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Universidad Católica eyes Pan American Games with stadium expansion

Chilean Primera División football club Universidad Católica (UC) has launched a consultation process for the expansion of its Estadio San Carlos de Apoquindo.

The Santiago-based club is considered to be one of Chilean football’s ‘Big Three’ and is seeking to redevelop its stadium, which opened in 1988, from a capacity of 14,000 to 20,000.

It has opened an ‘Open House’ consultation process with community authorities, neighbours and fans, following a meeting with local authorities, the Chilean Football Association (ANFP) and Chilean Olympic Committee (COCH).

The consultation process seeks to open dialogue at an early stage between UC and the local community, over the plans for the project. Spanish firm IDOM has been engaged to design the new-look stadium, which once redeveloped will include a new roof and more corporate boxes and VIP areas in an effort to create a modern, multi-purpose venue.

The project will reportedly cost $30m (£23.2m/€25.3m), with a dedicated website set to be launched on Monday to aid the consultation process amid COVID-19. The redevelopment is also being undertaken with a view to Estadio San Carlos de Apoquindo becoming a host venue for Santiago’s staging of the 2023 Pan American Games.

Miguel Ángel Mujica, president of the COCH, said: “It is very good news to know that we are going to have a first-class stadium in multi-sport. I think that Universidad Católica is the club that has the greatest number of disciplines in operation, being a fundamental player in many sports. I hope we reach an agreement so that some sports can be practiced at the Santiago 2023 Games at San Carlos de Apoquindo.”

Speaking to local broadcaster Radio Cooperativa, UC president Juan Tagle added: “Our goal in our schedule is to reach the 2023 Pan American Games and that some activities take place here, such as football or rugby sevens. We want to be a contributor to national sport and to the country.”

Image: Universidad Católica