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Estadio Alberto J. Armando (La Bombonera)

Alberto J. Armando Stadium was inaugurated in 1940 under the name 'Coliseo de la Boca'. The name not only reflects its impressive size, but also the fact that it rises spectacularly between the houses of the Boca quarter, one of the most characterising quarters of Buenos Aires.

At the day of inauguration, the stadium was surprisingly nicknamed 'Bombonera' as it is most commonly known these days. When engineer José L. Delpini was about to inaugurate the stadium, he received a thanking box of chocolates from his co-workers called 'bombones'. Funnily enough, the box had the same shape as the stadium and when looking at the box, engineer Delpini exclaimed: "This stadium looks like a box of 'bombones'!" With these words, the myth of Bombonera was born.

As with the box of chocolates, the stadium has a D-shape. There are three parts of continuous tiers that slightly curve. Built on three levels, they nicely follow the playing field, but are suddenly interrupted by the fourth part of tiers. The tribune of the fourth part has a simple and isolated structure that is not in relation with the architectural design of the rest of the stadium.

The odd vertical structure of the fourth tribune derives from the necessity to build the stadium in the same place as the previous one. The former stadium, built in the early Twenties, was rather small and as a consequence it was not possible to build a fourth large tribune in accordance with the other three.

In order to build a large stadium on a small piece of land, it was necessary to build steep rings of tiers close to each other. Moreover, the upper rings of tiers are very much put forward with regard to the first ring of tiers. This daring technical structure leads to a compact and vertical lined design of the stadium.

As a result of the stadium design, the inside atmosphere is very dynamic and is further expressed by the yellow-blue seats that represent the official colours of the local home team, Argentina's best known football (soccer) club 'Boca Juniors'.

The project of the stadium dates back 1932 and was realized by engineers Delpini, Sulcic, and Bes. It was based on the experiences of Italian rationalism in stadium building, mostly expressed by Florence's stadium 'Artemio Franchi', a stadium projected by Pier Luigi Nervi and built in 1931.

© by Angelo Spampinato

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