Rekortan M synthetic surface for the Estadio Hernando Siles:
FLYING HIGH IN BOLIVIA
Anyone wanting to breathe in extreme mountain air will be in exactly the right place at the Estadio Hernando Siles in La Paz: the legendary football stadium with a running track, in which many a (foreign) opponent has felt rather shorter of breath than they were comfortable with, is located 3,627 metres above sea level. Although, following complaints, FIFA initially limited the altitude at which World Cup qualification matches could be played first to 2,500 metres and then to 3,000 metres, insufficiently acclimatised opponents of the Bolivia’s national team can still not breathe easily: the highest stadium in the world has been given special approval by world football’s governing body.
This is where the qualifiers of the Bolivian national side, matches in the Campeonato Sudamericano, matches in the Copa América and a final away game of the Copa Sudamericana will be played. In particular, though, three professional clubs from La Paz play their home games in the Estadio Hernando Siles in front of a maximum of 45,000 spectators. The Bolivian athletics association also uses the historic arena for its (official) events.
It has since returned to offering optimum training and competition conditions for athletes: the 400-metre track dating from the 1970s has been renovated with the Rekortan M synthetic surface and subsequently certified IAAF Class 2. The professional sports surface from Polytan, which has already proven its fitness for international competition in numerous stadiums around the world, offers a persuasive combination of optimum acceleration and tread elasticity as well as speed and outstanding sports medicine values. In the Estadio Hernando Siles – named after the Bolivian president from 1926 to 1930 – the organisers chose a classic brick red for the colour of the running track, a look that is in perfect harmony with the historical setting of the stadium, which dates from 1931.