Design & Development

‘White elephant’ stadium reopens in Argentina

Featured image credit: GtPLzcat89/CC BY-SA 3.0/Edited for size

The Estadio Bicentenario in the Argentine city of Catamarca has officially reopened after closing its doors in 2016.

The stadium first opened in 2010 and hosted high-profile matches such as the Argentine Super Cup and the Copa Argentina.

The venue was forced to close in 2016 due to structural issues with the design and has become a ‘white elephant’ in recent years. In 2020, Raúl Jalil, Governor of Catamarca, announced plans to restore the stadium as part of a project between the provincial government and private companies.

An official reopening ceremony was held on Wednesday, with more than 600 children from local schools and leagues invited to play on the pitch.

The stadium’s restoration focused on new concrete structures in the north and south stands, while new access roads and lighting were also fitted. The former stadium had a capacity of 25,000, while the new venue is set to house up to 30,000 people.

Jalil said that talks have been held with the Argentine Football Association over the national team potentially playing at the stadium.

Following the stadium’s reopening, work will continue to improve the ground and expand its capacity so it is capable of hosting international matches. The project to restore the stadium cost a reported 44 million pesos (£271,000/€311,000/$303,000).