River Plate strikes naming rights deal for El Monumental

Argentinian Primera División football club River Plate has signed a seven-year stadium naming rights deal with South American retail company Grupo De Narváez, an agreement that is set to help fund the redevelopment of El Monumental.

The contract, which will run until April 2029, is worth $20m (£15.3m/€18.3m), according to local media reports, and will see River’s home rebranded as Mâs Monumental.

Speaking at yesterday’s (Tuesday’s) presentation of the agreement, River Plate president, Jorge Brito, said the naming rights deal will help to pay 50% of the costs of the redevelopment works.

River last month appointed Spanish consulting, engineering and architecture company IDOM as project manager of the venture. The stadium project was unanimously approved by the Buenos Aires giant’s assembly of member representatives and board of directors on February 23 after it was presented earlier in the month.

In November, River laid out its vision for the second phase of its redevelopment of Mâs  Monumental, stating that it would seek to transform its stadium into a cutting-edge venue which has the biggest capacity for a football facility in South America.

River in February 2021 returned to a revamped Mâs Monumental, with the first phase completed of what was intended to be a broader redevelopment project. The latest phase of work will focus on expanding Mâs Monumental by a further 9,000 seats, taking its capacity to 81,000.

Brito said yesterday: “This alliance is historic for River and for the members and fans of our club. The modernisations and expansions of stadiums around the world materialised through naming rights, and that is why we celebrate the arrival of Mâs, which will help us fulfil our dream of having a bigger, more comfortable Monumental stadium with more benefits for our fans. 

“El Monumental will be the largest stadium in South America, this fills us with pride. We are going for more River, we are going for Mâs Monumental.”

Francisco De Narváez, president of Grupo De Narváez, added: “This union, between a prestigious club that represents the passion of millions of Argentines, and a company like ours, present throughout the country with more than 92 branches, is an invitation to grow. 

“Argentina is a country with mixed emotions. On the one hand, we live in a scenario of constant challenges, but on the other there is a lot of passion and desire to see it grow. Argentines want, and choose to, bet on the country and we decided to be a leading player.”

River’s home will become only the second stadium in Argentina to have a naming rights sponsor. In August 2018, Buenos Aires’ Estadio Diego Armando Maradona became the first stadium in the country to sign a naming-rights partner after an agreement was reached with financial services company Autocredito.

The stadium is the home of Argentinos Juniors and is named after Argentine football legend Diego Maradona, who made his professional debut at the ground in 1976. The venue is now known as Autocredito Diego Armando Maradona.

Commenting further on the reasons behind River’s deal, Brito added: “In this country there is no long-term credit and we are doing the work without state subsidies. It is carried out with companies that sponsor and partners that buy (corporate) boxes. And we have to celebrate that within the River community. It is unprecedented.”

Image: River Plate