Newell’s Old Boys play at the Estadio Marcelo Bielsa, a football stadium located in Rosario’s Parque Independencia. The Parque Independencia is a large tropical public amenity in the centre of the city of Rosario.
To fans of Newell’s Old Boys, the stadium has historically been known as “El Coloso” (The Colossus). Due to its location in Rosario’s Parque Independencia, it is also referred to as “El Coloso del Parque” (The Colossus of the Park).
The official name of the stadium is now Estadio Marcelo A. Bielsa. The “A” in the official name stands for Marcelo Bielsa’s middle name of Alberto.
When did the Newell’s stadium become known as Estadio Marcelo Bielsa?
When Newell’s Old Boys held presidential elections in 2009, one of the promises of the eventual winner Guillerme Lorente was that the home stadium of La Lepra would be renamed after the club’s most successful coach if he was to be successful in being elected president.
Prior to those elections, the club had been through a tumultuous period of leadership under Eduardo López, who allowed the stadium to fall into a poor state and didn’t honour the achievements of Bielsa, and his captain Tata Martino, the club’s highest appearance maker.
True to his word, Lorente immediately renamed the stadium Estadio Marcelo Bielsa and one of the stands, the “Gerardo Martino”, after ex-player Tata (who would later lead the club to a title as manager in 2013).
Marcelo Bielsa and Tata Martino were both invited to a renaming ceremony in December 2009 when 40,000 fans turned out to see the stadium officially become the Estadio Marcelo A. Bielsa.
To this day, that was the last time that Bielsa visited the stadium as his work took him to Chile, Bilbao, Marseille, Lille and now Leeds.
What is the history of the Estadio Marcelo Bielsa?
For the first 8 years after the club’s foundation in 1903, Newell’s Old Boys played on playing pitches in north west of Rosario and then the west of the city as Claudio Newell (son of Isaac Newell, whom the club is named after) tried to secure a permanent home for the new club.
In 1911, the club moved to a new stadium in the Parque Independencia, where they have been located ever since. The stadium was originally built with wooden terraces, as was popular in English stadiums at the time. A grandstand known as the “Libonatti” (named after the builders who built it) was added in 1918 and by 1930, the capacity of the stadium was already 30,000. The Libonatti stand stood tall until 1971 when it was demolished in favour of concrete stands.
The biggest renovations to the stadium came in 1995, when two additional stands were added (one named after former player Diego Maradona) and the ground became known as “El Coloso del Parque” (The Colossus of the Park). Minor improvements came in 2008 and 2012 with the addition of a fourth small stand (“Gerardo Martino”).
In January 2021, to mark his 40th birthday, the Platea Alta stand was renamed in honour of Newell’s Old Boys captain, Maxi Rodríguez.
What is the capacity of the Estadio Marcelo Bielsa?
The Estadio Marcelo Bielsa stadium holds 42,000 spectators.
Fans are located in four different stands around the stadium. As like most football stadiums in Argentina, the “Popular” is located behind the goal. This is where the most vocal and elaborate fans are located, who encourage the team with songs, flags and flares.
Watch a video of Newell’s Old Boys fans in action at the stadium:
Getting match tickets for the Estadio Marcelo Bielsa
Tickets for Newell’s Old Boys matches can be purchased at the ticket office outside the stadium, usually the day before a match or sometimes, on the day of the match.
Thinking about visiting the Estadio Marcelo Bielsa in Rosario? Check out our Newell’s Football Tours service where we take visitors to the stadium to watch a Newell’s match, while also giving them the true Newell’s match day experience. You’ll be taken care of in Rosario by an English-speaking “Leper” who will sort your match tickets and bring you to our iconic stadium on the day of the match.
Tours of the stadium on non-match days are also available via the club. Please contact us in advance if you would like to enquire about a tour.