Estadio Centenario

Capacity80 000
Country Uruguay
CategoryDesign awaiting implementation
Design Gómez Platero Arquitectura & Urbanismo,Saceem


Estadio Centenario – design description

How did the plans to upgrade the Estadio Centenario come about?

Since the early 2000s, there has been talk of Uruguay's desire to host the World Cup in 2030, the centenary of the first World Cup, which also took place in the country. In 2017, the joint candidacy of Uruguay and Argentina to host the competition was announced. A little later, Paraguay and Chile also joined the bid.

The most important venue for the Uruguayan part of the bid was to be the legendary Estadio Centenario in Montevideo, where most of the World Cup matches were played in 1930, including the final. The venue had just been built for the World Cup in 1930 and had not undergone any significant changes since then. It was therefore clear that, in order to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup matches, it needed to undergo a major upgrade.

When was the vision for the modernisation of Estadio Centenario presented?

On August 17, 2023, a conference was held with the Secretary of Sports of Uruguay (Sebastián Bauzá), the President of the Uruguayan Football Association (Ignacio Alonso) and the President of CONMEBOL (Alejandro Domínguez), during which the first renderings of the Estadio Centenario upgrade, prepared by Gómez Platero Arquitectura & Urbanismo in collaboration with the construction company Saceem, were presented.

What are the objectives of Estadio Centenario modernisation project?

The project to modernise Estadio Centenario aims to preserve its original character, although it also proposes some significant changes. The pitch of the stadium is to be lowered and the lower sections of the stands will be rebuilt. The stands will be connected to each other and the west stand (Tribuna América) will be enlarged to equal the height of the rest of the auditorium.

An important evolution will be the roofing of almost all the stands. A small gap in the roofing will only be created around the stadium's characteristic tower (Torre de los Homenajes), which is to be retained.

The modernisation is expected to increase the stadium's capacity to 80,000 spectators. This is the minimum capacity required by FIFA to host the opening match and the World Cup final (Estadio Centenario was envisaged as a possible arena for the final should the candidature of the four South American countries be successful).

What role will Estadio Centenario play during the 2030 World Cup?

In the final stage of the battle to host the 2030 World Cup, two candidates remained in the contest: in addition to the South American one, there was also a joint bid from Spain, Portugal and Morocco, which was able to offer better infrastructure; the advantage of the South American countries was the reference to history (the centenary of the first edition).

The host of the tournament was to be announced in 2024, but already on October 4, 2023, FIFA announced that the competition would be played in six countries: mainly Spain, Portugal and Morocco, but at the beginning of the championship, as part of the celebration of the centenary of the World Cup, one game each would also be played in Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay. At the same time, it has been announced that Estadio Centenario will host the opening game.

When will Estadio Centenario be upgraded?

With the declaration that the opening game of the 2030 FIFA World Cup will be held at Estadio Centenario (to be combined with a special celebration of the centenary of the World Cup), its modernisation is now almost certain, although the possible timetable and costs are still unknown. The extension will not only allow the venue to host a match during the World Cup, but will also bring the venue up to modern standards and should preserve its status as the country's most important football stadium for decades to come.



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