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Top facts about La Bombonera, the iconic chocolate box

Thu 13 January 2022 | 20:29

The legendary stadium La Bombonera, the home of Maradona's beloved Boca Juniors, is considered to be one of Argentina’s most iconic stadiums, so why not take an engaging ride through everything there is to know in regard to the Top facts about La Bombonera.

While the stadium is officially called Estadio Alberto J. Armando, it is widely recognized as La Bombonera in the light of its shape, which has a "flat" stand on one side of the pitch and three steep stands round the remainder of the stadium.

This is the bizarre shape of the stadium that has made it known for its incredible acoustics too, while its pitch has the minimum size required under FIFA regulations – 105m × 68m.

La Bombonera is the home to the world-famous Boca Juniors football club, which is one of Argentina's top football clubs, that have over 16 million fans (the highest in Argentina).

It is also the home of many giants as the likes of

Carlos Tevez

, Martin Palermo, Juan Román Riquelme and particularly Diego Maradona.

Thereby one of the most amazing

top facts about La Bombonera

is that Diego Armando Maradona had his debut for the national team here.

While it is highly revered as one of the most emblematic stadiums of the world, it has been declared of public interest by the Government of Buenos Aires autonomous city, being also included on top spots of the world's most significant stadiums in various rankings. 

After all, the Intercontinental Cup final took place here three times in a row (Estudiantes la Plata being the local side then) and four overall, while 10 finals of Copa Libertadores and many other

South American

tournaments occurred at the stadium as well.

But what has made it even more popular is the River Plate-Boca Juniors 'Superclasico' which is deemed as the world's most important derby, being the most intense sporting experience in the world, that would keep the fans at the edge of their seats.

While the confront is held at La Bombonera only once every season, almost every match taken place at this legendary stadium is a true joy to behold due to the iconic features of the stadium.

It is interesting to know that Boca Juniors’ nemesis, River Plate, initially shared the same neighbourhood of La Boca early in their history, but they went on to move to Belgrano and founded the largest stadium in Argentina, El Monumental. Soon you would find the top facts about El Monumental on Sportmob's next articles too.

Top facts about La Bombonera, the iconic chocolate box

Without further ado, let's dig deep into the top facts about La Bombonera, the iconic chocolate box.

La Bombonera facts in a glimpse

  • Full name

    : Alberto J. Armando Stadium

  • Former names

    : Boca Juniors Stadium (1940–86) and Camilo Cichero Stadium (1986–2000)

  • Location

    : Brandsen 805 CP 1161, La Boca, Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • Capacity

    : 54,000(For safety reasons only 49,000 seats are used), 2,780 (VIP and business seats), 361 (Press seats),16,660 (Coverd seats)

  • Record attendance

    : 57,395 (Boca Juniors–San Lorenzo, 25 May 1940)

  • Field size

    : 105 x 68 m

  • Surface

    : Grass

  • Broke ground

    : 18 February 1938

  • Built

    : 1938–40

  • Inauguration

    : 25 May 1940; 81 years ago (Boca Juniors - San Lorenzo de Almagro)

  • Renovations

    : 1941, 1951-1953, 1995–96

  • Architect

    : José Luis Delpini, Viktor Sulčič, Raúl Bes

  • Clubs

    : Boca Juniors (1940–present)

Website

:

bocajuniors.com.ar/labombonera

La Bombonera other names

Since the opening of this iconic Argentine stadium in 1940, it has been popular as La Bombonera. So as one of the interesting

top facts about La Bombonera

, it may finds you well to know that it has several other names too.

Yet you may not have heard of these less common names unless you were a hardcore Boca Junior’s fan.

Camilo Cichero

Initially, on April 20, 1986, the stadium was officially named Camilo Cichero, in commemoration of the president who was in place when the stadium had been projected and constructed.

Alberto J. Armando

When

Boca Juniors

beat Talleres de Córdoba by 4–2, president Mauricio Macri made his mind to call stadium "Alberto J. Armando", in the honor of the long-time president of the club who spent more than two decades being at the helm of the club, racking up 21 years of service as president of Boca Juniors between 1955 and 1980, while the name is considered to be the official name of La Bombonera.

Bostero

One of the funniest

top facts about La Bombonera

is that before the construction of the stadium, the area was a manure production facility and the rival fans have not missed the opportunity to make fun of Boca Juniors supporters for this.

To be specific, they have been called “Bostero” (bo-stair-oh) or someone who collects and works with horse excrement, by the rivals and much to your consternation, Boca fans cherish it a lot as they are heard answering the question of “De que cuadro sos? (Whose team are you supporting?)” with “Soy Bostero por su puesto (of course we are Bostero)“ quite proudly.

