It’s supposed to be one-of-a-kind stadium that might challenge the balance of football powers in Buenos Aires. The new San Lorenzo stadium is available for public viewing, as it awaits the green light.
For fans of San Lorenzo it’s really intense: the holy grail of returning home after 40 years is becoming more and more tangible each day. Preparations for the construction of a new home in the Boedo district are gaining pace after November’s first reading of the new zoning plan, which ended in unanimous approval.
Over the past year we’ve learnt that San Lorenzo hired Spanish powerhouse IDOM to deliver an iconic design. Since then there were incidents of leaked images, unconfirmed but enticing. Now the wait is over, at least to some extent. The stadium’s model has been revealed, proving how the future ground will look.
Marcelo Tinelli, president of the club, declared:
It is a dream come true to see the model of the San Lorenzo stadium. It is one more folly that we are now going to spearhead to carry it out. More than a stadium, it is an integral center with a stadium in the middle. We will do what the neighbors ask of us, fulfilling the real needs that they demanded of us.
Like an artwork, the model had its vernissage on Monday and is now available for everyone to see. Because of COVID and large interest, visiting the experience centre is possible only after registration, which means fans might have to wait a while to see the mockup live.
What we know about the new San Lorenzo stadium
The model’s presentation was accompanied by the release of the stadium’s first rendering. We’re still waiting for a complete set of visuals but the amount of information revealed is already significant. First and foremost, the official capacity stands at 46,264 seats.
Second, we know the seating bowl’s layout. Because the land currently occupied by Carrefour is more square than rectangular, majority of seats have to be placed on the sides rather than behind goals. This resulted in a truly impressive main stand with a steep, towering upper tier, exceeding 50 rows at peak!
The lower tier is below street level, which means fans will access the stadium and reach the concourse level without any staircases. Behind the lower tier a two-level underground parking will be created, freeing up the limited space around the stadium on ground level. It will be occupied by secondary stadium uses, primarily commercial and leisure.
The western facade of the stadium is primarily fascinating. Here, under the upturned, cable-supported canopy, semi-open terraces will be created, rising to 7 level above the ground.
Diego Rodríguez, an architect of the IDOM design team, explained that this stadium is characterized by a design which physically and socially integrates with the Boedo neighborhood, with a scale that has been thoroughly studied to integrate into the neighborhood.
César Azcárate, responsible for the project, added that this is a state-of-the-art stadium, meeting all FIFA and CONMEBOL standards, attentive to the tradition and history of Club Atlético San Lorenzo, which goes beyond football, integrating neighborhood uses, public and green space, commercial uses in the Avenida de la Plata, grandstands putting pressure on the pitch and a unique roof that contributes to generating the best football atmosphere, while at the same time boosting the activity of the environment in all aspects.
What comes next?
Along with the model’s public viewing, today another public process is beginning. Hearings related to the new zoning plan are to begin, with as many as 1,274 people registered to speak. Scheduled to take 4 hours per day, the process should end with the second reading in second half of March. The second reading, in turn, is expected to be followed by another approving vote.
It’s not the end of the bureaucratic road for the plan but a crucial element needed to enable further works. At the same time San Lorenzo are fighting to secure the financial structure that will bear the massive cost of the project. Talks with numerous potential partners from around the world are ongoing.
Why are San Lorenzo building in Boedo?
The selected piece of land lies 2.2 km north-east of Nuevo Gasómetro and it’s no accident that El Ciclón are trying to move into a densely populated area. The plot currently occupied by Carrefour is where the club’s historical home, currently known as Viejo Gasómetro, was built in 1916. At peak it was able to hold 75,000 people and was called the ‘Argentinian Wembley’. This, of course, spoke of its significance rather than visual resemblance.
But San Lorenzo were expropriated in 1979 and by 1981, 40 years ago, the old stadium was razed. Over the years there were numerous efforts to return to the spiritual roots but only in 2019 El Ciclón have secured ownership of the land once more. Now they intend to deliver Argentina’s best football stadium and we’ll be watching their efforts with fingers crossed!
Author: Michał Karaś