Estadio Malvinas Argentinas has become the latest stadium involved in the South American bid for the 2030 FIFA World Cup to have redevelopment work detailed.
The plans have been revealed following a meeting yesterday (Thursday) between officials from the Government of Mendoza and world football’s governing body. Estadio Malvinas Argentinas is located in Ciudad de Mendoza, capital city of the Province of Mendoza, and in April was named amongst 18 proposed stadia for the World Cup bid that will unite Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Paraguay.
Developed for Argentina’s hosting of the 1978 World Cup, Estadio Malvinas Argentinas is owned by the Province. Redeveloped for the country’s staging of the 2011 Copa América, it now has a capacity of 39,592, but not all of this is seating capacity.
Mendoza-based news outlet Memo said that to meet FIFA requirements for a minimum of 40,000 seats, plans set out call for the new-look Malvinas to have a 40,914-seat capacity. To achieve this, officials plan to develop a new seating arena surrounding the pitch, replacing the moat-like structure that currently separates the stands from the playing area.
The pitch would be lowered to accommodate such a change, with the stadium currently benefiting from its location which practically submerges it in the surrounding landscape in a natural depression in the terrain.
The Malvinas also currently has one section of roof, which will be changed if it is selected for the 2030 World Cup with a new structure installed covering all stands. Federico Chiapetta, Sports Director for the Province, said that the stadium must be redeveloped to meet modern-day standards.
“In this sense, the project was officially presented, which highlights the design of a structure to roof all the stands and how it is planned to resolve the request to provide seats for 40,000 people,” he told local newspaper Los Andes, which has also presented renderings for the project.
“This solution must be accompanied by a very important work, which is to lower the level of the playing field by about 40 centimetres to allow for a certain unevenness for the new stands and allow visibility of the playing field for the spectators there.”
Mario Isgro, Minister of Planning and Infrastructure, added that the installation of temporary seating is being considered, so the stadium can regain standing areas after the World Cup. He said this will grant the “possibility that the stadium once again has the North and South stands so that people can stand, taking into account the customs that we have in the country, since it is traditional for many to watch the game standing up.
“Once the World Cup is over, some of the covered parts can be removed and a certain number of seats can also be removed.”
The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) in April proposed 18 stadia for the continent’s four-nation bid for the 2030 World Cup, including an ‘Estadio CONMEBOL’ in Asunción, the capital of Paraguay.
CONMEBOL holds its headquarters in Asunción and Estadio CONMEBOL was front and centre of the governing body’s presentation of venues, with plans outlined for a 60,000-seat stadium.
Argentina will play the dominant part in the bid with seven venues. These are: El Monumental (Buenos Aires, 83,000); Mario Alberto Kempes (Córdoba, 57,000); and three more venues in Buenos Aires – Único de La Plata (53,000); Libertadores de América (48,000) and Presidente Perón (42,000).
Argentina’s list is completed by Malvinas Argentinas and Único Madre de Ciudades (Santiago del Estero, 30,000).
Although not part of April’s list, Primera División club Boca Juniors last month made the first significant formal move as part of long-held ambitions to expand its stadium, by submitting a proposal to the Legislature of the City of Buenos Aires.
Estadio Alberto José Armando, more commonly known as La Bombonera, currently has a capacity of around 54,000, but Boca has long been seeking to change this. Club president, Jorge Amor Ameal, lodged a proposal with the City seeking the green light to pursue a project that would expand capacity to 82,000.
Meanwhile, the first indication was presented of how a redeveloped Estadio Centenario could look for a 2030 World Cup final held under the four-nation South American bid proposal.
Located in the Uruguayan capital, Montevideo, the Estadio Centenario is being targeted for the 2030 World Cup final in a repeat of the role it played during the inaugural World Cup in 1930, which Uruguay hosted.
The South American 2030 World Cup bid was officially launched in February following an earlier gathering in August. The World Cup was last held in South America when Brazil hosted the 2014 event and FIFA is expected to decide on the hosts at its 74th Congress in 2024.