Estadio Azteca

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Estadio Azteca
Aztec Stadium
El Coloso de Santa Úrsula
Logotipo Estadio Azteca.png
Outside part of the stadium
Location Mexico City, Mexico
Broke ground 1961
Opened 29 May 1966
Renovated 1985
Owner Televisa
Operator Club América
Surface Grass
Construction cost MXN$ 260 million
Architect Pedro Ramírez Vázquez
Rafael Mijares Alcérreca
Capacity 105,0001
Executive suites 856
Record attendance Football: 119,853 (Mexico-Brazil, 7 July 1968)2
Boxing: 132,247 (Julio César Chávez vs Greg Haugen, 20 February 1993)3
Field dimensions 105 m × 68 m (344 ft × 223 ft)
Tenants
Mexico national football team (1966–present)
América (Liga MX) (1966–present)
Necaxa (1966–70 and 1982–2003)
Atlante (1966–82, 1996–2001 and 2004–2007)
Universidad Nacional (1967–1969)
Atlético Español (1970–1982)
Cruz Azul (1971–1996)
American Bowl (1994, 1997–1998, and 2000–2001)
NFL International Series (2005)

Estadio Azteca (Spanish pronunciation: [esˈtaðjo aθˈteka], Aztec Stadium) is a stadium in Santa Ursula, Mexico City, Mexico. It is the official home stadium of the Mexican football club América and the official national stadium of Mexico national football team.

Regarded as one of the most iconic football stadiums in the world,4 the stadium has the honour of being the first stadium in the world to have hosted two FIFA World Cup Finals.5 In the 1970 World Cup final, Brazil defeated Italy 4–1 and in the 1986 World Cup final, Argentina defeated West Germany 3–2. It also hosted the 1986 quarter-final between Argentina and England in which Diego Maradona scored both the "Hand of God goal" and the "Goal of the Century". The stadium also hosted the "Game of the Century", when Italy defeated West Germany 4–3 in extra time in one of the 1970 semifinals. The stadium was also the principal venue for the football tournament of the 1968 Summer Olympics.6

With an official capacity of 105,064, it is the largest stadium in Mexico, the third-largest stadium in the American continent, the sixth-largest in the world and the largest association football-specific stadium in the world.7

History

An internal view of the stadium

The Estadio Azteca was designed by architects Pedro Ramírez Vázquez and Rafael Mijares Alcérreca and broke ground in 1961. The inaugural match was between Club América and Torino F.C. on 29 May 1966, with a capacity for 107,494 spectators. The first goal was scored by Brazilian Arlindo Dos Santos and the second one by Brazilian José Alves "Zague"; later, the Italians tied the game, which ended in 2–2 draw. Mexican president Gustavo Díaz Ordaz made the initial kick and FIFA president Sir Stanley Rous was the witness.

A modern illumination system was inaugurated on 5 June 1966 with the first night game played between Spanish side Valencia C.F. and Necaxa. The first goal of the match was scored by Honduran José Cardona for Valencia. Roberto Martínez o Caña Brava became the first Mexican to score a goal in the stadium after scoring for Necaxa. The result was a 3–1 victory for Valencia.

In 1978 the stadium hosted the final of the Copa Interamericana between América and Boca Juniors of Argentina, and would host a final again in 1990 between América and Club Olimpia of Paraguay.

The Estadio Azteca is also the site in which Pelé and Diego Maradona (during the 1970 and 1986 FIFA World Cup) lifted the trophy for the last time (The Jules Rimet Trophy and the current FIFA World Cup Trophy, respectively).

Estadio Azteca has also been used for musical performances throughout its history. Michael Jackson (5 sold-out shows in 1993),8 U2 (in 2006 and 2011), Luis Miguel (in 2002), Elton John, Maná, Juan Gabriel, Gloria Estefan, Jaguares, Lenny Kravitz, *Nsync, Hanson, Ana Gabriel, and The Three Tenors all have become part of the stadium's main spectacle. The stadium has also been used for political events, including Mexican president Felipe Calderón's campaign closure in 2006, as well as religious events, like the appearance of Pope John Paul II in 1999.9

Name

Estadio Azteca prior to a kickoff

The name "Azteca" is a tribute to the Aztec heritage of Mexico City. The stadium is now owned by Mexican TV consortium Televisa. In order to avoid people associating the stadium's name with that of its rival TV Azteca, Televisa officially changed the stadium's name to Guillermo Cañedo, a top executive, long-time football advocate at Televisa and prominent member of the executive committee of FIFA. The change took place in 1997, following Cañedo's death on 20 January 1997.10 However the change did not go well with the general population, who generally refused to refer to the stadium by its formally new name. Following a schism where two of Cañedo's sons, who worked at Televisa, switched camps and went to TV Azteca,11 Televisa quietly returned the stadium's name to its original version. Some people did not even notice, as they usually referred to the stadium as "Azteca" during the name change.

