Thursday, January 10, 2013

Charrúa is confirmed as the home of Uruguay Rugby


In the final days of 2012 the mayor of Uruguay´s capital, Montevideo, Ana Olivera signed into law a significant action for Uruguay sport. In one of the biggest acts of the year she officially signed the Charrua Stadium concession for 10 years together with the Uruguay Rugby Union (URU) and the Football Association (AUF). This represented a significant day for Uruguayan rugby. It gives the URU an official home - its own Twickenham. Negotiations started in the middle of 2011 and a year and a half later  rugby players, clubs and fans are now able to celebrate. The decision was unanimous and a formal ceremony will take place in March with the URU moving its headquarters to the stadium. Until then both the URU and the AUF will continue to negotiate the rules of use as it is in effect a joint venue with rugby and soccer to share the stadium. The sporting authorities of the two codes will need to come to an official understanding with respect to the park and stadium, as well as the dates in which the URU can use it and, similarly the AUF.

So far it has been revealed that the URU is to be responsible for all the costs of the stadium and the periphery, while the AUF will be in charge of cleaning lake Rivera Park. Perhaps the best news for rugby is that the entire internal structure of the stadium will be going to rugby. The stadium´s capcity is ideal for the URU and it has been used in the past as the home of Uruguayan rugby for test matches. It has a capacity for 14,000 spectators and hosted both Kazakhstan and Romania in the Rugby World Cup 2011 repercharge matches. Uruguay defeated Kazakhstan which was Asia 2 while Uruguay drew with Romania which was Europe 3. The match against Romania was the first of two in a home and away series officially known as the Final Place Play-Off. It has also been utilized for matches against the USA in Americas qualifying games as well as a number of other test matches. 

With rugby gaining access to the venue it is going to facilitate Uruguay hosting more incoming matches. Uruguay has been confirmed as the host nation for the 2013 South American Championship. The CONSUR A event will double as the final leg of the South American stage of qualification. Uruguay will have to defeat both Chile and Brazil if it is to advance to face the loser of Canada v the USA, probably in November. It is therefore safe to assume that the Estadio Charrúa will host at least four test matches this year in addition to hosting matches involving Montevideo rugby clubs. This will give it a lot more use it had prebviously experienced. The lack of use has been identified as a key problem and it has worked out well for rugby.

The URU has confirmed that it plans on transforming Churrúa by creating a variety of projects including the construction of a gym and concentration facilities. Talks are already well advanced between the URU, private companies and the Ministry of Sports. The idea is to get as much input and assistance as possible to help implement these projects and for them to convert into revenue sources for rugby. The URU intends to lease the use of its new facilities to other sports federations and the Ministry of Sports and to do so at more affordable prices than if they were to turn to a third party.

Source: Rugby News

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