Estadio Monumental del Club Universitario de Deportes or Coloso de Ate is the largest stadium in Peru and South America with a capacity just over 80,000. Used by the national football team of Peru and Club Universitario de Deportes, the iconic venue was designed by Uruguayan architect, Walter Lavalleja Sarriés.
Estadio Monumental first opened in 2000, replacing the former club’s former home, Estadio Teodoro Lolo Fernández which dated back to the 1950s with a capacity of just 15,000. Home to Club Universitario de Deportes who are the most successful football team in Peru, the inaugural match was played on 2nd July against Sporting Cristal in the Primera División.
Designed by Uruguayan architect Walter Lavalleja Sarriés, Monumental is located within the Ate district of Lima, Peru’s Capital City, and is often referred to by fans as “Ate’s Colosum”. With a capacity of 80,093 Estadio Monumental “U” is the largest football stadium in South America ahead of both Brazil’s Maracanã (78,838) and Argentina’s Estadio Antonio Vespucio Liberti (67,664).
The stadium’s seating is essentially arranged into two tiers with the lower-bowl consisting of 59,177 “General admission” seats, and the top-tier being made up of just over 20,000 spaces across hundreds VIP boxes known as Palcos which surely has to be some kind of record. With such a large capacity the ground is a natural choice to host matches of the National Team, although there is a Estadio Nacional.
Constructed to meet FIFA’s stadium criteria for World Cup Finals, the venue is yet to host matches from the actual tournament but has held qualification matches for every World Cup since Japan and Korea in 2002. Estadio Monumental “U” was sadly not used for the 2004 Copa América as the organisers could not reach an agreement with Club Universitario and thus the ground was not used.