It may have been cheap and built really fast, but it still ended up being one of the most distinctive stadiums in Argentina and beyond. After all, you nominated it to become Stadium of the Year 2017, must have deserved it!
Our latest addition to StadiumDB is a reaction to your nominations for Stadium of the Year 2017. Its our only Argentine candidate this year and this 28,000-seater has quite a story to tell. What it doesn't have is a professional team to make full use of it, though...
Part of the Parque La Pedrera megaproject, this stadium in Villa Mercedes (east of San Luis) occupies 15 hectares of land within the 68-hectare development. It's literally surrounded by a racetrack and accompanied directly by amphitheatre (5,000 capacity), indoor hall (2,000), training field and parking sites for 2,000 cars.
Its very simple structure was a necessity both to meet modest budget ($58 million) and very strict time frame of just 12 months from groundbreaking to delivery. Eventually the deadline wasn't met, but missed just by weeks, allowing opening in early July, 2017, after just over 14 months of work. The inauguration game was a friendly between teams of former River Plate and Boca Juniors legends, Fernando Cavenaghi and Martin Palermo.
Apart from foundation and masonry works, almost all elements of the stadium were prefabricated. This allowed for fast progress, but the rough aesthetics of 8,000 m3 of reinforced concrete is noticable from the very first steps. These are made by almost all fans when they reach external bridges leading to the stands from a promenade allowing visitors to walk around the stadium.
Separate entrances were prepared for disabled supporters, media and VIP's, equipped with elevators to allow for better access. However, both the commentator cabins and skyboxes aren't part of the single-tier stands, they're actually containers attached to the roof.
Interestingly, two of the boxes are earmarked as educational facilities, with further floor space for schoolchildren reserved beneath the stands. Here a small exhibition space is available, while the south stand hides accommodation for 30 people.
But by far the most distinctive feature of the stadium is its outer wrap. Cheap like the rest of the stadium, it proves that budget doesn't limit originality. 28,000 m2 of tinware cover the roof and facades, with specific segments differing in colour significantly, representing 8 colours in total. This contrasting mosaic is instantly recognisable both in Argentina and beyond.
While simple, the stadium includes solutions either not used before in Argentina or used rarely. First one to have full LED lighting and two giant LED videoboards (110 m2 each), it will limit energy use compared to traditional stadia, while also collecting rainwater for internal use. To make it more versatile, the north stand has room for a concert stage, replaced with tubular seating section when not needed.