The 2024 Copa Libertadores Final Venue Remains a Mystery

The 2024 Copa Libertadores final host has been announced, but its venue remains unknown and has yet to be confirmed.

CONMEBOL recently announced the host of the 2024 Copa Libertadores final. Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires, has been chosen for the first time since the single-match final in a neutral location was mandated in 2019. However, the announcement was unusual because the venue had yet to be confirmed. Such is uncommon as the exact venue has normally been determined as well, in favour of the preparation in advance. The final is set to be held on November 30, 2024.

Copa Libertadores, like Copa America, appears to be no stranger to unexpected twists. In 1966, for example, CONMEBOL allowed the league’s runners-up to compete instead of just the league winners. This was not considered by UEFA until 1997, when they decided to expand the Champions League. Furthermore, from the first edition to 1987, the final featured a one-time replay if both teams won in each leg, regardless of the score. From 1988 to 2018, the summit was held in the traditional two-leg format, with penalties serving as the tiebreaker.

The decision to switch to a single-match format followed the infamous incident prior to the second leg of the 2018 final. Concerns about the intense rivalry between the two finalists, Boca Juniors and River Plate, led to the venue being moved outside of the continent. Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu was chosen to host the second leg in December 2018.

The Reason

South America’s football governing body’s decision to name Buenos Aires came as no surprise. It is bound to happen as its rivals, Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro and Uruguay’s Montevideo, have been selected so far. The former had even been picked twice.

Nonetheless, the decision to exclude the venue for the final remains in question. The main reasons have been reportedly in relation to a ticket sales issue and the upcoming finalists. In fact, such is not new to CONMEBOL. Last year, they named the Estadio Centenario in Montevideo to host the Copa Sudamericana final. However, they switched to a venue in the city nearby, Maldonado, instead once the finalists were revealed. The game between Ecuador’s LDU Quito and Brazil’s Fortaleza drew few fans. Only 17,000 people attended the final at the 22,000-seat Estadio Domingo Burgueño.

Such appeared to give CONMEBOL consideration for naming the venue later than sooner. Fortunately, as one of the best football cities in the world, Buenos Aires has the luxury of having major stadiums throughout the city.

The Candidates

The Argentine capital is currently home to 24 clubs, 13 of which are in the top division. Each team has its own stadium. It comes no surprise that Buenos Aires has more than five major stadiums of international standard. Four of the venues have been tipped as the candidates to be the official 2024 Copa Libertadores final venue.

Estadio Mâs Monumental is undoubtedly the favourite to host the game. The home of River Plate can hold over 84,567 spectators and has staged matches in a number of major international competitions, such as the 1978 FIFA World Cup and two Copa America editions in 1987 and 2011. It would be a significant advantage for the River Plate if they reached the summit this year.

The second one on the list is definitely La Bombonera, the home base of River Plate’s archrival, Boca Juniors. Unlike Mâs Monumental, it has never hosted any major tournaments despite having a capacity of more than 57,000 people. Sadly, Boca would not be enjoying the home advantage as they only compete in the Copa Sudamericana this season.

The following candidate is Velez Sarsfield’s Estadio José Amalfitani. It can accommodate 49,000 people and has been chosen to host two major international tournaments: the 1978 FIFA World Cup and the 2011 FIFA U20 World Cup. Unfortunately, Velez, the title holder in 1994, is currently absent from the competition this year.

The last one on the list is the Nuevo Gasómetro. San Lorenzo’s home stadium has a seating capacity of 47,964. The 2014 champion is one of the six Argentina teams competing in this year’s Copa Libertadores. This stadium, like La Bombonera, has never hosted any major tournament games.

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