Last week, we learned that the Copa Centenario is most likely not going to be played in the U.S., due to the FIFA scandal that hit CONCACAF and CONMEBOL hard. Amidst these rumors, two new suitors have come into the fold, as both Colombia and Ecuador have expressed interest in organizing the competition next summer.
The 2023 Copa América is set to take place in Ecuador, and even though it’s far off in the future, some clubs and federations have already begun planning stadium construction and remodeling projects that could take on heightened importance if the country gets elected to host the centenary.
The first of these projects was started by Club Sport Emelec, whose Estadio George Capwell in Guayaquil, Ecuador, is set to skyrocket from a capacity of less than 20,000 hinchas to around 40,000 by March of 2016. Remodeling began on January 28, and the project involves the creation of 124 VIP suites on three different stadium levels.
The second stadium to be renovated in anticipation of these regional events is Quito’s Olímpico Atahualpa, which was originally scheduled to be ready by 2016 with the help of the Ministerio del Deporte y la Concentración Deportivo de Pichincha. However, a recent report states that the project is on “standby” due to the country’s current economic situation.
Federación Ecuatoriana del Fútbol vice president Carlos Villacís stated that the federation will think about these things when the time comes, since the federation has other issues to prioritize at the moment.
Deportivo Cuenca, backed by the Azuay Football Association, also has plans for a remodeling of their Estadio Alejandro Serrano Aguilar, where they have been competing since 1945. The plan calls for the removal of the athletics track around the stadium, as well as totally new stands and increased capacity from 20,000 to 30,000.
There appears to be a 20-month time frame for the completion of the stadium.
If these projects actually come to fruition in a timely manner, Ecuador might take home the grand prize and be crowned Copa Centenario hosts.