The barrio of Mataderos (abattoirs/slaughterhouses), is as humble and unglamorous as it sounds, a strong local community based at the traditional meeting point between the city of Buenos Aires and the countryside. CA Nueva Chicago carry the neighbourhood’s original, aspirational name to reflect the livestock processing heritage of the US’ second city.
As such it is no surprise to see that a bull is the unofficial emblem of the club, also named el Toro. Some mascots just makes sense… This also allows for some impressive murals in and around the stadium.
The club’s sole top-level success was the 1933 Copa de Competencia jockey Club, a more prestigious trophy than it sounds, as the AFA ratified it as the equivalent of a national cup for that point in time. Other than that they have played just 7 seasons at the top level, with most of their history played in the second tier.
The club was the main topic of all the news outlets in Argentina earlier this year due to the tragic and senseless death of their player Rodrigo ‘Rulo’ Espíndola. Rulo was shot dead in front of his young family by thieves attempting to gain entry to his house in the Buenos Aires suburbs. The empty visitor’s end of the pitch bore a banner in homage to him.
The stadium itself is located just a couple of blocks from the well known Feria de Mataderos. Tourists and locals alike visit to buy handicrafts, eat regional delicacies and most importantly, to see the Gauchos singing, dancing and socialising in the Pulpería (a traditional men only bar-cum-grocery store).
Within the grounds, the main section of supporters are located along the side of the pitch, with a second popular section of many local fans situated behind the goals. The seated stand is bizarrely narrow, covering about a third of the length of the pitch.
The cold, rain, and early concession of a goal to Estudiantes de San Luis didn’t drag down the spirit of the ample crowd, who were clearly excited to welcome back their team for a first home game of the new season. The Chicago players immediately upped their game and were 2-1 ahead at half time, which is how the game finished.