Estadio Municipal de Villa Ingenio, the new home of Bolivian Primera Division club Always Ready, has had its official opening, becoming the world’s highest altitude football stadium.
Located in El Alto, Bolivia’s second largest city, the 25,000-capacity stadium opened with a full house for Always Ready’s 2-2 draw against Jorge Wilstermann.
The stadium is located 4,090 metres above sea level (MASL), overtaking Estadio Víctor Agustín Ugarte (3,900 MASL) and Estadio Hernando Siles (3,600 MASL), both in Bolivia in Potosi and La Paz, respectively.
The Bolivian government has contributed over BOB58m (£6.5m/€7.4m/$8.5m) to the project, which meets the standards to host tournaments organised by FIFA and the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL).
President Evo Morales attended Saturday’s game and said, according to Bolivian newspaper Página Siete: “Imagine how nice it would be for the Copa Libertadores to be played in the city of El Alto. We are convinced, with the Always Ready club, that we have to improve.”
Meanwhile, Always Ready president Fernando Costa has hailed the project’s ability to unite various political factions.
He added: “I believe that thanks to the Always Ready project we have been able to unite several institutions, the central government, the municipality of El Alto, the neighbourhood councils. That is worth noting, football unites.”
Image: Jaime Serpa Cruz