A Happy Ending After 12 Long Years
12 painful years and well worth the wait.
Nothing boring about this stadium opening in Argentina and also the history behind it. A story within a story if you like. Let me give you some back ground first behind the team that played there originally. The stadium was originally built in 1907 and was predominantly made of wood. You can understand the safety concerns even though it could only house just over 20 000 people.
In 2005 it was closed down for safety concerns as 98 year old timber with several coats of paint I would suggest could be highly flammable. New safety rules prohibited any wooden stadiums and thus the towns stadium was now condemned. Estudiantes the team that played at the stadium got a court order allowing them to be exempt and allow them to carry on as per normal. Someone must have been paid somewhere along the line.
Even though they had a court order allowing them to go against the rules and regulations the mayor refused them access and obviously a rift formed between the mayor and the club. Surprise, surprise the city built a new stadium which the mayor then offered to the team and they refused to use it. Sounds like the mayor planned the new safety regulations and the new stadium with some possible kick backs somewhere. I am just guessing, but most officials are corrupt and this is South America as well.
The club submitted plans for a new stadium for themselves but was refused planning permission by the mayor saying that the new stadium had to be used which had been built by the city. In April of the following year a judicial order was passed allowing for a new stadium to be built in the same spot as the old one. You guessed it the mayor jumped in the middle again and refused the club any building rights.
The club wasn't finished yet though and spoke to a neighboring town called Ensenada which was only a few kilometers away. They agreed to go ahead and allow the team to build a new stadium. A certain ex player which most football fans from the English Premiership will recognise helped with the negotiations and is tipped to become President of the club in the future.
In the meantime the club was using the stadium in nearby Quilmes for it's home games until that was blocked from them by the mayor yet again. They say it was for security risks and the football security authority wouldn't give the club certification. In the end Estudiantes was forced to use the city stadium until there new stadium was ready. Work began in 2007 and opened last weekend so it took them a good 12 years to finally get their new home.