Estadio Azteca
Azteca Stadium
El Coloso de Santa Úrsula
"The Colossus of Santa Úrsula"
Stadium's interior
Map
Former namesEstadio Guillermo Cañedo (1997–1998)
LocationCoyoacan, Mexico City
Coordinates19°18′11″N 99°09′02″W / 19.30306°N 99.15056°W / 19.30306; -99.15056
Public transit Xochimilco Light Rail
OwnerTelevisa
OperatorOllamani, S.A.B.[1][2][3][4]
Executive suites856
Capacity87,523[5]
Record attendanceFootball: 119,853 (Mexico vs Brazil, 7 July 1968)[6]
Boxing: 132,247 (Julio César Chávez vs Greg Haugen, 20 February 1993)[7]
Field size105 m × 68 m (344 ft × 223 ft)
SurfaceKikuyu Grass[8]
ScoreboardPanasonic
Construction
Broke ground1961
Opened29 May 1966
Renovated1986, 1999, 2013 and 2016[9]
Construction costMXN$260 million
Architect
Tenants
Club América (1966–present)
Cruz Azul (1971–1996, 2018–2023)
Mexico national football team (1966–present)
Necaxa (1966–1971, 1982–2003)
Atlante (1966–1982, 1996–2001, 2004–2007)
UNAM (1967–1969)
Atlético Español (1971–1982)
Website
estadioazteca.com.mx

Estadio Azteca (Latin American Spanish: [esˈtaðjo asˈteka]) is a football stadium located in Mexico City.[10] It is the official home of football team Club América, as well as the Mexico national team. The stadium sits at an altitude of 2,200 m (7,200 feet) above sea level.[11] With a capacity of 87,523, it is the largest stadium in Latin America and the eighth-largest association football stadium in the world.

Regarded as one of the most famous and iconic football stadiums in the world,[12][13][14][15][16] it is the first to have hosted two FIFA World Cup finals;[17] the 1970 World Cup Final, where Brazil defeated Italy 4–1, and the 1986 World Cup Final, where Argentina defeated West Germany 3–2. It also hosted the 1986 quarter-final match between Argentina and England in which Diego Maradona scored both the "Hand of God goal" and the "Goal of the Century". The Estadio Azteca is the only football stadium in the world to have both Pelé (1970) and Diego Maradona (1986) win the FIFA World Cup, both of whom are considered among the greatest football players of all time. The stadium also hosted the "Game of the Century", when Italy defeated West Germany 4–3 in extra time in one of the 1970 semifinal matches. The stadium was also the principal venue for the football tournament of the 1968 Summer Olympics[18] and the 1971 Women's World Cup.[19] The stadium is scheduled to host games during the 2026 FIFA World Cup, including the opening game, making it the only stadium to host three editions of the FIFA World Cup.[20]

Additionally, the National Football League (NFL) features one game at Estadio Azteca per season as a part of its International Series.

History

Stadium in the year 1986

The Estadio Azteca was envisioned as a major sports venue during the presidency of Adolfo López Mateos, when Mexico was awarded the 1968 Summer Olympics, where the football final was held. The stadium 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; 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, aka 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.

Picture taken on 25 September 2011 before a match between Club America and Club Tijuana.

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),[21] Menudo (in 1983), U2 (in 2006 and 2011), Luis Miguel (in 2002), Paul McCartney (in 2012 and 2017), 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, such as Jehovah's Witnesses conventions and the appearance of Pope John Paul II in 1999.[22]

In April 2017, it was announced that starting July 2018, Cruz Azul would relocate to the Azteca on a temporary basis, due to the impending demolition of the Estadio Azul.[23]

The stadium is scheduled to host matches during the 2026 FIFA World Cup, including the opening match, in a tournament to take place in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. It will be the third time Azteca has hosted World Cup games; in 1970 and 1986, games also took place at the stadium.[24]

