Estadio Roberto Meléndez (Metropolitano)
|Clubs||CD Junior FC, Universidad Autónoma del Caribe FC|
|Other names||Estadio Metropolitano (1986-1991)|
|Inauguration||11/05/1986 (Junior - Uruguay, 2-1)|
|Cost||COP 20.6 billion (1986), 22.5 billion (2010-2011)|
|Design||José Francisco Ramos, Oscar Ramos, Roberto Salcedo|
|Address||Esquina. Av. Circunvalar., Murillo Toro, Barranquilla, Atlántico, Columbia|
Description: Estadio Metropolitano
Barranquilla may be among Colombia’s largest cities, but since 1934 it only had a modest 10,000-capacity stadium. Its expansions were criticized and thus it was decided in late 1970s to build a new representative sports venue in southern parts of the metropolis.
Construction began in 1980 and was delivered in phases. First the west stand, later the east and by 1986 all four sides were ready. Upon opening it was called simply Estadio Metorpolitano, but in 1991 the name of local football legend Roberto Melendez was added.
It wasn’t only impressive and modern when built, it was among the best in Latin America. Partly covered and double-tiered stands were able to hold 65,000 people, possibly even 70,000 (depending on source). 1,600 parking spaces were created west of the stadium and when approached, it’s very distinctive due to concrete ramps leading to the stands.
In its short history the stadium underwent several renovations, but retained its initial shape. The greatest and most thorough investment was made in 2010-2011, when an amount greater than initial construction cost was pumped into upgrading the building.
That upgrade was ran ahead of the 2011 U20 World Cup, which is only one of many sports events held here. Weekly use is provided by two local clubs: Junior and Uniautonoma. Also, the national team of Colombia plays its competitive games here.