Uruguay is considering six different proposals to revamp the Estadio Centenario, a historic football stadium located in the capital city Montevideo.
The South American country’s Sports Secretary, Fernando Caceres, told the Associated Press news agency that projects ranging from redeveloping the existing venue to demolishing it and building a new stadium are being assessed.
The Centenario, which currently has a capacity of around 60,000, was built in 1930 to host the inaugural edition of the FIFA World Cup. In all six projects the existing 100-metre tower would be retained, as a tribute to Uruguayan teams that won the gold medals at the 1924 and 1928 summer Olympic Games.
Caceres said the Centenario “cannot resist any longer because its maintenance is very costly and is not adapted to modern sporting entertainment.” However, he admitted that demolishing the stadium would shock Uruguayans because of its symbolic value.
He added: “Of course, people care. I also felt a great initial resistance when I heard the proposals but which construction work has not created initial resistance in this country?”
The stadium currently hosts Uruguay matches and some games for the country’s two biggest clubs, Penarol and Nacional. Caceres said up to $300m (£209.5m/€242.6m) could be invested for a new Centenario and a decision on the project could be made within four months.
Uruguay, along with Argentina and Paraguay, last week moved forward with their joint bid for the 2030 World Cup by announcing the breakdown of how the 12 host cities for the national team football tournament would be split between the countries.
At a meeting held between the three national associations and including various government officials in Buenos Aires it was announced that Argentina would have eight host cities, with two apiece in Paraguay and Uruguay.
In November, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay formalised a partnership to launch a joint bid for the 2030 World Cup, with Paraguay having been added to the project in August.
Image: Marcelo Campi