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 The Stadium




Beginning and Development



The team that was promoted, on December 27th 1908


In 1915, River already had one of the most modern stadiums


Some of River´s authentic founders, got together for "El Gráfico", a sports magazine, 35 years later.


The entrance of the old stadium of Palermo, 1923.


At the beginning of the century, next to the River "Riachuelo". By that time, two teams were discussing football supremacies in the area: "La Rosales" (in honour of a heroic corvette) installed its football field on an irregular land of Wilson´s coal bunker and won its first match against "Estrella Polar" at Parque Patricios. Meanwhile, at Mr. Jacob’s house, sub manager of the coal bunker, relatives and students and friends met every Sunday afternoon. One day, a football ball appeared, they played for a long while and finally the idea cropped up: And if we form a football club? It was on August 30th so they called it Santa Rosa.
The rivals got tougher and tougher each time so the idea to merge was definite and took place on
May 25th, 1901. After several comings and goings, the name River Plate was chosen. The reason was that while Dock Nº 3 was being built, Martinez had seen some sailors leaving some huge boxes aside (what they contained was a mystery to everyone) and started playing with the ball during their spare time. What drew Martinez´s attention most was the inscription on the boxes: "The River Plate".
The first football field was founded on the east end of the
Darsena Sur. The Club´s first team started playing there: Moltedo, Ratto, Cevallos, Peralta, Carrega, Bard (el presidente), Kitzler, Martinez, Flores, Zanni y Messina.


The first team of River Plate in1901.

On a carnival night which was coming to its end, an old cart appeared looking for a place to rest. On the rear of the cart hung an untidy silk red ribbon. A quintet of lads decided to steal it as one of their many pranks. There was a reason for this: to add a touch of colour to the white shirt that, up to that moment, identified
River Plate. They first wore the red stripe diagonally and later they pinned it on. The idea was a success. The new shirt was first worn in a match against "Maldonado", a club from Palermo, the score isn't known, but River beat them. For sure, that cart driver never got to know that, without meaning to, he contributed to give light to one of the most famous shirts worldwide.

Leopoldo Bard: The first Chairman
He was one of those pioneers that fought from the beginning in order to create the impressive and majestic club we have today. That young man, from Santa Rosa, in the club's first stages, was together with Pedro Martinez who proposed the name
River Plate. In River's history, this man appears as an unavoidable character because he was one of the founders, he was a player and captain of the first team and because he was its first chairman. An anecdote that reflects his love for River: At that time, Bard as a medical student in the Muñiz Hospital, saw an advertisement of the hospital and he thought it would be good for River Plate. After a storm, the advertisement fell down and, four days later the advertisement was still on the floor and nobody picked it up, so he took it to the hospital's carpenter's shop, erased the original announcement and in its place painted the name and the club’s flag.

On December 13th 1908, Racing Club and
River Plate played to obtain promotion to first division. River was winning 2-1 when the euphoric sympathizers decided to invade the field. The final was rescheduled for December 27th, at this time River beat Racing 7-1 obtaining the so longed for promotion to first division. These were the players that achieved the promotion: Luraschi, Chiappe y Politano, Messina, Morroni y Chagneaud, Anapodisto García, Grifero, Abaca Gómez, Elías Fernandez y Priano.

As from the foundation and up to 1923, there were jumps from one place to another, planned movements or irrational impulses. From the South Dock to Sarandí, from Sarandí to the Dock, from there to town, from town to Caballito and from there to La Boca, from La Boca to the North…

The day that
River Plate played the first match against Alumni (the strongest team at that time) River lost 3-1, but all the people from River were very offended with the Alumni team because they arrived at the field ready to play. They didn't want to use River's sports centre, that in spite of being modest, offered  cleanliness and comfort. River had prepared itself as a spendid host for that occasion. This was never forgotten by River Plate, so in 1909 when thay had to play at and against Alumni, this time on their premises, they all wanted to show that the modesty of River did not lack merit when playing football and beat them 1-0 (Hernán Rodriguez scored)



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