aires. It was founded on November 19, 1882 by Dardo Rocha to be the headquarters of the provincial government so that it could be recognized separately from the city of Buenos Aires which is the country´s federal district. La Plata is also home to Argentina´s largest cathedral and one of the country´s best universties, the Universidad Nacional de La Plata which President Cristina Fernández de Kircher graduated in Law as did her husband and previous Argentina President, Nestór Kirchner. La Plata means silver in Spanish.

La Plata is located 60KM east of Buenos Aires making it an easy place to get to. The world class Estadio Ciudad de La Plata would be a perfect stadium to host Rugby World Cup matches.

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