As part of the other interesting top facts about La Bombonera which is specifically popular for the derbies being held at it between Boca Juniors and rival

River Plate

, it is notable to suggest that these two teams animosity has reached to the point that they changed Coca Cola logo.

To be specific, as the River Plate’s colours are red and white, when Coca Cola wanted to close a deal with La Bombonera to be the exclusive beverage of the stadium,  Boca coerced them to change their logo, because no red and white were supposed to be seen and therefore even until now all Coca Cola logos are either navy blue or black and white there.

La Bombonera name origin

Among top facts about La Bombonera, it is quite fascinating to suggest that this Stadium earned its popular nickname because of its architect Viktor Sulcic.

Some believe that, when he was working on the stadium, he received a birthday gift of chocolates and it crossed his mind that the shape of the chocolate box exactly was similar to the stadium he was working on and as a result, he gave it the name of “La Bombonera” which translates to ‘the chocolate box’.

It is to be said that he even brought the box to another engineer Delpine and other people who were working on the project so as to show them how amazingly the box shape was much similar to the stadium they were designing.

Ever since then the stadium is widely recognized as La Bombonera, while this is one of the stories about the origin of this name.

Another story behind this moniker indicates that when Delpine was projecting the stands with a highly vertical grade of inclination to host 100,000 persons for the first project, it seemed that the shape of the stands had a resemblance with the carts used to collect horses dung in the streets of Buenos Aires.

Moreover, some other groups believe that the nickname of La Bombonera is linked with journalist Hugo Marini or broadcaster Joaquín Carballo Serantes (aka) "Fioravanti".

La Bombonera history

Before La Bombonera, Boca Juniors had played in different locations until they resided on their current ground on Brandsen.

Let's see where they were situated before the construction of this iconic Stadium and know more about the stages of La Bombonera construction throughout history.

La Bombonera Background

Their first ground had been situated in Dársena Sur of the old Buenos Aires port (currently Puerto Madero) and Isla Demarchi until they moved to Brandsen and Del Crucero (currently Del Valle Iberlucea) streets in 1924.

They constructed a stadium there and that was used as their home venue until they built La Bombonera at the same position.

The steering committee of Boca Junior that was steered by president Ruperto Molfino, could acquire the lands from the Municipality of Buenos Aires for $ 2,200,000 in 1931.

Three years after that the club announced a call for tenders to build its new stadium, eventually, the project was granted to the Delpini-Sulcic-Bes architectural office.

After that the old stadium (still with wooden grandstands) was used for the last time on April 10, 1938, it was toppled to build the new stadium at the same location.

At the time when La Bombonera was being constructed, Boca Juniors played their home games at Ferro Carril Oeste stadium.

La Bombonera inauguration and later refurbishments

The opening of La Bombonera took place on May 25, 1940, with a friendly match between Boca and San Lorenzo, as the home side could earn 2–0 triumph by both the goals netted by Ricardo Alarcón. But because it did not have a lighting system, the duration of the game was only 70' (two halves of 35' each).

Then the first official game of the new stadium occurred on June 2, 1940, while Boca Juniors could grab a 2–0 win over Newell's Old Boys where again Ricardo Alarcón who had put away two goals in the opening game v.

San Lorenzo

, managed to score the first official goal at the new venue too.

Following the inauguration of the stadium, the club went on to introduce refurbishments to enlarge its capacity. Thereby a second tier was opened on the north side of the stadium, close to Casa Amarilla train station on November 16, 1941. In honour of one of the influential players in Boca Juniors' history, the grandstand was called "Natalio Pescia".

In 1949 the club intended to add a third tier, in addition to a lighting system too. At the time all of those works were finished in 1953, this third tier saw the stadium earn its current nickname: La Bombonera while Boca Juniors commemorated it with a friendly game v. Yugoslav club NK Hajduk Split, that was ended up to 1–1 draw.

The expansion and modernization of La Bombonera happened during Macri's tenure, as most outstandingly a fourth tier; a wing housing, a press area, VIP boxes, a museum, and offices were added to the stadium in 1996. Later painters Rómulo Macció and Pérez Celis, decorated the stadium's exterior.

After that La Bombonera had not been refurbished until 1996, it was at the time of the presidency of Mauricio Macri, who made his mind to widen its capacity to 57,500 spectators.

To do this, they demolished the lateral boxes on Del Valle Iberlucea street and replaced them with a small stand and new, modern boxes (with metallic structures) placed over there.

The "new" stadium was reopened with a friendly match v. Club Universidad de Chile which ended up with Boca Juniors 3–1 victory.

The installation of an electronic screen in 2008 can be considered as one of the top facts about La Bombonera, since it made the stadium the third venue in Argentina with this technology, after only the stadiums of Vélez Sársfield and River Plate.

At the beginning of 2012, over 500 seats were rebuilt and the other 500 were added as part of the building of four additional boxes.