2015–19 renovation plans

Bench area and side stand

The stadium has undergone gradual improvements and renovations, including the replacing of seating within the stadium as well as the installation of electronic advertising boards. In May 2015, modern Panasonic LED panels were installed at the north and south ends of the stadium, replacing the phosphorous panels installed in 1998.[25]

In February 2015, a vast renovation plan was unveiled with the intention that the completion of the project coincide with the stadium's 50th anniversary and with Club América's centenary in 2016, as well as the construction of a commercial hub outside the stadium to be completed some time in 2019. It was reported that Grupo Televisa, owners of the stadium, approved a joint-venture bid from private development firms IQ Real Estate and Alhel. The hub, named "Foro Azteca", would reportedly consist of a mall, office spaces, two hotels, new leisure spaces, and parking spaces for 2,500 cars.[9] The renovations to the stadium were planned in two phases: the first saw the demolition of the restaurant and seating at the lower east stand and the construction of a new hospitality area with dining and banqueting spaces, and the second saw the construction of new media boxes and private skyboxes at the upper west stand.[26] The renovations to the stadium were completed in November 2016.[27] The seating capacity was ultimately reduced to 87,000 as a result of the renovations.

Name

Estadio Azteca prior to a kickoff

The name "Azteca" is a tribute to the Aztec heritage of Mexico City. The stadium is currently owned by Mexican multimedia conglomerate Televisa. In January 1997, Televisa officially changed the stadium's name to Estadio Guillermo Cañedo, in tribute to Guillermo Cañedo de la Bárcena, a top network executive, former Mexican Football Federation president, and a prominent member of the FIFA executive committee who had died earlier that month.[28] After the change proved to be unpopular with the public,[29] Televisa returned to referring to it solely as Estadio Azteca.

The stadium is also referred to by the nickname "Coloso de Santa Úrsula" ("Colossus of Santa Ursula"), due to its large structure and Santa Úrsula referring to the suburb where the stadium is located.[30]

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 until kick-off times from the ticket office which is located at the front of the stadium, located towards the exit ramps from the Azteca station. Prices start from as little as MXN$100 (about US$5 as of 2016), and could cost up to MXN$500 (about US$26 as of 2016) for more high-profile matches.[31]

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

FIFA World Cups

Pelé (top), and Diego Maradona (bottom), celebrate winning the FIFA World Cup at the stadium

Estadio Azteca has hosted the FIFA World Cup on two occasions, hosting a total of nineteen FIFA World Cup matches overall. The stadium hosted ten matches during the 1970 FIFA World Cup including the final. Sixteen years later the stadium hosted nine matches during the 1986 FIFA World Cup, including the final which was the second FIFA World Cup final to be played at the stadium. Estadio Azteca will host matches during the 2026 FIFA World Cup (including the opening ceremony) which will make the stadium the only stadium to have hosted the FIFA World Cup on three occasions.

List of 1970 FIFA World Cup matches

Date Time (UTC−6) Team #1 Res. Team #2 Round Attendance
1970-05-31 12:00  Mexico 0–0  Soviet Union Group 1 107,160
1970-06-03 16:00  Belgium 3–0  El Salvador 92,205
1970-06-06 16:00  Soviet Union 4–1  Belgium 95,261
1970-06-07 12:00  Mexico 4–0  El Salvador 103,058
1970-06-10 16:00  Soviet Union 2–0  El Salvador 89,979
1970-06-11 16:00  Mexico 1–0  Belgium 108,192
1970-06-14 12:00  Soviet Union 0–1  Uruguay Quarter-finals 26,085
1970-06-17 16:00  Italy 4–3  West Germany Semi-finals 102,444
1970-06-20 16:00  Uruguay 0–1  West Germany 3rd place match 104,403
1970-06-21 12:00  Brazil 4–1  Italy Final 107,412

