Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica (2011)

The National Stadium of Costa Rica (Spanish: Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica) is a multi-purpose stadium in La Sabana Metropolitan Park, San José, Costa Rica. It is the first modern sport and event arena to be built in Central America.[3] The stadium was completed in 2011 and officially opened its doors to the public on March 26 that year, with a capacity of 35,175 seats.[2][3] The stadium replaced the original National Stadium, and is the home stadium of the Costa Rica national football team.[4]

Estadio Nacional
La Joya de La Sabana[1]
Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica - Logo.png
Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica.jpg
LocationSan José San José, Costa Rica
Coordinates9°56′11″N 84°6′28″W / 9.93639°N 84.10778°W / 9.93639; -84.10778Coordinates: 9°56′11″N 84°6′28″W / 9.93639°N 84.10778°W / 9.93639; -84.10778
Capacity35,175 [2]
Broke ground2008
OpenedMarch 26, 2011
Construction costUS$110 million
General contractorAnhui Foreign Economic Construction China
Costa Rica national football team

It has one high-definition 160-square-metre (1,700 sq ft) screen, located in the southern section of the stadium, along with a smaller monochromatic screen, and another monochromatic screen of the same dimensions in the northern section.[5]

It was used to host matches during the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup, including the opening game, the third place match and the Final.

It will be used to host matches during the 2021 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, including the opening game and the Final.

Funding and ConstructionEdit

Although the cost was programmed at the beginning to around $88 million, this was later adjusted to $100 million.[6]

The Chinese government financed the construction of the stadium in its totality, along with its furnishing, and assumed all other costs.[7] Demolition of the old National Stadium began May 12 of 2008, after the match between UCR (Universidad de Costa Rica) and Brujas FC[8] and the 200M event where Nery Brenes set a new national record (20:28 seconds).

The construction of the stadium formed part of the agreements signed between the presidents of Costa Rica and China, Óscar Arias and Hu Jintao, respectively, during Arias' first visit to the Asian country in October 2007.[9] The construction began on March 12, 2009, and finished in 2011.

The Chinese company Anhui Foreign Economic Construction[4] was charged with the construction of the stadium and brought 800 Chinese labourers to complete the work.


The stadium during the inauguration ceremony

The inauguration ceremony was celebrated on March 26, 2011. National and international sports activities and entertainment went on through April 10. An official stadium inauguration website was created,[10] which informed the population of all inaugurating events.

The main inaugurating event was a friendly association football match between Costa Rica and China, which ended 2-2, with Álvaro Saborío scoring the first goal ever in the stadium.

During 2011, the new stadium was subject of a heavy investment made by the Costa Rican Football Federation to propel Costa Rican football into the world scene. To do this, the federation organized friendly matches against previous FIFA World Cup winners Argentina, Brazil, and Spain, with the latter being the then most recent winners of the tournament.[11]

Football tournamentsEdit

2013 Copa CentroamericanaEdit

The National Stadium hosted all 14 matches of the 2013 Central American Cup.

Date Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Attendance
January 18, 2013   Guatemala 1–1   Nicaragua Group A (opening match) 200
  Honduras 1–1   El Salvador Group B 2,500
  Costa Rica 1–0   Belize Group A 5,484
January 20, 2013   Belize 0–0   Guatemala Group A 250
  El Salvador 0–0   Panama Group B
  Costa Rica 2–0   Nicaragua Group A 5,980
January 22, 2013   Nicaragua 1–2   Belize Group A 750
  Panama 1–1   Honduras Group B 3,450
  Costa Rica 1–1   Guatemala Group A 6,760
January 25, 2013   Guatemala 1–3   Panama 5th Place Match 279
  Honduras 1–0   Belize Semifinals 1,664
  Costa Rica 1–0   El Salvador 4,993
January 27, 2013   El Salvador 1–0   Belize 3rd place match 1,997
  Costa Rica 1–0   Honduras Final 14,146

2014 FIFA U-17 Women's World CupEdit

El Nacional hosted nine games of the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup. It hosted four Group A matches; including the opener, a Group C and Group D game, two quarterfinal matches, the 3rd place play-off and the final. The games were:

Date Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Attendance
Saturday March 15, 2014   Italy 2–0   Zambia Group A (opening match) 34,453
  Costa Rica 0–3   Venezuela Group A
Tuesday March 18, 2014   Venezuela 4–0   Zambia 25,624
  Costa Rica 0–1   Italy
Sunday March 23, 2014   Japan 3–0   New Zealand Group C 5,100
  Nigeria 3–0   Mexico Group D
Thursday March 27, 2014   Venezuela 3–2   Canada Quarter-finals 1,812
  Ghana 2–2 (4–3 on pen.)   Italy
Friday April 4, 2014   Venezuela 4–4 (2–0 on pen.)   Italy Third place match 29,814
  Japan 2–0   Spain Final


Concerts at National Stadium of Costa Rica (2011)
Date Artist Tour Attendance
10 April 2011 Shakira The Sun Comes Out World Tour 34,516
21 May 2011 Miley Cyrus Gypsy Heart Tour 33,451
12 September 2011 Red Hot Chili Peppers I'm with You World Tour 20,716
27 September 2011 Judas Priest and Whitesnake Epitaph World Tour
20 November 2011 Pearl Jam Pearl Jam Twenty Tour
3 February 2012 Elton John Greatest Hits Tour 12,363
3 November 2012 Lady Gaga Born This Way Ball 29,014
22 October 2013 Black Sabbath Black Sabbath Reunion Tour
1 May 2014 Paul McCartney Out There (tour) 27,001
20 August 2016 Laura Pausini Pausini Stadi Tour 2016
5 November 2016 Metallica WorldWired Tour 32,934
26 November 2016 Guns N' Roses Not in This Lifetime... Tour 29,560
24 April 2017 Justin Bieber Purpose World Tour
9 May 2017 Sting 57th & 9th Tour
7 December 2017 Bruno Mars 24K Magic World Tour 38,052
8 August 2018 Laura Pausini Fatti Sentire World Tour
24 November 2018 Roger Waters Us + Them Tour 46,500
18 March 2022 Coldplay Music of the Spheres World Tour N/A

Fire incidentEdit

During the opening ceremony of the 2013 Central American Games, a fire broke out in the stadium because of a stray firework which hit the western part of the stadium roof.[12] The fire damaged some lighting equipments but the stadium was still used for the Games.[13]


  1. ^ "FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup: Destination - San José". FIFA. Archived from the original on November 28, 2016. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  2. ^ a b Pinto afirma que la Selección jugará en el estadio Saprissa La Nación, 2012-11-07. (in Spanish)
  3. ^ a b Costa Rica’s 35,000-seat National Stadium opens Archived 2013-10-05 at the Wayback Machine Tico Times, 2011-03-25.
  4. ^ a b [1], Spanish.
  5. ^
  6. ^ [2], Spanish.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Archived November 27, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Los ticos, puro lujo". La Prensa Gráfica. 14 November 2011. Archived from the original on November 28, 2016. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  12. ^ Chacón, Rocío; Fernández, Evelyn (3 March 2013). "Incendio en el Estadio Nacional tras ceremonia de inauguración" (in Spanish). Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  13. ^ "Roof of National Stadium catches fire during inauguration of Central American Games". Retrieved 7 September 2016.

External linksEdit

Preceded by FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup
Final Venue

Succeeded by