Sunday, September 5, 2010

Resistencia - Estadio Centenario

Located close to the southern border with Paraguay is, Corrientes. With a population of 345,000 is the 13th largest city in Argentina. 15KM away, across the Paraná River lies Argentina´s 11th largest city, Resistencia with a population of 370,000. If it were not for the Paraná River, the two cities would literally have joined and the combined city would be similar in size to Argentina´s 6th largest city, La Plata. Together the two cities could certainly make a strong case to have one of the two used as a host venue to represent northeastern Argentina should the country host a Rugby World Cup.

Corrientes is the capital of the state of Corrientes and Resistencia is the capital of the state of Chaco. In addition, the city of Formosa is located 160KM north of Corrientes and located 300KM to the east is, Argentina´s 15th largest city and capital of Missiones province, Posadas. All four provinces border Paraguay as does the province of Salta.

Despite being the largest of the three cities, Resistencia has never hosted international rugby and neither has Formosa. Posadas played host to Argentina vs Uruguay in 1995 with Argentina winning 52-37 and Corrientes hosted Argentina vs Paraguay in 1997 with Los Pumas winning 78-0. Corrientes also hosted a training camp for the best domestic based rugby players - Los Jaguars in August 2010 including a match in which Los Jaguars defeated Nordeste 83-17. Following the construction of the new Estadio Centenario in Resistencia the venue should be chosen as the best option of these cities as a venue should Rugby World Cup 2023 be held in Argentina. Like Bolivia, Chile and Uruguay, Paraguay would have a host city located close to its borders and the 25,000 seat venue looms as a great option for North-Eastern Argentina.

The former largest stadium of the region, the Estadio José Antonio Romero Feris, is an inadequate option with a capacity of 16,000. Similarly, Resistencia´s former largest stadium the Estadio Juan Alberto Garcia is also undersized with a capacity of 18,000. The largest stadium in the region is the Estadio Centenario in Resistencia which seats 25,000. However, in 2011 the potential of the region hosting test matches increased substantially when Los Pumas took on the French Barbarians in front of a packed Estadio Centenario in 2011.

A Rugby World Cup in Argentina would therefore appear to offer the region with a unique opportunity of one of these cities getting a new stadium. The cities are not small when compared to those being used to host matches at Rugby World Cup 2011. In fact, Corrientes has a population which is virtually identical to New Zealand´s third largest city and capital, Wellington.

The city of Corrientes was founded in 1588 by Juan Torres de Vera y Aragón who gave it the name San Juan de Vera de las Siete Corrientes, which over time was shortened to simply Corrientes. The original name means Saint John of Vera of the Seven Currents, and refers to the seven peninsulas located on the shores of the river. It is located 1000KM north of Buenos Aires, 500KM north of Santa Fé, 700KM east of Tucumán and 800KM north east of Córdoba making it easily workable into a match schedule.

If Argentina were to be selected to host Rugby World Cup 2023, Resistencia could host up to four matches should it have a new venue. It would not be considered for play-offs matches given the countries existing options such as Buenos Aires, Córdoba, La Plata, Mar del Plata, Mendoza and Rosario. It, nevertheless, provides Argentina with an additional venue option to put it up against all other possible host countries. Should the city be utilized as a venue a modern stadium with a capacity ranging from 25,000 to 30,000 would be sufficient to host at least three matches much like Hamilton and New Plymouth for New Zealand 2011.

1 comment:

  1. I love rugby!!! Im liveing in one of the Buenos Aires apartments in Palermo, but Im from South Africa!!, so of course I wont be missing the world cup there!!!