The Estadio Mâs Monumental in Buenos Aires is the historical home of the Argentine national team and also the biggest stadium in South America. Argentina had to move from Estadio Mâs Monumental for the November international window of the South American Qualifiers. The River Plate stadium has recently hosted three Taylor Swift concerts, which is why Lionel Messi and his team had to play against Uruguay at La Bombonera on Matchday 5, November 17, 2023.

This news was finally confirmed after a rollercoaster of confusion for fans and players alike. In the past week or two, the proposed venue for the Argentina V Uruguay game was changed three times. It was the fifth Argentina game in ten years at the famous home of Boca Juniors. The assumption was always El Monumental but it became impossible because the stadium played host to Taylor Swift and her record-breaking Eras Tour. Taylor was in town on the 9th, 10th, and 11th of November with Argentina due to host Uruguay on the 16th.

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Bad Pitch Conditions

Argentina lost their first game since the 2022 World Cup to a fantastic Uruguay side that made history at La Bombonera. The Argentina squad would have preferred the usual comfort of River Plate’s stadium for the big game but ultimately the pitch wasn’t in the right shape to aid their march to the next World Cup. Evidence of this was shown, the pitch was a complete mess after concerts had taken place in the stadium in the days prior.

Unsurprisingly, the shows took a toll on the Monumental field. This simply wasn’t good enough for a World Cup qualifier. Fortunately, AFA knew this could happen so it decided to prepare the change of venue with time. Besides, it’s not the first time Lionel Scaloni’s team plays away from the Monumental. In March, they played Curazao at the Estadio Madre de Ciudades in Santiago del Estero, in the north of the country. La Bombonera is close to half the size of El Monumental but nevertheless, it is a unique cathedral of football.

The Controversy

River Plate have been taking advantage of their newly renovated stadium by holding a host of gigs in order to bring vital finances into the club. Especially since the venue underwent renovation in the last few years, extending its capacity to 86,000. Sadly this time it has come at the expense of the football. Before La Bombonera was confirmed as the new host of the match, the game was officially set to be played at the Estadio Mario Kempes in Cordoba.

Rumour has it that manager Lionel Scaloni and captain Lionel Messi were not pleased with the Argentine Football Association having to arrange crunch meetings even after officially changing the venue to Cordoba with CONMEBOL. Messi and Scaloni have got used to playing on the best pitch in the capital, could you blame them for wanting to stay put? It’s also worth considering that Argentina’s headquarters are in Buenos Aires, right beside Ezeiza airport and the likes of La Bomboanera and El Monumental.

argentina qualifiers match venue taylor swift bad pitch conditions

The Estadio Mas Monumental prior to a match between River Plate and Independiente as part of group A of Copa de la Liga Profesional 2023

Considering that the national squad flies in from all over the world for games, once they do arrive any extra time spent travelling is an unnecessary headache. Once it became obvious that the Monumental pitch wouldn’t hold up after the upcoming concerts; the association opted for La Bombonera. In doing so they answered Messi and his teammates’ plea to stay in the capital, where their routine is familiar and their journey is a little shorter.

The fact that the match had to be shifted owing to Taylor Swift’s concert goes to show how huge an impact this pop star has created. She is filling stadiums with her Tour concerts. Lakhs and lakhs of Swifties are flocking to watch her perform LIVE. The fan following Taylor Swift possesses is truly unreal. Having three shows with a huge number of attendees tapping their feet to her tunes was bound to leave the stadium in an unfit condition to play football.

argentina qualifiers match venue taylor swift

Argentina’s Lionel Messi takes control of the ball during the South American qualification football match against Uruguay for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 at the Monumental Stadium in Buenos Aires.

This has probably happened for the first time in the history of the game that a World Cup qualifier match had to be shifted because the iconic Estadio Mâs Monumental had Swifties taking over.