Uruguay may demolish Centenario Stadium as part of World Cup bid

Fans of the Uruguay national team cheer for them during a match at the historic Centenario Stadium.

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay — Uruguay may demolish the historic Centenario stadium as part of its bid to host the 2030 World Cup.

The country’s sports secretary Fernando Caceres told The Associated Press that six projects were being considered for a new stadium.

The Centenario was built in 1930 to host the first World Cup.

In all six projects the existing 100-metre tower would be maintained, as a tribute to Uruguayan teams that won the gold medals at the 1924 and 1928 Olympics.

Caceres said the Centenario “cannot resist any longer because its maintenance is very costly and is not adapted to modern sporting entertainment.”

He did, however, say that demolishing the stadium would shock Uruguayans because of its symbolic value.

“Of course, people care. I also felt a great initial resistance when I heard the proposals but which construction work has not created initial resistance in this country,” Caceres said.

The Centenario was built in six months and Uruguay went on to become the first world champion by beating Argentina 4-2 in the final.

The stadium hosts Uruguay matches and also games for the two biggest clubs in the country, Penarol and Nacional. Those two teams, however, don’t play there regularly.

Caceres said up to $300 million could be invested for a new Centenario and a decision on a new project could be made within four months.

Many Uruguayans promise to resist. William Rey, a specialist on national heritage, is one.

“The Centenario stadium is important for Uruguay and for the world,” he said. “FIFA considers it to be a tribute to football. We almost don’t have stadia from those days and we have a golden piece here.”

Uruguay is expected to be part of a joint bid with Argentina and Paraguay for the 2030 edition of the tournament, which will also mark the 100-year anniversary of the World Cup.

Last week, the Argentine FA said it had agreed on 12 cities where they want to host the World Cup — a plan that would grant eight cities to Argentina and two each for Paraguay and Uruguay. The names of the cities were not disclosed.

Bidding is not due to open for another four years but leaders of all three national bodies say they want to make a joint bid.

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Uruguay may demolish the historic Centenario stadium as part of its bid to host the 2030 World Cup.

The country’s sports secretary Fernando Caceres told The Associated Press that six projects were being considered for a new stadium.

The Centenario was built in 1930 to host the first World Cup. Uruguay is bidding with Argentina and Paraguay to stage the 2030 edition.

In all six projects the existing 100-meter tower would be maintained, as a tribute to Uruguayan teams that won the gold medals at the 1924 and 1928 Olympics.

Caceres said the Centenario “cannot resist any longer because its maintenance is very costly and is not adapted to modern sporting entertainment.”

He did, however, say that demolishing the stadium would shock Uruguayans because of its symbolic value.

“Of course, people care. I also felt a great initial resistance when I heard the proposals but which construction work has not created initial resistance in this country?,” Caceres said.

The Centenario was built in six months and Uruguay went on to become the first world champion by beating Argentina 4-2 in the final.

The stadium hosts Uruguay matches and also games for the two biggest clubs in the country, Penarol and Nacional. Those two teams, however, don’t play there so often these days.

Caceres said up to $300 million could be invested for a new Centenario and a decision on a new project could be made within four months.

Many Uruguayans promise to resist. William Rey, a specialist on national heritage, is one.

“The Centenario stadium is important for Uruguay and for the world,” he said. “FIFA considers it to be a tribute to football. We almost don’t have stadia from those days and we have a golden piece here.”