In 2007 the national government began to implement the Bicentennial Stadium Network program, making the greatest effort in local history to build more and better athletic infrastructure.
In organizing the Women’s Football World Cup, stadiums were rebuilt in the cities of Coquimbo, Santiago, Chillán and Temuco, at an investment of US$ 95 million. This was the first stage of the program, which also allowed the construction of the National Olympic Training Center, with 18,000 m2 of facilities for 10 disciplines.
The second part of the plan involves approximately US$ 86 million and is aimed at upgrading the stadiums in Arica, Copiapó, Ovalle, Rancagua, Quillota, Curicó, Talca and Puerto Montt. The Early Mobility Center will be built in the far-south city of Punta Arenas, multipurpose sports centers open to the entire public will be built throughout the country, and there are plans for another special facility for elite athletes.
Chile’s main sports center is the National Stadium in Santiago, which boasts modern facilities built on 62 hectares (153 acres), such as an Olympic stadium with a capacity for 66,000 people, a tennis court for 7,000 spectators, a velodrome that comfortably seats 7,500, an athletic track with bleachers for 5,500 people, and a total surface area that can hold up to 30,000 people during music events.
In June 2009, President Michelle Bachelet announced the remodeling of the National Stadium (US$ 34 million investment).
Hosts and organizers
The 1962 Football World Cup increased Chile’s prestige as a host and organizer of international sporting events.
Recently the country was confirmed, along with Argentina, to host the Dakar 2010 race for the second consecutive time, the most demanding of the Raid Rallies.
The Women’s Under-20s World Cup was a total success and was held in the new stadiums in Coquimbo, Santiago, Chillan, and Temuco. Teams from 16 countries competed for the championship and the representatives of the United States won the title confirming them as the best in the world.
Since 1993 the first of the four stages in the Latin American ATP World Tour has been played in Chile. It was played in Santiago until 1999 and moved to the city of Viña del Mar in 2001. The 17th edition of this international tennis tournament has already been confirmed for 2010.
As in 2008, in 2009 a fixture from the World MX3 Motocross Championship will be held near Santiago. It is the only one held outside Europe and the first edition attracted over 30,000 spectators.
Chile is among the regular countries to hold triathlons. The ITU Pan-American Cup and the WTC 70.3 World Championship both hold events in the resorts of Viña del Mar and Pucón during the southern hemisphere summer.
Surfing professionals and amateurs head to Arica to participate in the ISA World Masters Surfing Championship.
The summer sports fever extends as far as the extreme south. Since 2004 the Patagonia Expedition Race has been held in the south, a competition in which teams from all over the world must reach the Cross of the Seas at the End of the World in a combination of hiking, navigation, and cycling.
In the second decade of the 21st century Chile will organize and host new international sports tournaments. Work is already underway for the 2014 Odesur Games and the country aspires to hosting the 2015 Adult Women’s Football World Cup and the Copa America South American football championship that same year.
This post is also available in Spanish