Estadio Centenario

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Estadio Centenario
Estadio Centenario (vista aérea).jpg
Estadio Centenario in 2017
Full nameEstadio Centenario
LocationAvenida Dr. Américo Ricaldoni y Federico Videla, Parque Batlle, Montevideo, Uruguay
Coordinates34°53′40″S 56°9′10″W / 34.89444°S 56.15278°W / -34.89444; -56.15278Coordinates: 34°53′40″S 56°9′10″W / 34.89444°S 56.15278°W / -34.89444; -56.15278
OwnerMontevideo Departmental Government
OperatorUruguayan Football Association
Capacity60,235 [1]
Record attendance79,867
(27 July 1930)
Field size105 x 68 m
Broke ground21 July 1929
Built1929–30 (8 months)
OpenedJuly 18, 1930
Construction cost$1,000,000
ArchitectDiego Alberto Scasso
Uruguay national football team (1930–present)

Estadio Centenario is a stadium in the Parque Batlle neighborhood of Montevideo, Uruguay, used primarily for football. The stadium was built between 1929 and 1930 to host the inaugural 1930 FIFA World Cup, as well as to commemorate the centennial of Uruguay's first constitution. It is listed by FIFA as one of the football world's classic stadiums.[3] On July 18, 1983, it was declared by FIFA as the only historical monument of World Football, the only building of its kind worldwide.[4][5]

Estadio Centenario is the primary home of the Uruguay national team. Uruguay has always been a threat when playing in their home stadium, consistently beating top teams. Even the top ranked Brazil national football team has only managed three wins in 20 opportunities; two were official matches during 2010 and 2018 World Cup qualification, but one was Uruguay's heaviest defeat at the stadium, when they lost 4–0 to Brazil in 2009.


The construction of the Centenario is one of the most important stages in the development of sports in South America and international football. It was built especially for the organization of the 1930 FIFA World Cup, by immigrant workers in a record time of nine months. Its name originates from the celebration of 100 years of the ratification of the first Constitution of Uruguay.

Initially, all World Cup matches were to be played in the Centenario. However, heavy rains in Montevideo delayed construction of the stadium, so that several matches had to be played in the Pocitos Stadium of Club Atlético Peñarol, and the Parque Central of Club Nacional de Football. It was inaugurated on July 18, 1930, in the match between Uruguay and Peru, with the Celeste gaining victory 1–0, with a goal by Hector "Manco" Castro.[6]

Belgian referee John Langenus on the pitch before the 1930 FIFA World Cup Final

The final match of the inaugural World Cup matched Uruguay and Argentina, with Uruguay winning 4–2.[7] Since then, the Centenario has been the scene of Copa América (1942, 1956, 1967, 1995), three South American Youth Championships (1979, 2003, 2015), a South American Under-17 Football Championship (1999) and 1980 Mundialito.


Estadio Centenario. Panorama from Olympic tribune.

Aside from the Uruguay national team, any football club can rent the stadium for its home matches.[5] Peñarol has done that often,[8] and Nacional rents it for some international matches.[9] Peñarol played all of its home matches at the stadium from 1933 until it moved to Estadio Campeón del Siglo in 2016.

In the case of other Uruguayan teams, they often decide to play there against both Peñarol and Nacional.[8][9]


The stadium has four Grandstand separated by four lanes. The main one is the Olympic Tribune (and lower Platea known as Olympic), which is named so because the team had won two Olympic championships in a row (1924 and 1928). This has a maximum capacity of 21,648 spectators located in the three rings and the audience.[1] Then there are the "popular", so called because they are sold cheaper, these are: the Colombes, in honor of the Colombes, France in which the national team became Olympic champions 1924 and Amsterdam, because it was where the Celeste were crowned Olympic champions for the second time in 1928. The Grandstand Colombes accommodates 13,914 spectators while the Amsterdam accommodates 13,923.[1] The America Tribune is parallel to the Olympic one. There are also "VIP" boxes and press boxes with room for 1,882 spectators, as well as the platform has room for 2,911 spectators, and additionally the grandstand has room for 5,957 people.[1]

Under the Olympic Grandstand are located primary school "Nº 100 Héctor Fígoli"; and the Museum of Uruguayan Football. Under the Colombes Grandstand is located Police Station Nº9.

Video of the stadium prior to a game against Brazil in June 2009


The stadium has held numerous concerts by both national and international artists such as:[10]

Olympic Tribune

1930 FIFA World Cup[edit]

Estadio Centenario hosted ten matches of the 1930 FIFA World Cup, including the opening and the final matches.

Date Time Team No. 1 Res. Team No. 2 Round Attendance
18 July 1930 14:30  Uruguay 1–0  Peru Group 3 57,735
19 July 1930 12:50  Chile 1–0  France Group 1 2,000
19 July 1930 15:00  Argentina 6–3  Mexico Group 1 42,100
20 July 1930 13:00  Brazil 4–0  Bolivia Group 2 25,466
20 July 1930 15:00  Paraguay 1–0  Belgium Group 4 12,000
21 July 1930 14:50  Uruguay 4–0  Romania Group 3 70,022
22 July 1930 14:45  Argentina 4–1  Chile Group 1 41,459
26 July 1930 14:45  Argentina 6–1  United States Semi-final 72,886
27 July 1930 14:45  Uruguay 6–1  Yugoslavia Semi-final 79,867
30 July 1930 14:15  Uruguay 4–2  Argentina Final 68,346


3. Gigapan Estadio Centenario.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
FIFA World Cup
Opening Venue

Succeeded by
All 8 venues used for
the 1934 FIFA World Cup,
matches on the first day were
all played at the same time
Preceded by
FIFA World Cup
Final Venue

Succeeded by
Stadio del PNF
Preceded by
Estadio Nacional de Chile
South American Championship
Final Venue

Succeeded by
Estadio Nacional de Chile
Preceded by
Estadio Monumental Isidro Romero Carbo
Copa América
Final Venue

Succeeded by
Estadio Hernando Siles
La Paz