Santa Cruz targets new stadium for Bolivian World Cup bid

A new 65,000-capacity stadium has been proposed for the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, as Bolivia aims to play a part in the South American bid to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup.

The president of the Bolivian Football Federation (FBF), Fernando Costa; along with the Mayor of Santa Cruz, Jhonny Fernández; and Julio Novillo, president of Grupo Lafuente, were all present at a press conference yesterday (Tuesday) where the plans for the new stadium were presented.

Bolivia is seeking to be part of a World Cup bid that received its latest member, Chile, in March 2019. Along with Chile, the South American effort to return the football showpiece to the continent in 2030 also has Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay as members.

Real estate holding company Grupo Lafuente has put forward a 26-hectare parcel of land on which the stadium could be built, with Novillo stating that the facility will be multi-purpose with areas for corporate boxes, restaurants, shops and food courts.

A public-private partnership is envisioned for the project, with Grupo Lafuente holding equal stakes with government bodies. “We have presented our proposal for us to be the sub-venue for the 2030 World Cup,” said Novillo, according to Bolivian newspaper La Razón.

“In that line we want to make all the necessary efforts with the support of the Mayor, which is fundamental, and also the efforts made by the Bolivian Football Federation.”

Fernández added: “This alliance is important to carry out these types of projects, we have to work and set a schedule to meet the deadlines. It is a dream to be a sub-headquarters as it was to compete at the World Cup and it was achieved at the time (1994). If we prepare ourselves and have the will to do so, we will achieve our goals.”

Costa said that while the 2030 World Cup is the main target of the stadium project, the FBF is also hoping to stage major events organised by the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) through the delivery of a new facility.

He added: “Surely if we finalise (this project) we will have Santa Cruz and Bolivia as protagonists of international events.

“As a federation we are working so that Santa Cruz and Bolivia hosts a final of the Copa Libertadores or Copa Sudamericana. There are important advances in this, but our main desire is that we become the sub-host of the World Cup and meet the requirements.

“We can be chosen in December of this year, when the FIFA Council (meeting) will be held.”

Image: Gobierno Municipal de Santa Cruz