Estadio Azteca
Estadio Azteca
Aztec Stadium
El Coloso de Santa Úrsula
Logotipo Estadio Azteca.png
Estadio Azteca1706p2.jpg
Stadium's exterior
Location Calzada de Tlalpan, 3465, Tlalpan, Mexico City, Mexico
Public transit Estadio Azteca
Xochimilco Light Rail
Owner Grupo Televisa
Operator Club América
Executive suites 856
Capacity 87,000 [1]
Record attendance Football: 119,853 (Mexico vs Brazil, 7 July 1968)[2]
Boxing: 132,247 (Julio César Chávez vs Greg Haugen, 20 February 1993)[3]
Field size 105 m × 68 m (344 ft × 223 ft)
Surface Grass
Construction
Broke ground 1961
Opened 29 May 1966
Renovated 1986, 1999, 2013 and 2016[4]
Construction cost MXN$260 million
Architect Pedro Ramírez Vázquez
Tenants
Mexico national football team (1966-present)
América (1966-present)
Necaxa (1966-1970, 1982-2003)
Atlante (1966-1982, 1996-2001, 2004-2007)
UNAM (1967-1969)
Atlético Español (1970-1982)
Cruz Azul (1971-1996)

The Estadio Azteca (Spanish pronunciation: [es'taðjo as'teka]) is a football stadium located in the suburb of Santa Úrsula in Mexico City, Mexico. Since its opening in 1966, the stadium has been the official home stadium of the professional Mexican football team América and the official national stadium of the Mexico national football team. With an official capacity of 87,000,[1] it is the largest stadium in Mexico. The stadium sits at an altitude of 7,200 feet above sea level.[5]

Regarded as one of the most famous and iconic football stadiums in the world,[6][7][8][9][10] it is the first to have hosted two FIFA World Cup Finals.[11] In the 1970 World Cup Final, Brazil defeated Italy 4-1, and in the 1986 World Cup Final, Argentina defeated West Germany 3-2. It also hosted the 1986 quarter-final match between Argentina and England in which Diego Maradona scored both the "Hand of God goal" and the "Goal of the Century". The stadium also hosted the "Game of the Century", when Italy defeated West Germany 4-3 in extra time in one of the 1970 semifinal matches.

The stadium was also the principal venue for the football tournament of the 1968 Summer Olympics.[12]

History

An internal view of the stadium

The Estadio Azteca was designed by architects Pedro Ramírez Vázquez and Rafael Mijares Alcérreca and broke ground in 1961. The inaugural match was between Club América and Torino F.C. on 29 May 1966, with a capacity for 107,494 spectators. The first goal was scored by Brazilian Arlindo Dos Santos and the second one by Brazilian José Alves "Zague"; later, the Italians tied the game, which ended in 2-2 draw. Mexican president Gustavo Díaz Ordaz made the initial kick and FIFA president Sir Stanley Rous was the witness.

A modern illumination system was inaugurated on 5 June 1966 with the first night game played between Spanish side Valencia C.F. and Necaxa. The first goal of the match was scored by Honduran José Cardona for Valencia. Roberto Martínez o Caña Brava became the first Mexican to score a goal in the stadium after scoring for Necaxa. The result was a 3-1 victory for Valencia.

In 1978 the stadium hosted the final of the Copa Interamericana between América and Boca Juniors of Argentina, and would host a final again in 1990 between América and Club Olimpia of Paraguay.

The Estadio Azteca is also the site in which Pelé and Diego Maradona (during the 1970 and 1986 FIFA World Cup) lifted the trophy for the last time (The Jules Rimet Trophy and the current FIFA World Cup Trophy, respectively).

Estadio Azteca has also been used for musical performances throughout its history. Michael Jackson (5 sold-out shows in 1993),[13]U2 (in 2006 and 2011), Luis Miguel (in 2002), Elton John, Maná, Juan Gabriel, Gloria Estefan, Jaguares, Lenny Kravitz, *Nsync, Hanson, Ana Gabriel, and The Three Tenors all have become part of the stadium's main spectacle. The stadium has also been used for political events, including Mexican president Felipe Calderón's campaign closure in 2006, as well as religious events, such as Jehovah's Witnesses conventions, and the appearance of Pope John Paul II in 1999.[14]

2015-19 renovation plans

The stadium has undergone gradual improvements and renovations, including the replacing of seating within the stadium as well as the installation of electronic advertising boards. In May 2015, modern Panasonic LED panels were installed at the north and south ends of the stadium, replacing the phosphorous panels installed in 1998.[15]

In February 2015, a vast renovation plan was unveiled with the intention that the completion of the project coincide with the stadium's 50th anniversary and with Club América's centenary in 2016, as well as the construction of a commercial hub outside the stadium to be completed some time in 2019. It was reported that Grupo Televisa, owners of the stadium, approved a joint-venture bid from private development firms IQ Real Estate and Alhel. The hub, named "Foro Azteca", will reportedly consist of a mall, office spaces, two hotels, new leisure spaces and parking spaces for 2,500 cars.[4] The renovations to the stadium were planned in two phases; the first saw the demolition of the restaurant and seating at the lower east stand and the construction of a new hospitality area with dining and banqueting spaces. The second phase consisted of the construction of new media boxes and private skyboxes at the upper west stand.[16] The renovations to the stadium were completed in November 2016.[17] The seating capacity was ultimately reduced to 87,000 as a result of the renovations.

