BUENOS AIRES, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) — Argentine giants River Plate unveiled their revamped Monumental stadium on Thursday after an 11-month facelift.
Work included the removal of the venue’s athletics track and barbed wire fencing, building new restaurants and restrooms for fans and the implementation a free high-speed wifi system.
The redevelopment also involved the installation of a new pitch with hybrid technology that allows the ball to move faster and quickly removes excess water.
“It’s perfect. It’s the football pitch that we wanted,” River Plate manager and former Argentina international midfielder Marcelo Gallardo told reporters.
In the second stage of the redevelopment – for which a timetable has yet to be confirmed – the stadium’s capacity will increase from 74,000 to 80,000 fans.
Located in the northern Buenos Aires neighborhood of Nunez, El Monumental was the venue for Argentina’s 3-1 victory over the Netherlands in the 1978 World Cup final.
River Plate will play their first match at the new-look stadium against Rosario Central in Argentina’s Professional League Cup on Saturday. Enditem