Tuesday, September 14, 2010

San Juan - Estadio de Bicentenario

Estádio San Juan del Bicentenario. Local receberá duas partidas do Grupo C
Photo Veja
The Andean city of San Juan was selected as one of eight Argentine cities to host South America´s premier soccer competition, the Copa América in 2011. At the time of the announcement the city´s largest stadium was the Estadio San Martín de San Juan with a capacity of around 18,000. The same venue was used to host an international rugby match between Argentina A and Chile in 2007 in which Argentina A won 79-8. However, for Copa América 2011 a new stadium called the Estadio del Bicentenario was constructed to host matches in San Juan.

The Estadio del Bicentenario has a capacity of 25,286 making it a similar size to New Plymouth which was allocated three pool matches at Rugby World Cup 2011 - Ireland v USA, Russia v USA and Wales v Namibia. It is therefore larger than the majority of venues utilized for Rugby World Cup 2011 and is also bigger than venues including Exeter and Gloucester which are to host three and four matches respectively.

The stadium was constructed to give the city of San Juan a modern stadium to host matches during the 2011 Copa América. It was allocated three matches in the tournament and has also been used for the purposes of international rugby with Argentina facing Italy and Georgia in test matches in June 2012 and June 2013. It also hosted a non-capped match contested between Argentina and a South American XV in 2011.

The soccer and rugby matches at the venue demonstrated that it has more than appropriate facilities to unquestionably be ready to host Rugby World Cup matches should Argentina be allocated a Rugby World Cup. San Juan would be able to host at least two pool matches and the region's tourism would further enforce the city as a candidate.  

San Juan is Argentina´s tenth largest city with a population of 453,000 and is the capital of San Juan Province. Together with Mendoza, San Luis and La Rioja the region is known as Cuyo. San Juan was founded in 1562 by Juan Jufré and given the name San Juan de la Frontera.

Like Mendoza, San Juan is famous for its red wine but San Juan´s tourism is also centred on rock formations in and around the city in places including the Quebrada de Ullum Dam, the Difunta Correa sanctuary and Ischigualasto National Park. Visitors would certainly have a lot to do in between attending Rugby World Cup matches.

San Juan is located 1,150KM west of Buenos Aires, 420KM west of Córdoba, 700KM southwest of Tucumán and 152KM north of Mendoza. Fixtures could be arranged so that teams playing in San Juan arrive from their previous match at Mendoza or Córdoba and then go on to play their next fixture at one of the two cities.