The stadium has been given the nickname "Coloso de Santa Ursula" which in English means "Colossus of Saint Ursula", due to its large structure. Santa Ursula refers to the part of town where the stadium resides in Mexico City.12

Access and entrance

It is served by the Azteca station on the Xochimilco Light Rail line. This line is an extension of the Mexico City metro system which begins at Metro Tasqueña station and ends in the Xochimilco Light Rail Station.

Tickets are available, up to kick-off times, from the ticket office which is located at the front of the stadium, just down the exit ramps from the Azteca station. Tickets start from as little as 150 pesos (12 U.S. Dollars as of 2010). For bigger matches such as Club América's games against Chivas de Guadalajara, Cruz Azul and UNAM Pumas where sellouts are common, numerous touts circulate offering tickets at competitive prices.

A panorama of Estadio Azteca during a Club América match (Mexico City) vs Tecos (Guadalajara),

Monuments and memorials

Plaque commemorating the "Game of the Century"

A commemorative bronze plaque of the "Game of the Century" played between Italy and West Germany, as well as Diego Maradona's "Goal of the Century" against England.

There is also a commemorative plaque with the names of the first goal scorer in the inaugural match and in the first match played at night.

Notable events

Spectators outside Estadio Azteca

Estadio Azteca has hosted a variety of international sporting competitions, including:

See also

References

  1. ^ "Estadio Azteca". esmas.com. 2011-01-08. Retrieved 2011-01-08. 
  2. ^ "El Monumental le gana a la Bombonera como estadio más emblemático". 12 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "StadiumDB: Estadio Azteca". Retrieved 5 September 2013. 
  4. ^ "Ranking the Top 10 Most Iconic Stadiums in World Football". Bleacherreport. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "Mexico's historical stadium". FIFA.com. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  6. ^ 1968 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 2. Part 1. pp. 78–79.
  7. ^ "The 10 Largest Football Stadiums In The World". Soccerlens. Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  8. ^ "Cronología Estadio Azteca". Retrieved 2007-09-13. 
  9. ^ "Pide Juan Pablo II "superar" deficiencias en el progreso social". Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  10. ^ "FIFA Senior Vice President Guillermo Cañedo has died". FIFA.com. Retrieved 21 January 1997. 
  11. ^ Martínez, César. "Cañedo Whites go to TV Azteca". La Jornada. Retrieved 13 September 2007. 
  12. ^ Rai, Asha (14 March 2014). "Estadio Azteca: Seasons in the Sun". The Times of India. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  13. ^ Dangerous Tour
  14. ^ http://www.webcitation.org/query?id=1339676569778155&date=@0&fromform=1

Further reading

External links

Coordinates: 19°18′10.48″N 99°9′1.59″W / 19.3029111°N 99.1504417°W / 19.3029111; -99.1504417

Preceded by
National Stadium
Tokyo
Summer Olympics
Football Men's Finals (Estadio Azteca)

1968
Succeeded by
Olympiastadion
Munich
Preceded by
Wembley Stadium
London
FIFA World Cup
Final Venue

1970
Succeeded by
Olympiastadion
Munich
Preceded by
Santiago Bernabéu
Madrid
FIFA World Cup
Final Venue

1986
Succeeded by
Stadio Olimpico
Rome
Preceded by
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Los Angeles
CONCACAF Gold Cup
Final Venue

1993
Succeeded by
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Los Angeles
Preceded by
King Fahd II Stadium
Riyadh
FIFA Confederations Cup
Final Venue

1999
Succeeded by
International Stadium Yokohama
Yokohama
Preceded by
Rose Bowl
Pasadena
CONCACAF Gold Cup
Final Venue

2003
Succeeded by
Giants Stadium
East Rutherford
Preceded by
first venue
National Football League
Host stadium of international regular season game
San Francisco 49ers v. Arizona Cardinals

2 October 2005
Succeeded by
Wembley Stadium, London, England
New York Giants v. Miami Dolphins
28 October 2007







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