List of 1986 FIFA World Cup matches

Date Time (UTC−6) Team #1 Res. Team #2 Round Attendance
1986-05-31 12:00  Bulgaria 1–1  Italy Group A 96,000
1986-06-03 12:00  Belgium 1–2  Mexico Group B 110,000
1986-06-07 12:00  Mexico 1–1  Paraguay 114,600
1986-06-11 12:00  Iraq 0–1  Mexico 103,763
1986-06-15 12:00  Mexico 2–0  Bulgaria Round of 16 114,560
1986-06-18 12:00  England 3–0  Paraguay 98,728
1986-06-22 12:00  Argentina 2–1  England Quarter-finals 114,580
1986-06-25 16:00  Argentina 2–0  Belgium Semi-finals 114,500
1986-06-29 12:00  Argentina 3–2  West Germany Final 114,600

2026 FIFA World Cup

Mexico City was formally announced as a host city for the FIFA World Cup in June 2020 when FIFA announced the host cities for the tournament. Mexico City is one of three host cities in Mexico and is one of sixteen host cities overall for the tournament which is being staged across the United States, Canada and Mexico.[32] In the lead-up to the 2026 FIFA World Cup, the stadium will undergo renovations.[33] However the renovations were scaled down after neighbors near the stadium complained about the project.[34] On 4 February 2024, it was revealed that the stadium would host the opening match of both Mexico and the tournament on 11 June 2026. In total, the stadium will host five matches, three group stage matches, one Round of 32 match, and one Round of 16 match.[35] With the planned renovations being six months behind schedule, FIFA declared that the stadium did not past their tests in March 2024, putting the stadium's hosting in jeopardy.[36]

List of 2026 FIFA World Cup matches

Date Time (UTC−6) Team #1 Res. Team #2 Round Attendance
2026-06-11 --:--  Mexico TBD Group TBD
2026-06-17 --:-- TBD TBD Group TBD
2026-06-24 --:--  Mexico TBD Group TBD
2026-06-30 --:-- TBD TBD Round of 32
2026-07-05 --:-- TBD TBD Round of 16

Other association football events

Fan violence

On 25 April 2022, a fight involving association football fans and the police ensued after a Cruz Azul versus Atlético San Luis game. No arrests or injuries were reported.[39] San Luis won the game, 1–0.

American football

See also: American Bowl, Fútbol Americano, and NFL International Series

Date Away Team Result Home Team Attendance
15 August 1994 Houston Oilers 6–0 Dallas Cowboys 112,376
17 August 1998 New England Patriots 21–3 Dallas Cowboys -
19 August 2000 Indianapolis Colts 24–23 Pittsburgh Steelers -
19 August 2001 Oakland Raiders 6-21 Dallas Cowboys -
2 October 2005 San Francisco 49ers 14–31 Arizona Cardinals 103,467
21 November 2016 Houston Texans 20–27 Oakland Raiders 76,473
19 November 2017 New England Patriots 33–8 Oakland Raiders 77,357
19 November 2018 Kansas City Chiefs 51–54 Los Angeles Rams (moved to Los Angeles;
poor field conditions)
18 November 2019 Kansas City Chiefs 24-17 Los Angeles Chargers 76,252
21 November 2022 San Francisco 49ers 38-10 Arizona Cardinals 78,427

Concerts

Date Artist Tour / concert name Attendance Ref.
March 12, 1983 Menudo 100,000
October 29 and 31, 1993
November 7, 9, and 11, 1993
Michael Jackson Dangerous World Tour 550,000 [47]
February 15, 1997 Gloria Estefan Evolution World Tour
June 16, 2000 Los Temerarios 100,000 [48]
March 3, 2001 Maná and Jaguares "ChiaPaz: Unidos Por La Paz" 104,000
March 2, 2002 Luis Miguel Mis Romances Tour
February 15 and 16, 2006 U2 Vertigo Tour 141,278
May 11, 14, and 15, 2011 U2 360° Tour 282,978
May 8, 2012 Paul McCartney On the Run 53,080 [49]
April 16, 2016 Vicente Fernández Un Azteca en el Azteca, Adiós a Un Grande 100,000
October 11 and 12, 2018 Shakira El Dorado World Tour 100,000
December 9 and 10, 2022 Bad Bunny World's Hottest Tour 115,000
December 21, 2023 RBD Soy Rebelde Tour 90,000 [50]

