Estadio Gasómetro

The San Lorenzo de Almagro Stadium (popularly known as Estadio Gasómetro)[1][2] was a football stadium located in the neighborhood of Boedo in Buenos Aires. Inaugurated in 1916, the stadium was the home ground of club San Lorenzo de Almagro before they moved to their new venue, Estadio Pedro Bidegain, which is sometimes referred to as "Estadio Nuevo Gasómetro" ("New Gasometer"), in 1993. The stadium had a capacity of 75,000 people.[1]

San Lorenzo Stadium
Estadio de San Lorenzo
Gasómetro
Estadio gasometro vista aerea 1950.jpg
Aerial view of the stadium, 1950
AddressAv. La Plata and Inclán
Buenos Aires
Argentina
OwnerSan Lorenzo de Almagro
TypeStadium
Genre(s)Sporting events
Capacity75,000
Field size110 x 70 m
SurfaceGrass
Construction
Opened7 May 1916
Closed2 Dec 1979
DemolishedAugus 1981
Years active1916–1979
Tenants
San Lorenzo de Almagro

The stadium was nicknamed Gasómetro due to its exterior facade that reminded of a gas holder, very common at the time. It has a capacity of 75,000 spectators, being the largest stadium of Argentina until the construction of Estadio Presidente Juan Domingo Perón, home venue of Racing Club de Avellaneda, inaugurated in 1950.[3] Racing's stadium had a capacity of 100,000 spectactors, then reduced to 66,000 in the 1990s.[4] The stadium was one of the venues for the 1929 South American Championship.

HistoryEdit

 
Funeral of player Jacobo Urso in the stadium, August 1922

The stadium was inaugurated on May 7, 1916, in a Primera División match between San Lorenzo and Estudiantes de La Plata, won by San Lorenzo 2–1.[5] During the first years of the 1920s the club built a grandstand with roof. In August 1922, the stadium hosted the funeral of player Jacobo Urso, died on August 6 in the hospital. Urso had been injured in a match v Estudiantes de Buenos Aires, where he broke some ribs after a collision with a rival. 7,000 people attended Urso's funeral, with his coffin being carried by his teammates and players of Czech team Teplitzer FK, which was touring on Argentina at the moment of the funeral.[6]

In June 1928, San Lorenzo acquired the land (rented until then) and started a new refurbishing on it. The new structures used for the exterior changed the face of the stadium, resembling a gas holder so it would be soon nicknamed Gasómetro. The Argentina national football team played its first match at Gasómetro on June 16, 1929, beating Uruguay 2–0 in a friendly match. Both teams faced again on September 28 in a Copa Lipton match, in front of a huge attendance.[1]

 
As the facade of the stadium looked like a gas holder, it was nicknamed Gasómetro

Despite of being the largest stadium of the time, the huge attendance frequently surpassed the stadium's capacity. In 1935, San Lorenzo announced they were planning to acquired a land to build a new stadium for 150,000 spectactors. The land was located only 20 blocks from the Gasómetro. Nevertheless, the project was soon abandoned and never relaunched.[1]

In 1936, San Lorenzo installed the first lighting system in the stadium. Lights were mounted on four columns placed on the four sides of the field. Three years later, the old grandstand with roof was replaced and the stadium extended its capacity to 75,000. During the end of the 1930s, the Gasómetro hosted three games of Copa Aldao, the most important competition in South America by then.[7]

The club's debt grew in the 1970s and they were forced to sell the ground to the government in 1979, who subsequently sold it to Carrefour supermarket.[8] The last match played at the Gasómetro was hosted on December 2, 1979. San Lorenzo and Boca Juniors tied 0–0 in a 1979 Torneo Nacional match. The stadium was demolished two years later.[2]

Return to BoedoEdit

 
View of the stadium in 1970

After the stadium was closed, San Lorenzo fans made several attempts to get the former land back to the institution. In 2008, the Legislature of Buenos Aires approved a project of "Historic Restitution" of the Avenida La Plata land. In 2010, supporters of the club carried the project of Historic Restitution to the National Legislature. The project included the expropriation of the land on Avenida La Plata (where French chain Carrefour had built a supermarket there) and the restitution to Club San Lorenzo. On March 8, 2012, 100,000 people met at Plaza de Mayo to claim for the law, which was finally approved on 15 November 2012.[9]

On April 4, 2014, the club signed an agreement with Carrefour which stated that the land would be restituted to San Lorenzo, with the club and the supermarket sharing the land.[10] In April 2019, Carrefour announced that the supermarket on Avenida La Plata would be closed definitely.[11]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d El Gasómetro (San Lorenzo) on Viejos Estadios blogsite
  2. ^ a b San Lorenzo y el Gasómetro, un exilio de 40 años by Cristian Dellocchio on Página/12, 2 Dec 2019
  3. ^ EL CILINDRO DE AVELLANEDA CUMPLE 65 AÑOS on DXTV, 3 Sep 2015
  4. ^ El estadio de Racing cumple 70 años on Télam, 3 Sep 2020
  5. ^ Argentina 1916 by Osvaldo Gorgazzi on the RSSSF
  6. ^ La vida por los colores (en serio) by Diego Fucks on Chavo Fucks website
  7. ^ La madre de la Copa Libertadores on Pasión Fútbol, 9 Aug 2013
  8. ^ Jonathan Wilson (24 April 2014). "San Lorenzo look to divine alignment to help break Copa Libertadores duck". the guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 19 March 2021.
  9. ^ A 5 años de la restitución histórica on Mundo Azulgrana, 15 Nov 2017
  10. ^ San Lorenzo firmò un acuerdo con Carrefour on La Nación 14 May 2013
  11. ^ Carrefour cerrará su sucursal de Avenida La Plata el 6 de mayo, 25 Apr 2019

Coordinates: 34°38′06.06″S 58°25′24.68″W / 34.6350167°S 58.4235222°W / -34.6350167; -58.4235222