Conmebol push Uruguyans to lift stadium capacity for all-Brazil Copa Libertadores final

October 15 – Conmebol wants to stage the Copa Libertadores final in Montevideo’s Estadio Centenario in front of 45,000 fans, a quarter more than the stadium capacity anticipated by local authorities. 

Flamengo and Palmeiras will compete in the all-Brazilian showpiece match in the Uruguayan capital at the end of November and the regional governing body is awaiting a final position from the Uruguayan government, hoping that it will be allowed to fill the stands to 75% – or even 100% – of capacity.

So far, the Uruguayan government has only green-lighted a maximum capacity of 50% or 30,000 fans.

Montevideo didn’t bid for the final, but with Uruguay’s vaccination roll-out a success – over 75% of the population has been vaccinated – Conmebol picked the Uruguayan capital as the host city for all of its three flagship finals in a bid to have fans in the stands. Full vaccination, including for the delegations of the finalists, is an entry requirement.

The final of the Copa Libertadores, the women’s Copa Libertadores and the Copa Sudamericana will all be played in the same week at the legendary Estadio Centenario. Last year’s final between Santos and Palmeiras was played at an empty Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, even if Conmebol invited thousands of guests.

In recent seasons, the Copa Libertadores final has always been a stormy affair. In 2018, the final was moved to Madrid after rioting between fans of the finalists Boca Juniors and River Plate in host city Buenos Aires and a year later unrest in Santiago forced Conmebol to shift the final at the eleventh hour from the Chilean capital to Lima.

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