La Bombonera unique features

One of the most incredible features the football fans can not get enough of the stadium is its phenomenal vertical stand.

In the cope of the limited space in La Boca’s docklands district, architects adjusted the club’s huge Buenos Aires fanbase and designed the stand vertically into the

Argentina

sky.

The third tier of the stand is so greatly steep that only fans unafraid of heights would stand there, giving it the advantage of incredible acoustics.

It is of little surprise to see such an immense and extremely steep, makes people dizzy with vertigo, at it also creates a shadow.

In essence, what has made La Bombonera be one of the best in South America, perhaps the world, is not only its unique build but also its mythical acoustics of the steeply built sections as well as the constant 85%+ attendance.

While the stadium is the most intense, passionate atmosphere in the world, its stands are very close to the pitch, to the point that only a small space separates the fans from the field of play.

La Bombonera redevelopment

It is planned to improve the stadium by installing measures to ease crowd congestion, using new technology in the stadium and improving corporate facilities.

Precisely as saying in order to redevelop the main gate, museum and megastore, some plans are devised on the main access to the stadium at 805 Brandsen which will comprise the construction of a megastore and then connecting the main access with the store and the club's museum.

For redeveloping the third tier a remodelling work is needed to install further seating and increase spectator comfort.

As far as stadium gates are concerned, building work is set to promote access and prevent crowd congestion is underway. In the first step, measures are taken to enhance access to the executive boxes and premium seats.

Then in the next stage, installing new software and hardware accessories would improve access control concerning safety and quickness to avoid crowd congestion.

Moreover, corporate areas are set to be developed so that businesses could have an area in the stadium with VIP service.

A section in the second tier is planned to be re-designed with two executive boxes and more comfortable seating that would also enable businesses with season tickets to invite clients. Likewise, it comprises transportation, museum visits and catering services too.

La Bombonera facilities

With a current capacity of around 48,000 and the club's ever more popularity in this era, it is a herculean task to find tickets particularly for the Superclásico derby against River Plate. You can find more about there rivalry

here

.

From 49,000 capacity of La Bombonera, there are 37,538 seats, 2,780 in boxes, and 8,682 standing. Both the interior and exterior of the stadium are lined with a number of murals painted by the artist Pérez Celis portrayed numerous clubs' giants and aspects of the district's local culture, as the likes of the life of Italian immigrants.

A small stand was constructed on the 4th side in 1996, which had been mainly open until then, with the exception of some VIP boxes, while three parking lots at the stadium are allocated to the members.

Not to mention that the legendary Diego Maradona, who starred for and supported Boca Juniors, had his own executive box at the stadium.

La Bombonera's Boca Museum

While Mauricio Macri was at the helm of the stadium, Museo de la Pasión Boquense ( The Passion of Boca Juniors Museum), was opened in 2001.

The location of the Museum is exactly below the grandstands of the stadium, which was built on two floors at the time of the club's rise from 1905 (the year the club was established) to the present day.

A giant football with 360-degree footage of the Boca's supporters and players at a match is one of the exhibits of the museum, while it is also consisted of a Hall of fame and a large mural of

Diego Maradona

.

Some non-football elements like the specially commissioned blue and gold guitar that was played by Lenny Kravitz on his performance at La Bombonera in 2005 are included in the museum.

Apart from a large statue of Boca Juniors' all-time top scorer, Martín Palermo, monuments of Diego Maradona, Román Riquelme, as well as some other Boca Juniors idols including Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Angel Clemente Rojas, Silvio Marzolini and Antonio Rattín are established as the sign of the utmost approbation and honour.

While Carlos Bianchi led Boca Juniors to win 9 titles at the span of his two tenures on the club (1998–2003), he picked up the honour to become the most winning manager in Boca Juniors' history. Therefore, he was the first Boca Juniors manager whose statue was unveiled in October 2016.

La Bombonera other uses

It is also worth mentioning that some scenes of the 1969 film Invasión were shot in the deserted stadium, while a part of the Danish film SuperClásico, has filmed in the stadium as well.

It is no wonder to see such an iconic stadium, would be concert venue too. Most recently the artists like Lenny Kravitz, Elton John, James Blunt, the Bee Gees, and the Backstreet Boys performed at La Bombonera.

Argentina national team on La Bombonera

Although most of Argentina national team games has occurred on Estadio Monumental due to its higher capacity and modern facilities, La Bombonera was also the host of the national team primarily in the 1920s to the mid-1970s.

While the Argentina national team most notably among others, played the qualifying matches to the FIFA

World Cup

at La Bombonera, it was only beaten in two games among a total of 27 matches played at the stadium.

Even a number of official and friendly games were played by Argentina at La Bombonera (as of 29 May 2018).

 

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source: SportMob

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