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San Lorenzo reveals plans for return home

Argentinian Primera División football club San Lorenzo has revealed initial plans for the new stadium which it hopes will return it to its original home, the Boedo neighbourhood of Buenos Aires.

San Lorenzo has played at the Estadio Pedro Bidegain in the Bajo Flores part of the capital since 1993, but had called the Estadio Gasómetro in Boedo home from the stadium’s inauguration in 1916.

The historic Estadio Gasómetro was expropriated by the military government in 1979, with San Lorenzo playing its last game there in December of that year. There has since been a long-running campaign for the club to return home, with the initial vision behind this dream being revealed this week.

San Lorenzo yesterday (Tuesday) launched a special showroom where club members can view a model of the proposed new stadium through to Sunday. San Lorenzo has engaged Spanish architecture giant IDOM to design the new stadium as part of a wider project which president Marcelo Tinelli hopes will “rejuvenate the neighbourhood through culture and integration that will promote the club”.

The 46,264-seat stadium will be the focal point of a new urban complex that will also feature green spaces, educational and cultural establishments, a shopping centre and a hotel. “This comprehensive centre with a stadium in the middle is going to give Boedo back a lot of the things it had lost,” said Tinelli, according to Argentinian newspaper La Nacion.

“We have done a great job with all the neighbours, those who were for and against, to find out their needs. From all these conversations, we were able to incorporate a lot of useful aspects for the neighbourhood into our original project.”

Tinelli said IDOM has been hired with a mandate of being inspired by the history of the old Estadio Gasómetro. He continued: “We hope to be able to do it in the next few years, lay the first bricks and hopefully we can kick-start. Otherwise, I will be there nearby, as just another fan… I dream about it before finishing my mandate, in 2023.”

The project will reportedly need investment of between $70m (£49.6m/€57.6m) and $100m. Tinelli admits the club needs to be cautious in its approach given the current economic climate.

He added: “Now comes the whole financial engineering that we are working on from different sides. There are companies from China, Germany, Switzerland and the United States that have contacted us. We have faith in being able to get a loan.”

Images: San Lorenzo