The Monumental Stadium: The Largest Stadium in South America, Then and Now

The Monumental stadium became the largest stadium in South America

After celebrating its 123rd anniversary yesterday, River Plate continues celebrating. The thing is that on May 26, but in 1938, the Monumental was officially inaugurated. 70 thousand people attended the 3-1 victory in a friendly match against Peñarol (the first goal in the new home was the work of Carlos Peucelle).

El Millonario, which had its origins after the merger of two clubs in the La Boca neighborhood, such as Santa Rosa and La Rosales, enjoyed its first court in the Dársena Sud of the port of Buenos Aires. After a brief stay in Sarandí, he returned to La Boca in 1923, where, unable to renew the property’s rental contract, the leadership had to make the difficult decision to move to a different neighborhood, building its first stadium on Alvear Avenue (today Avenida del Liberator), between Tagle and Austria.

The Monumental, under construction (River Museum)

Seeing that the popularity of the club did not stop and the old boards of the field were not enough to accommodate all the supporters, Antonio Vespucio Liberti, in his first presidency, had a “crazy idea” (as explained by River’s website Plate): build the largest stadium in Argentina. On October 31, 1934, the purchase tickets for the land located in the Núñez neighborhood were signed. On May 25 of the following year, the leaders laid the foundation stone and on September 27, 1936, the works officially began, which were under the direction of the Aslan and Ezcurra Arquitectos studio.

But in August 2020, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the River Plate leadership made an important decision. The leaders found a favorable scenario to begin a project that had been on their minds for years: completely renovating the Monumental playing field.

The kickoff during the inauguration of the Monumental (River Museum)

Taking advantage of the fact that at that time the presence of the public was not allowed in Argentine soccer stadiums, in Núñez they gave way to the renovation of the stage. The institution hired the Irish company SIS Grass to improve drainage and switched to a hybrid grass (after lowering the ground level almost two meters, a 5 percent artificial and 95 percent natural grass was installed). Among the underground modifications that the Monumental now has, it stands out that the pipes were changed to PVC ones, a phase of laying pipes in rain drainage gutters was carried out, and then placing the geotextile blanket and waterproof layer. After trenching the compacted soil base for the installation of storm drainage and aeration pipes, they were then covered with gravel to improve runoff. A layer of sand and the air conditioning system (heating and cooling) were also placed.

Then work began on the expansion of the Monumental, which made it the stadium belonging to a football club with the largest capacity in South America. As a result of this expansion, the stadium’s capacity rose to 84,567 spectators.

In addition to the new lower lower stands and the placement of new seats, there were also renovations in the box area, the popular seats and stalls were redistributed behind the arches and the new single tunnel for the players’ exit was inaugurated, which It was between the substitute benches (they are below the level of the playing field so as not to cover the view of the first row of the lower San Martín). At Millonario they also decided to change the façade of the Antonio Vespucio Liberti on Figueroa Alcorta Avenue by replacing the old mirrored glass with new ones both on the lower Centenario and at the middle height. In addition, new paravalanches were installed and the desks in the press area were renewed.

But at River Plate they are not satisfied and go for more. Recently, several works have been completed and other impressive reforms have been announced that are coming for the second semester.


The new façade on the Sívori tribune

-Monumental 360:

At this time in the club, work began on the execution of the foundations and columns to join the high stands of San Martín with Centenario and Belgrano with Sívori. Then they will continue with the rest of the unions (San Martín with Sívori and Belgrano with Centenario).

Once these works are completed, which are scheduled for the end of this year, there will no longer be any separating spaces between these stands and the headers, so the Antonio Vespucio Liberti will be united in its entirety. The capacity will increase by 1,100 seats, thus compensating for the seats that were lost with the construction of the boxes at the Sívori head. Núñez assures that this change, in addition to improving its aesthetics, will also benefit the acoustics.

– New gastronomic center on the central hall:

Millionaire’s supporters will have a new culinary space. It will be located above the main hall of the stadium and will complement the food trucks, located at the entrance to Figueroa Alcorta, with a greater variety of products.

– Renovation of the stadium confectionery:

This area of ​​the stadium is currently closed to the public to expedite the work, which includes renovation of bathrooms, floors, roof, soundproofing, air conditioning and lighting.

The facade of the renovated and expanded parking lot

– Sívori Grandstand Facade and parking:

Among the aesthetic details to come, a white and red ring with unalterable aluminum plates stands out that will wrap the entire façade of the Sívori tribune (an area of ​​1,500 m2).

“Following this façade, almost 10,000 m2 of curtain wall, a glass covering with the latest market technology, will be installed around the entire perimeter of the stadium,” the club warned.

Something similar will happen with the parking lot, recently renovated and expanded to five levels.

This is what the Hall of Shields will look like

– Hall of Shields:

This emblematic area of ​​the stadium will change its name after the incorporation of a metal coating that will include the historical shields of the institution. A new ceiling of red and white metal strips will also be installed, generating the institutional flag both inside the central hall and outside (both will have 100% LED lighting).

Of course, the comprehensive renovation of this venue will include the renovation of floors (the base of the floor will be structurally reinforced, making it suitable for traffic for the club’s daily operations), glass doors and fronts, wall coverings and ceilings.

The phrase that the unique Monumental tunnel will wear

– Changes to the single tunnel:

An aluminum covering will be included that will accompany the players’ exit to the playing field. It will be backlit and will have at the beginning a phrase that highlights the values ​​of the institution: “Honor the past, writing the present, for a future of greatness.”

This same red and white coating will also be present on the walls of the internal hallway of the professional football concentration.

River Plate’s external barbecue areas

– Inauguration of the external barbecue areas:

On April 10, River Plate completed and formally presented an important space for the club’s social life located between the indoor Olympic pool and the auxiliary fields. This project has 26 grills and 28 tables, with benches for up to eight people per table. Trash cans and granite countertops were installed with 15 washing sinks, supplied with hot and cold water.

Each sector has power outlets for each table and WiFi connection.

One of the murals of the Monumental

– Creation of murals:

With the intention of highlighting the identity and history of the club, since the first official meeting of this year, new murals can be seen at the entrances to Sívori Baja. In addition, the entire lower exterior sector of the Belgrano stand was repainted red and white and more than 20 shields were installed throughout the Club.

New universal bathrooms in the upper stands of the Monumental

– Universal bathrooms in the upper stands:

Since the match before Central Córdoba in Santiago del Estero, these spaces are available so that fathers and mothers with small children and babies can use them without having to access the bathrooms for the general public.

– Renovation of the Monumental rings changing rooms:

Since May 2, work has been carried out to completely remodel the locker rooms for the members of the millionaire group. It is estimated that the works will take around 180 days, but as it will be carried out in parts, the public will be able to use this part of the facilities.

The replacement of the flooring with non-slip characteristics, the leveling of the floor, the renewal of the coating in the sanitary cores, the renovation of the sanitary facilities, the incorporation of new lockers, the renewal of the thermomechanical, electrical and fire-fighting installations are contemplated.

2024-05-26 04:44:00
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