Name

Estadio Azteca prior to a kickoff

The name "Azteca" is a tribute to the Aztec heritage of Mexico City. The stadium is currently owned by Mexican multimedia conglomorate Televisa, which has a heated media rivalry with the similarly-named TV Azteca. Although there had been little to no confusion between the stadium and television network (which had only come into existence four years before in 1993), Televisa officially changed the stadium's name to Estadio Guillermo Cañedo on January 20, 1997, in tribute to Guillermo Cañedo de la Bárcena, a top network executive, former Mexican Football Federation president, and a prominent member of the FIFA executive committee who had died that day.[18] As with the similar situation with the defunct Candlestick Park in San Francisco in the United States and its sponsored names, few outside of Televisa itself took up the new name, and most of the general public probably had no thought about the stadium's ownership (much less the Televisa/Azteca rivalry) and continued to refer to the Estadio Azteca by its original (and current) name. After two of Cañedo's sons took a business interest in TV Azteca in 1998,[19] Televisa quietly returned to referring to it solely as Estadio Azteca.

The stadium has been given[by whom?] the nickname "Coloso de Santa Úrsula", which in English translates to "Colossus of Saint Ursula", due to its large structure. Santa Úrsula refers to the suburb where the stadium is located.[20]

Access and entrance

It is served by the Azteca station on the Xochimilco Light Rail line. This line is an extension of the Mexico City metro system which begins at Metro Tasqueña station and ends in the Xochimilco Light Rail Station.

Tickets are available up until kick-off times from the ticket office which is located at the front of the stadium, located towards the exit ramps from the Azteca station. Prices start from as little as MXN$100 (about US$5 as of 2016), and could cost up to MXN$500 (about US$26 as of 2016) for more high-profile matches.[21]

A panorama of Estadio Azteca during a Club América match (Mexico City) vs Tecos (Guadalajara),

Monuments and memorials

Plaque commemorating the "Game of the Century"

A commemorative bronze plaque of the "Game of the Century" played between Italy and West Germany, as well as Diego Maradona's "Goal of the Century" against England.

There is also a commemorative plaque with the names of the first goal scorer in the inaugural match and in the first match played at night.

Notable events

Spectators outside Estadio Azteca

Estadio Azteca has hosted a variety of international sporting competitions, including:

Football

American football

  • On 15 August 1994, Estadio Azteca hosted a preseason American Bowl game between the Houston Oilers and Dallas Cowboys which still holds the record for the highest attendance at any NFL game, with 112,376 in attendance.[24] The Houston Oilers won the game 6-0.
  • On 2 October 2005, the first international regular-season game in the history of the NFL was played in the stadium between the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals. The game was a 31-14 victory for the Cardinals. It set the record of the largest crowd to attend a regular-season NFL game with 103,467, but this record would be broken in 2009.[24]
  • On 21 November 2016, the Oakland Raiders hosted a home game along with the Houston Texans as part of the NFL International Series. It was the first Monday Night Football game played outside of the United States.[25] The game saw a sell-out crowd of 76,743 in a renovated Estadio Azteca.[26]
  • The Raiders will host the Patriots at the stadium on November 19, 2017 in the first game dubbed NFL Mexico Game.

Concerts

  • On 12 March 1983, Menudo was the first band to sell out a solo concert at the stadium with an attendance of over 100,000 people.[]
  • On 29, 31 October and 07, 09 and 11 November 1993, Michael Jackson finished the Dangerous World Tour with five sold out shows at this stadium, for a total of 500,000 people (circa 100,000 per show, more than any other artist or band, Mexican or International).[]
  • On 16 June 2000, Los Temerarios performed at the Estadio Azteca for the first time in their career, in a sold out concert with the max of capacity, was over 87,000 people that attended. This concert was filmed in live.[]
  • On 14 May 2011, Irish rock band U2 presented the 360° Tour scoring the most-attended concert on the tour with a total attendance of 110,000 people.[]
  • On 8 May 2012, Paul McCartney performed at the Estadio Azteca for the first time in his career, in a non-sold-out concert for 53,000 people.[27]
  • On 16 April 2016, Vicente Fernández played his farewell concert, titled "UN AZTECA EN EL AZTECA, ADIÓS A UN GRANDE", to a sell out crowd at the stadium with an attendance of over 100,000 people.[]

