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The Estadio Nacional Julio Mart√≠nez Pr√°danos is the national stadium of Chilemarker. It is located in √Ďu√Īoamarker (Greater Santiagomarker). It is the largest stadium in Chile with an official capacity of 65,127, and is part of a 62 ha sporting complex which also features tennis courts, swimming pools, and a modern gymnasium.

Construction began in February 1937 and the stadium was inaugurated on December 3, 1938. The architecture was based on the Olympiastadionmarker in Berlinmarker, Germanymarker. The stadium became infamous after its use as a prison camp by the military regime following the 1973 Chilean coup d'état.

In 2009, a complete modernization plan was unveiled for the stadium and surrounding facilities. President Michelle Bachelet said it would become the most modern stadium in South America.

History

The stadium hosted the final stages of the 1959 World Basketball Championship that was held outdoors due to the intended venue, the Metropolitan Indoor Stadiummarker, not ready in time for the original date of 1958.

In 1962 the stadium was one of the four venues of the FIFA World Cup, hosting the opening game, a quarter final, a semi final, the third-place match, and the final. As such, it was the scene of the Chile national team's greatest-ever accomplishment: the 1-0 victory over Yugoslavia for third place on 16 June 1962. Today,it serves as the home field for both the national team and first-division club Universidad de Chile. It also holds some big non-sporting events, such as political celebrations, charity spectacles and concerts.

In July 5, 2008, the stadium was officially renamed Estadio Nacional Julio Martínez Prádanos, in honor of a recently deceased sports journalist.

Use as prison camp

The stadium was used during the 1973 Chilean coup d'état for the internment of more than 12,000 detainees, between September 11 and November 7 of that year. The field and gallery were used to hold men, while women were held in the swimming pool changing rooms and associated buildings. Locker rooms and corridors were all used as prison facilities while interrogations were carried out in the velodrome.

It is sometimes mistakenly believed that Chilean folk singer and political activist Víctor Jara was murdered at Estadio Nacional. He was actually murdered at the formerly called Estadio Chilemarker, which was renamed in his honor in 2003.

FIFAmarker president of the time Sir Stanley Rous insisted the USSR team to play a World Cup qualifier at the time. The Sovietsmarker naturally refused and Chile was qualified for the 1974 World Cup, where they failed to advance from a group coming third containing both FR Germany and the GDR as well as Australia.

The documentary film, Estadio Nacional, directed and produced on 2002 by Carmen Luz Parot, was based on the stadium and its use during the coup d'état.

2009 renovation

On June 15, 2009, President Michelle Bachelet announced several infrastructure improvements in order to modernize the stadium and its immediate facilities. Out of the total 24 billion pesos (US$42.3 million) contemplated in the plan, 20 billion pesos (US$35.3 million) are destined to bring the stadium up to modern standards. The changes include, a roof covering all the seats, which will also provide illumination; installation of seats around the whole stadium, lowering the current capacity to 60,000; a new state-of-the-art scoreboard; a 2.5 m deep 2 m wide pit will separare the track and the spectators to replace the fence; and several other changes. Because the stadium is a national monument the façade will remain the same, with the roof structure placed on top, without modifying it. The stadium was closed in August 15, 2009. While the works are expected to be completed by 2011, the stadium will be briefly opened in March 2010 to stage a friendly match between Chile and South Africa. The construction of the roof is expected to start by April 2010.

Attendances

The highest attendance for a match at Estadio Nacional to date is 85,268, for a Primera Division match played on December 29, 1962; Universidad de Chile defeated Universidad Catolica 4-1. .

As of concert, the highest attendance was on february 26th 2006, when 78,000 people attended U2's concert as part of their 2006 Vertigo Tour. The first 70,000 tickets that were put on sale sold out in 4 days (between january 11 and january 15 that year), and on january 30th was announced that 10,000 restricted vision tickets would be released early february, and by the concert day, 8,000 of them were sold . Fans from all over the continent started arriving to the stadium on february 25th holding "Main court" tickets, due to the possibility to the first 4,500 fans to access the Golden Circle section, which was the nearest section to the stage, and described by Paul McGuinness as a "fan-only zone". According to myself (I attended the concert and got to the stadium at 1:30 A.M. on february 26), all numbers to access the Golden Circle were gone by 8:41 A.M.

Concerts

Among the most important artists and acts to have performed at the stadium, are:

The Ramones, Chayanne, Cindy Lauper, David Bowie, Depeche Mode, Dream Theater, Tracy Chapman, Eric Clapton, Evanescence, Franz Ferdinand, Guns N' Roses, AC/DC, High School Musical, Illapu, Iron Maiden, Kiss, Korn, Kylie Minogue, La Ley, Lenny Kravitz, Los Bunkers, Los Jaivas, Los Prisioneros, Los Tres, Luis Miguel, Madonna, Metallica, Michael Jackson, New Kids on the Block, No Doubt, Paramore, Paul McCartney, Peter Gabriel, Radiohead, RBD, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Robbie Williams, Rod Stewart, Roger Waters, Shakira, Silvio Rodríguez, Sinéad O'Connor, Soda Stereo, Sting, The Police, The Rolling Stones, U2, Whitney Houston, Ashley Tisdale and Aerosmith.

As of July 2009, concerts are prohibited by the administration, closing the possibility for AC/DC to schedule a concert in Chile, and jeopardizing an eventual U2 concert as part of their U2360 Tour, which was first announced for "later 2010", but was later said that it could happen in march 2010.

External links



References

  1. [1]
  2. [2]
  3. Carmen Luz Parot, 2002, Estadio Nacional. Documental (National Stadium Documentary). Produced by Sello Alerce, Chile, 2002.
  4. Sangre de un poeta
  5. http://www.elmorrocotudo.cl/admin/render/noticia/2810



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