Governor of Nuevo León, Samuel Alejandro García Sepúlveda, has announced the start of construction work on the new Estadio Universitario, future home of Liga MX football club Tigres UANL.
Yesterday’s (Thursday’s) ceremony marked the realisation of a long-running dream for Tigres, which is based in the city of San Nicolás de los Garza, Nuevo León, for the development of a new stadium that could replace the now 31,000-capacity current Estadio Universitario, its home since 1967.
In February, García Sepúlveda said work was ready to begin on the 65,000-seat stadium that will be the new home of Tigres after signing an agreement for the land on which the venue will be built. García Sepúlveda said a 210,000 square metre site had been assigned for the project, which is expected to cost at least MXN8.2bn (£370.8m/€432.9m/$486.1m) to develop.
February’s news came just over a year after architecture firm Populous said it would deliver a stadium that will “hold a special place in the hearts of the fans” after officially announcing its involvement in the project.
Plans for the 65,000-seat stadium, which had been due to be delivered in 2025, were first unveiled at a press conference earlier in January 2022, with García Sepúlveda in attendance alongside representatives of the club, Populous, Cemex, UANL, Sinergia Deportiva and Juego de Pelota.
Populous’ multi-use design features separate changing rooms for Tigres’ men’s and women’s teams and a retractable pitch that will allow a range of events to be hosted, from football and athletics to concerts and American football.
The privately-funded scheme also incorporates retail, hospitality, hotel rooms, offices, and classrooms for the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (UANL) in an effort to facilitate year-round usage and create a socially responsible and financially sustainable venue.
The new stadium will be located on a parking lot adjacent to the current Estadio Universitario, meaning the club will not need to relocate during construction and will retain its position at the university with direct transport links to the downtown area.
Speaking yesterday, García Sepúlveda said that at a time when Nuevo León is being looked upon as a model on a national level in economic matters, due to the level of investment it attracts, sports projects such as the new stadium couldn’t be left behind.
He stated: “Today we are the epicentre of ‘nearshoring’ worldwide. Billions and billions of dollars are arriving, we are already at $25bn and we could not stay behind and not have the best stadium in Latin America and one of the best in the world – the new stadium of Tigres. This will become a representation of Nuevo León before Mexico and before the world.”
García Sepúlveda added: “This stadium was built in the 1960s, since then we have filled it. In the 60s we were at a million inhabitants, today we are six million and very soon we will be eight million. By simple proportion and population arithmetic rule, we no longer fit. Now our fans are ready for something bigger.”