Christian events

Funeral services

See also

References

  1. ^ "El América y el Estadio Azteca 'arriban' a la Bolsa Mexicana de Valores: Televisa realizará OPI". El Financiero (in Spanish). 25 January 2024.
  2. ^ "El Club América debutará en la Bolsa Mexicana de Valores". El País (in Spanish). 26 January 2024.
  3. ^ "América y Estadio Azteca: monetizar la pasión en la Bolsa de Valores". ESPN Deportes (in Spanish). 19 February 2024.
  4. ^ "Mexico's America, Azteca Stadium set for stock market listing ahead 2026 World Cup". Reuters. 19 February 2024.
  5. ^ "2026 FIFA World Cup Bid Book" (PDF). p. 161. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 September 2021. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  6. ^ "El Monumental le gana a la Bombonera como estadio más emblemático". 12 April 2013. Archived from the original on 27 June 2013.
  7. ^ "StadiumDB: Estadio Azteca". Retrieved 5 September 2013.
  8. ^ "The NFL in Mexico City: Last year will not be repeated! | SportsField Management". 5 August 2019.
  9. ^ a b "Historia #5". stadiumdb.com. Archived from the original on 25 March 2016. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  10. ^ Mann, Chris (24 November 2009). "The 10 largest football stadiums in the world". soccerlens.com. Sports Lens. Archived from the original on 26 November 2009. Retrieved 24 November 2009.
  11. ^ Longman, Jeré (10 August 2009). "In Mexico, a Soccer Stadium Where Visitors Gasp". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 April 2017. The massive bowl, Estadio Azteca, sits in the southern part of this sprawling metropolis like a concrete sombrero. The stadium's mystique—especially its 105,000 spectators and its 7,200-foot altitude—will play an integral role Wednesday in a World Cup qualifying match between Mexico and the United States.
  12. ^ "Ranking the Top 10 Most Iconic Stadiums in World Football". Bleacherreport. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  13. ^ "Classic Stadium: Estadio Azteca". FIFA.com. Archived from the original on 16 July 2014.
  14. ^ Smart, Tony. "10 of the world's best sports venues". CNN. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
  15. ^ Mazur, Martin. "FourFourTwo's 100 Best Football Stadiums in the World: No.4". FourFourTwo. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  16. ^ Gordon, Aaron (9 April 2013). "Mexico wins Mexican-American stadium war". Buzzfeed. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  17. ^ "Mexico's historical stadium". FIFA.com. Archived from the original on 16 December 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  18. ^ 1968 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 2. Part 1. pp. 78–79.
  19. ^ Den glemte triumf: Da Danmark blev verdensmester i 1971 ['The forgotten triumph, when Denmark won the World Cup'] (in Danish)
  20. ^ Estadio Azteca: The Only Stadium To Have Three World Cups Now Mexico Will Co-Host 2026
  21. ^ "Cronología Estadio Azteca". Archived from the original on 16 August 2007. Retrieved 13 September 2007.
  22. ^ "Pide Juan Pablo II "superar" deficiencias en el progreso social". Retrieved 12 October 2007.
  23. ^ "Mexico City: Cruz Azul to relocate to Azteca". StadiumDB. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  24. ^ "Azteca in plans to host 2026 opener - De Maria". ESPN.com. 13 June 2018. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  25. ^ "Panasonic's LED Large Screen Displays Provide an All-New Fan Experience at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City". Business Wire. Business Wire: A Berkshire Hathaway Company. 8 June 2015. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  26. ^ "Mexico: Azteca to lose capacity again". StadiumDB.com. 4 April 2016. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  27. ^ "El 'nuevo' Azteca" [The 'new' Azteca]. La Afición (in Spanish). Grupo Milenio. 11 January 2016. Retrieved 17 November 2016.