Christian events

  • Nigerian Pastor T.B. Joshua held a two-day Christian crusade, attracting an estimated 150,000 over both days.[28]

Funeral services

  • The funeral of fellow Mexican comedian Roberto Gomez Bolaños known as Chespirito was held on 30 November 2014. Chespirito was a long-time fan of the stadium's main tenant América. He also filmed there the main scenes of his movie El Chanfle in 1978, although the movie premiered in 1979.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Mexico: Azteca to lose capacity again". stadiumdb.com. 4 April 2016. Retrieved 2016. 
  2. ^ "El Monumental le gana a la Bombonera como estadio más emblemático". 12 April 2013. Archived from the original on 27 June 2013. 
  3. ^ "StadiumDB: Estadio Azteca". Retrieved 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Historia #5". stadiumdb.com. Archived from the original on 25 March 2016. Retrieved 2016. 
  5. ^ Longman, Jeré (10 August 2009). "In Mexico, a Soccer Stadium Where Visitors Gasp". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017. The massive bowl, Estadio Azteca, sits in the southern part of this sprawling metropolis like a concrete sombrero. The stadium's mystique -- especially its 105,000 spectators and its 7,200-foot altitude -- will play an integral role Wednesday in a World Cup qualifying match between Mexico and the United States. 
  6. ^ "Ranking the Top 10 Most Iconic Stadiums in World Football". Bleacherreport. Retrieved 2013. 
  7. ^ "Classic Stadium: Estadio Azteca". FIFA.com. 
  8. ^ Smart, Tony. "10 of the world's best sports venues". CNN. Retrieved 2012. 
  9. ^ Wilson, Steve. "World Soccer Stadiums". ESPN. Retrieved 2007. [permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Gordon, Aaron. "Mexico wins Mexican-American stadium war". Buzzfeed. Retrieved 2013. 
  11. ^ "Mexico's historical stadium". FIFA.com. Retrieved 2012. 
  12. ^ 1968 Summer Olympics official report.[permanent dead link] Volume 2. Part 1. pp. 78-79.
  13. ^ "Cronología Estadio Azteca". Archived from the original on 16 August 2007. Retrieved 2007. 
  14. ^ "Pide Juan Pablo II "superar" deficiencias en el progreso social". Retrieved 2007. 
  15. ^ "Panasonic's LED Large Screen Displays Provide an All-New Fan Experience at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City". Business Wire. Business Wire: A Berkshire Hathaway Company. 8 June 2015. Retrieved 2016. 
  16. ^ "Mexico: Azteca to lose capacity again". StadiumDB.com. 4 April 2016. Retrieved 2016. 
  17. ^ "El 'nuevo' Azteca" [The 'new' Azteca]. La Afición (in Spanish). Grupo Milenio. Retrieved 2016. 
  18. ^ "FIFA Senior Vice President Guillermo Cañedo has died". FIFA.com. Retrieved 1997.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  19. ^ Martínez, César. "Cañedo Whites go to TV Azteca". La Jornada. Retrieved 2007. 
  20. ^ Rai, Asha (14 March 2014). "Estadio Azteca: Seasons in the Sun". The Times of India. Retrieved 2014. 
  21. ^ "Estadio Azteca". Stadium Guide. 
  22. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=vu9TBAAAQBAJ&pg=PA26&lpg=PA26&dq=Martini,+Ladies+World+Cup+1971&source=bl&ots=ndZwQuYU4a&sig=03_7rlgifrQWuu1fSW-Hj3piiIY&hl=sv&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjA5d__z9vUAhVhP5oKHSTmCScQ6AEINzAG#v=onepage&q=Martini%2C%20Ladies%20World%20Cup%201971&f=false
  23. ^ a b https://www.dr.dk/tv/se/da-danmark-blev-verdensmestre-i-fodbold/-/temaloerdag-da-danmark-blev-verdensmestre-i-fodbold
  24. ^ a b "Cowboys set regular season attendance record". Pro Football Hall of Fame. August 21, 2009. Retrieved 2016. 
  25. ^ "Back to Mexico: Texans-Raiders to play Nov. 21 in Mexico City". NFL.com. February 5, 2016. Retrieved 2016. 
  26. ^ "Oakland Raiders Rally Past Houston Texans in Mexico City". New York Times. November 22, 2016. Retrieved 2016. 
  27. ^ https://www.webcitation.org/68PkwyNx5?url=http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/charts/currentboxscore.jsp
  28. ^ Elorriaga, Gerardo (2015-06-07). "El azote del maligno". Diario Sur (Spain). 

Further reading

External links

Coordinates: 19°18?10.48?N 99°9?1.59?W / 19.3029111°N 99.1504417°W / 19.3029111; -99.1504417


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