Yucatán Stadium to bathe in Mayan opulence


Mexico Yucatan Stadium update July 2021 Image: Juego de Pelota

A new stadium – Sustainable Yucatán Stadium (ESY) – with a capacity to sit more than 30,000 people will be built in the City of Mérida in Mexico. It will be a mixed-use property which, among other things, will serve as the new home of the Venados FC of the Expansion League and the Lions of Yucatán of the LMB. The scheduled opening of the venue is 2023.

Venados FC is a Mexican semi-professional football league founded in 2020 as part of the Mexican Football Federation’s ‘Stabilization Project’. The Lions of Yucatán of the LMB is a Triple-A Minor League Baseball (MiLB) team which plays in the Mexican League. Their home games are played at Parque Kukulcán Alamo (Kukulcán Park) in Mérida, Yucatán.

César O. Esparza, Developer, Yucatán Stadium, Mexico, shares exclusive insights with ‘Coliseum’ on the planned stadium at the recently-concluded Coliseum Online Week LATAM Worldwide.

César O. Esparza, Developer, Yucatán Stadium, Mexico, is a Member of Coliseum Strategic Committee.

Esparza informed that sustainability will play a key role in the construction of the Yucatán Stadium in Mexico and it will be a sustainable model for sustainable development. However, he noted, “When I talk about sustainability, it can be an all-encompassing subject. Sustainability as far as the environment is concerned is ‘The Most Important’ facet. But, while building a stadium, the economic and social sustainability factors too come in.”

Yucatán Stadium is going to be the first building, the first stadium which will get the LEED certification in Latin America.

3 ‘S’:


The sustainable development of a stadium is imperative:

  • Sustainable from the economical point of view;
  • Sustainable from the social point of view; and
  • Sustainable from the environmental point of view.

Whenever plans are drawn out to build a stadium in any country, State or region, it always heralds a kind of economic development. However, if a stadium springs to life only on gamedays/events and resonates with activities, and for the major part of the year it lies unused, it has a negative social impact and does not augur well for the economic health of that particular country or State.

Esparza said that it is a misconception that the futuristic venues which dot the landscape of most developed countries can bring in an economic boom – “If any country lands the hosting rights of a sporting extravaganza, the Government of that particular country open up their purse strings building the sleekest venues. But, if those facilities are not put to good use the whole year through, they prove to be white elephants.”

A venue becomes sustainable when a sports team decides to invest money to build its own arena and does not depend on Government funds. They put in box seats and a lot of premium facilities are made available to the fans. Moreover, it is built as a multifunctional facility and the venue is throbbing with activity 365 days in a year. Esparza affirmed that it is on these lines that they plan to build the Yucatán Stadium.

The community on which the stadium sits have a decisive role to play while building a stadium. The other important key players are the Government of that particular country as well as the State Government.

Esparza averred that in the case of Yucatán Stadium, “We are not being able to give a kickstart to the sustainable development model. Expert minds will have to come together so that a solution can be thrashed out. Private investors will have to pick up the tab for the stadium and we will have to make it a mixed-use venue.”

Economical sustainability pillars of Yucatán Stadium:

  • Boasting added attractions like spiffy malls; and
  • Mixed-use facility.


Yucatán Stadium capacity:

  • Baseball – 23,000;
  • Soccer – 27,000; and
  • Concerts – 32,000.


Switchover mode

He informed that an interesting aspect of the Yucatán Stadium is that it will be built in such a manner that it can be switched from the football mode to the baseball mode – “It will be made both for a baseball set-up and a soccer set-up that favors the middle part of the field. The bleachers at the North and South end of the stadium are natural grass that can be transformed when there is a switchover from a soccer match to a baseball match. A new set of bleachers will be used when there will be a baseball match and the seats too will move per shift so that the stadium can be used both for baseball as well as for soccer matchups. The venue will boast the perfect sightline for spectators and will enjoy the right layout.”


The Yucatán Stadium will take a page out from the 41,649-capacity Wrigley Field (ballpark) in Chicago (US). Few apartment buildings stand right behind the Wrigley Field and whenever a match is held, people residing in the apartments use their home as box seats to watch the game. They enjoy this advantage as they are neighbors of Wrigley Field. And, as Esparza pointed out, “This is what a future stadium will boast – people watching fixtures from their apartments all as part of mixed-use development of venues.”

Stadium par excellence

The Yucatán Stadium will boast parking spots, commercial areas, hotels, offices, etc. The state-of-the-art facility will boast 312 hotel rooms. The rooms on the left side will be set up as part of a regular hotel room but the same room can also serve the purpose of a box seat or suite during events. Once the event or the concert is over, the room service guys will put the box seats back to their original configuration.

He further pointed out, “For every cubic meter of the stadium to be used as part of mixed-use development requires huge expertise.”

Blast from the past

The Mexican State Yucatán in the days of yore was the capital of the Mayan world. The Yucatán Stadium design has largely been inspired by the Mayan calendar and the ball game played by the Mayans has also has had a direct bearing on the stadium design. The Mayan numbers have been inscribed in the façade of the building as Esparza shared, “Through this stadium we are paying homage to our heritage in the Yucatán Peninsula of the Mayans. The venue is inspired by the Mayan symbols, and the top of the façade is a take on the Mayan calendar. We are very pleased about the fact that an avant-garde venue will mirror our legacy from the past, historical legacy of the Yucatán State. The stadium will be all white because the City of Mérida in Mexico is known as the ‘White City’ and during night, the arena will dazzle in all its past glory in white.”

Mirroring Mérida

Esparza puts in, “Yucatán Stadium is an architectural icon that represents both the past and the future of Mérida and will open up floodgates of opportunities for the City and generate vast employment opportunities.”

Stadia pride

The day is not far off when stadiums will soon become the status symbol of any City or country. It will also act as a hallmark of global development.

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