  28. ^ "FIFA Senior Vice President Guillermo Cañedo has died". FIFA.com. 21 January 1997. Archived from the original on 3 November 2014. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  29. ^ "50 curiosidades y datos del Estadio Azteca". ESPN Deportes (in Spanish). 29 May 2016. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  30. ^ Rai, Asha (14 March 2014). "Estadio Azteca: Seasons in the Sun". The Times of India. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  31. ^ "Estadio Azteca". Stadium Guide. 26 April 2014.
  32. ^ FIFA announces hosts cities for FIFA World Cup 2026™
  33. ^ Mexico: Renovation of Estadio Azteca will take two years
  34. ^ "Estadio Azteca will undergo only a partial renovation to prepare for the 2026 World Cup". 23 August 2023.
  35. ^ Bushnell, Henry (4 February 2024). "2026 World Cup schedule reveal: FIFA picks New York for final, Mexico for opener, West Coast for USMNT". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved 4 February 2024.
  36. ^ "AS USA | NFL, NBA, soccer, MLB, golf, latest news and more".
  37. ^ Agergaard, Sine; Tiesler, Nina Clara (21 August 2014). Women, Soccer and Transnational Migration. Routledge. ISBN 9781135939380 – via Google Books.
  38. ^ "Da Danmark blev verdensmestre i fodbold - TV - DR".
  39. ^ "Riña en la explanada del estadio Azteca al finalizar el Cruz Azul vs Atlético de San Luis". 25 April 2022.
  40. ^ a b "Cowboys set regular season attendance record". Pro Football Hall of Fame. 21 August 2009. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  41. ^ "Back to Mexico: Texans-Raiders to play Nov. 21 in Mexico City". NFL.com. 5 February 2016. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  42. ^ "Oakland Raiders Rally Past Houston Texans in Mexico City". New York Times. 22 November 2016. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  43. ^ Shook, Nick (18 November 2017). "What to watch for in Patriots-Raiders in Mexico". NFL.com. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  44. ^ "Chiefs-Rams to play in Mexico City next season". NFL.com.
  45. ^ "NFL moves Rams-Chiefs from Mexico City to L.A." ESPN.com. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
  46. ^ "NFL unveils dates, times for 2019 international games". NFL.com.
  47. ^ "Récord de Michael Jackson".
  48. ^ "Bio – los Temerarios".
  49. ^ Current Boxscore
  50. ^ Lo que tienes que saber del último concierto de RBD en el Estadio Azteca
  51. ^ Elorriaga, Gerardo (7 June 2015). "El azote del maligno". Diario Sur (Spain).
  52. ^ "Estadio Azteca rompe marca de desalojo". Testigos de Jehová-Jehovah's Witnesses (in European Spanish). 15 December 2013. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  53. ^ "Testigos de Jehová limpian el Estadio". La Nación, Grupo Nación (in Spanish). Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  54. ^ "Con un multitudinario funeral en el estadio Azteca, México despidió a Chespirito". losandes.com.ar (in Spanish). 30 November 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
  55. ^ "Remembering Roberto Gómez Bolaños". ESPN.com. Retrieved 13 November 2018.

Further reading

Events and tenants
Preceded by Summer Olympics
Men's football final

1968
Succeeded by
Preceded by FIFA World Cup
Opening venue

1970
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Wembley Stadium
London
FIFA World Cup
Final venue

1970
Succeeded by
Olympiastadion
Munich
Preceded by FIFA World Cup
Opening venue

1986
Succeeded by
Preceded by FIFA World Cup
Final venue

1986
Succeeded by
Preceded by CONCACAF Gold Cup
Final venue

1993
Succeeded by
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Los Angeles
Preceded by FIFA Confederations Cup
Final venue

1999
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Rose Bowl
Pasadena
(Los Angeles)
CONCACAF Gold Cup
Final venue

2003
Succeeded by
Preceded by FIFA U-17 World Cup
Final venue

2011
Succeeded by
Preceded by FIFA World Cup
Opening venue

2026
Succeeded by
TBD
TBD