Estadio Centenario Still Giving Memories 85 Years On
Completed to mark 100 years of Uruguay’s constitution and the 1930 World Cup, Estadio Centenario is still a spectacular place for an afternoon of football. On the edge of Parque Batlle in Montevideo, this arena seats up to 65,000 who come to see a variety of local teams and international matches. The stadium is showing its years, and will need major restoration work if it is to host the 2030 World Cup, which Uruguayans have assured me will be here to mark the centennial of football’s premier global event.
Tours are available during the week; most games occur on weekends. The cubist murals that ring the stadium, its art deco tower on the Olympic grandstand and a museum are all worth checking out. But experiencing the stadium is best done by watching a match. Several teams, including the venerable Peñarol, schedule games at Estadio Centenario throughout the season. You can check out the Uruguay Football Association (Asociación Uruguaya de Futbol) for information on games. For 150 to 200 pesos, it is great way to spend an afternoon. It was a sparse but boisterous crowd the day I ventured to see a match: Rentistas defeated River Plate, 2-0.
Currently an excellent exhibit of photographs from the 1930 World Cup, including images of Estadio Centenario’s construction, are on display at Centro de Fotografía (CdF) in Montevideo’s centro.
Image credits: Leon Kaye