Estadio Mario Alberto Kempes
|Other names||Estadio Olímpico Córdoba (1978-2010)|
|Inauguration||16.05.1978 (Argentina - Córdoba Selection)|
|Design||Hugo Oviedo, Alberto Ponce|
Estadio Mario Alberto Kempes – stadium description
Built with central budget funding, the stadium was completed in the rush ahead of 1978 World Cup, of which it hosted 5 group games and 3 ties of the knock-out phase. Its opening took place just weeks ahead of the tournament, on May 16. The stadium is located in north-eastern Córdoba, surrounded by public green.
For years its stands were criticized for poor view of the field. They weren’t only far from the pitch with athletic track around it), but also were in a shallow sunken bowl, making the worst seat be located 80 meters from the field! Only the main grandstand offered better conditions, not only providing a roof over its second tier, but actually having a second tier with steeper incline.
Due to negligence it wasn’t renovated until 2011, when it went through a complete revamp ahead of the Copa America. The eastern land-supported stand received a second tier with cover, while both end zones were removed and replaced by single-tiered steep ‘kop’-style stands, also covered and slightly moved towards the pitch.
Formally the stadium has no host to use it on a day-to-day basis, but most popular local teams use it frequently, with Belgrano and Talleres leading the run. Fans of the latter team presented one of the world’s largest flags once the stadium was redeveloped, in 2012.
Apart from club fixtures the stadium also hosted Argentina’s national side and popular football tournaments. Apart from the 1978 World Cup also Copa America was held here in 1987 and 2011 and U21 World Cup in 2001. These events were joined by numerous gigs by best-selling performers, including Madonna, Aerosmith or Shakira.