Racing’s El Cilindro set for major renovation

Argentinian Primera División football team Racing Club de Avellaneda has presented an extensive redevelopment plan for its Estadio Juan Domingo Perón which aims to transform its home into one of the finest venues in South America.

The stadium, commonly known as El Cilindro de Avellaneda, is the second largest in Argentina with a capacity of around 61,000. First opened in 1950, it has received little in the way of improvements in recent decades. However, Racing has now committed to a $20m (£15.3m/€16.9m) investment for a multi-phase renovation that will take place from 2021 to 2025.

Racing’s current management commenced various studies to improve the stadium back in 2018, with the goals of enhancing the facilities, extending its useful life and modernising the venue. The plans have been drawn up by Racing in association with Buenos Aires-based architectural studio MSGSSS, and Oficina Urbana and GBD.

Racing president Víctor Blanco said: “For various reasons, the Cilindro had been postponing investments for its improvement and maintenance. That is why we have been analysing a comprehensive reform plan in various stages for a long time, which we began in the middle of last year with the structural stage. 

“The pandemic led us to postpone the completion of the so-called Stage Zero, but we have already resumed work at a good pace and we will soon begin Stage One.”

Stage Zero commenced in July 2019, with $2m having been already invested in structural work designed to extend the useful life of the Cilindro. This work is due to be completed in November or December, with the main renovation project set to commence in earnest afterwards.

The project will be split into three phases, with the first revolving around adapting the stadium to meet FIFA standards so that it can host national team games. New changing rooms will be developed, including the addition of a central tunnel leading to the pitch. Accessibility will also be improved.

The second phase, targeted at spectator services, will include a new section for people with disabilities and comprehensive renovation of Sector A of the stadium. The third phase will focus on Sector B and improving the playing field. A new façade will also be installed on the exterior of the Cilindro.

Blanco added: “The term of five years is reasonable, but we do not rule out that it could be shortened depending on the possible entry of investors. We never close ourselves to talks and ideas that can innovate.”

Images: Racing Club