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Boca Juniors Stadium (La Bombonera)

Alberto José Armando Stadium (La Bombonera - The Chocolate Box)

Capacity: 57,200
Address: Brandsen 805 CP 1161, La Boca, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Pitch Size: 105m x 68m
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: Xeneize (Genoese), La Mitad Más Uno (Half plus One) or Azul y Oro (Blue and Gold)
Year Ground Opened: 1940
Kit Manufacturer: Adidas
Home Kit: Blue and Gold
Away Kit: White, Blue And Gold


                    
                    

One of world football’s most iconic stadiums, the Boca Juniors ground is on many a supporter’s bucket list. With the most vibrant of atmospheres, an historic club with the largest support in Argentina and a list of wonderful past players including Diego Maradona, everyone wants to visit La Bombanera once in their life. Except River Plate fans, perhaps.

The current Boca Juniors stadium was built on the site of the club’s old ground, with construction taking place between 1938 and 1940. The new arena was opened on 25 May 1940 with the inaugural match a friendly between Boca Juniors and San Lorenzo. Boca won 2-0.

The first competitive game at La Bombanera was another 2-0 Boca win, this time over Newell’s Old Boys.

La Bombanera continued to be built after its official opening, with continual expansions, including, for example, a second tier on the north side just one year after opening in November 1941. A third tier was added eight years later.

La Bombanera means ‘The Chocolate Box’ in Spanish. It is a reference to the stadium’s appearance and actually began with the architect of the ground.

During the designing stage, one of the architects, Viktor Sulcic, received a box of chocolates for his birthday. He carried it around with him after noting the likeness to the design of the new stadium. La Bombanera as a name became firmly established as the ground’s title, especially after 1953 when the third tier was completed.

The Boca Juniors stadium’s official name is Alberto José Armando Stadium. From 1986, it was named after Camilo Cichero, the president who oversaw its construction, but this was updated to another club president, Alberto J. Armando, who served between 1954 and 1955 and again for longer between 1960 and 1980.

La Bombanera capacity

The Boca Juniors stadium has a capacity of 57,200. Despite this fairly large size, tickets are incredibly hard to source for many games, particularly those against their rivals River Plate.

Any visitors to Buenos Aires should make an effort to see this iconic stadium.

First of all, the area in which Boca Juniors are located is a fantastic, vibrant part of the Argentinian capital. Expect great food, colourful murals, football pitches, a bustling port and street performers. And, on matchday, an incredible atmosphere generated by the tens of thousands of Xeinezes.

Tour La Bombanera Buenos Aires

There is a great museum at La Bombanera, called Museo de la Pasión Boquense (The Passion of Boca Juniors Museum). It first opened in 2001 and is located within the stadium itself, over two floors.

Expect homage to Diego Maradona as well as the rich history of the football club.

You can buy tickets online for the museum, but stadium tours are limited at the moment. Check out the website http://www.museoboquense.com for up-to-date information at any point.

Simply put, space. While there are three tiers on three sides of the ground, the fourth side is a straight vertical construction filled with VIP boxes. This is because of a lack of space behind this stand with residential buildings just behind them.

There are plans to renovate La Bombanera and these would see the stadium filled out into four sides. This would expand the capacity greatly and allow more fans to attend, but it will deprive supporters and stadium lovers of one of the world’s most iconic and memorable designs. Read more about the renovation plans below.

There has long been talk of renovating the iconic Boca Juniors stadium, but this has always been limited by the difficult financial situation in Argentina and the limited space around the ground, the original cause for its restricted capacity.

A new Boca Juniors stadium

In April 2023, Boca Juniors presidential candidate Jorge Reale unveiled his plans to build a new stadium in a different location. So, yes, there is a potential for an entirely new Boca Juniors stadium.

Reale proposed an enormously ambitious plan which involved construction a new site on Demarchi Islands, just over a kilometre away from the current Boca Juniors stadium. Reale is serious about this. He visited the site in 2023 in a helicopter, alongside the architect Enrique Lombardi, to discuss plans.

It’s suggested that a stadium built here, fully blue and gold on its exterior, could have an incredible capacity of 112,000 and a roof. It would also have 444 VIP seats, 78 TV booths and 4,000 parking spaces. It would be double the size of La Bombanera.

It would be the most enormous project. Not only would a stadium have to be constructed – and a huge one at that – but also bridges across the river. Three bridges, in fact, to take pedestrians over to the ground.

Reale suggests La Bombanera would be kept and used by women’s teams, youth teams and, occasionally, for special matches.

So, La Nueva Bombanera is possible. But it would be some way off.

What about La Bombanera renovation?

Well, this is more likely, and has been spoken about for a long time.

The current Boca Juniors President is a fan of this idea. Jorge Amor Ameal won the 2019 presidential election and triumphed the idea of Bombonera 360, an idea dating back to 2015. This would involve buying the land behind the fourth stand at La Bombanera and building the stadium out. Creating a proper fourth stand. This could increase the capacity to 78,000, just under that of their city rivals River Plate at El Monumental.

Boca Juniors are one of the big five football teams in Buenos Aires, Argentina
(Photo: Gabriel Sotelo/Fotoarena/Sipa USA) – Photo by Icon sport
Boca Juniors stadium La Bombanera
(Photo: Gabriel Sotelo/Fotoarena/Sipa USA) – Photo by Icon sport

La Bombanera stadium photos

Photo by Icon sport
Boca Juniors stadium La Bombanera
Photo by Icon sport

Boca Juniors’ biggest rivals are River Plate, another Buenos Aires club who were originally based in the same La Boca neighbourhood but are now found in the Belgrano neighbourhood.

Matches between Boca Juniors and River Plate are known as Superclásico and the most famous fixture between the sides came in the Copa Libertadores final in 2019, a match which had to be moved out of Argentina for safety reasons after huge clashes between supporters.

For the best documentary on the Boca Juniors vs River Plate rivalry, look no further than the brilliant Copa90, who covered that match fantastically.

Updated 19th February 2024