River Plate will play again this Saturday at its stadium, the Monumental de Buenos Aires, after half a year of works which made the stadium in which Argentina won its first World Cup in 1978, according to its directors, “the best playing field in all of South America.”
This Thursday, two days before the Millionaire returns home after playing the last games at the Libertadores de América, the Independiente stadium, the club managers opened the doors of the Antonio Vespucio Liberti so that the media could tour the renovated facilities and see the placement of the arches.
The last game it hosted was River Plate’s 8-0 defeat of the Peruvian Binational on the second day of the Copa Libertadores on March 11, 2020.
On August 5 of that year, when soccer was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, managers took advantage of the break in tournaments to begin “an unprecedented work in Argentine soccer.”
River Plate not only modified and improved the grass and the irrigation system but also removed the athletics track and built a new tunnel for the entry of footballers.
Modifications were also made to the stands that allow a better view of the game.
In addition, new toilets were built, food stalls and a wireless Internet system were installed for fans.
The total cost estimated by the club is 200 million pesos (about 2.2 million dollars).
The intention of the directors is to add new stands “closer to the field” in the future in the area where the athletics track used to be, which would allow to expand the capacity of the stadium, which is around 70,000 spectators.
The goal is for the Monumental to take place for 80,000 people in the short term.
The club reported that the works had a cost of 200 million pesos (about 2.2 million dollars) and that they were financed with the current income of the institution.
During the works, three horseshoes from the old National Hippodrome, which was located in that area, were found, which would be just over 100 years old.
A closed section of the referee tunnel was also found, which had become disused since 1977 and was believed to have been destroyed.
River Plate will train for the first time on this new playing field this Friday afternoon.
On Saturday, he will receive without an audience, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Rosario Central on the second day of the Argentine Professional League Cup.
In their debut, those led by Marcelo Gallardo lost 2-1 to Estudiantes de La Plata despite starting winning and playing the entire second half with one more after the expulsion of the Pincha defender Fernando Tobio.
The Antonio Vespucio Liberti, known as ‘el Monumental’, usually hosts the matches of the Argentine National Team and is one of the most important stadiums in the country.
La Albiceleste became world champion there for the first time in the 1978 World Cup by defeating the Netherlands 3-1.
El Monumental will be one of the stadiums where the 2021 Copa América organized by Argentina and Colombia will be played.