Chile’s leading football club Colo-Colo is set to enlarge and renovate its home ground as part of plans for a South American bid for the 2030 FIFA World Cup.
The Monumental Stadium in Santiago would be expanded from a capacity of 47,500 to 61,000 under plans discussed by executive vice president Harold Mayne-Nicholls.
Speaking to El Mercurio, Mayne-Nicholls said the stadium’s pitch would be lowered to increase space for seating. He explained that up to 10,000 seats currently offer only a partial view of the pitch.
Two sections of the ground would be expanded, Mayne-Nicholls added.
“We need to recover those 10,000 seats and find how to add another 17,000 to get a capacity of 61,000,” Mayne-Nicholls added.
“It is expensive and we will need a financial plan. The work can be done in stages and in several seasons, taking advantage of the recesses of the Chilean soccer.”
A joint bid between Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay was confirmed for the 2030 FIFA World Cup earlier this year. The bid process is expected to begin officially in 2020, with a decision likely to be made not before 2022.
Chile last hosted the FIFA World Cup in 1962, with the Monumental Stadium – officially the Estadio Monumental David Arellano – initially earmarked as one of the host arenas.
Construction of the Santiago stadium began in the 1950s, but funding issues and a devastating earthquake meant it was not completed until 1975. It was closed soon after due to safety concerns and was not reopened until 1989.
It has been Colo-Colo’s home stadium since then and has also hosted seven Chile international fixtures and two Brazil games at the 2015 Copa America.
Colo-Colo has won more Primera División de Chile (32) than any other Chilean club and a record 11 Copa Chile titles.
Last year River Plate president Rodolfo D’Onofrio said the Argentine Superliga football club is analysing two stadium options as it seeks to ensure its home plays a key role in the country’s 2030 bid.
Image: Peter Collins (Flickr)