Club Ferro Carril Oeste – often simply known as Ferro Carril Oeste or ‘Ferro’ – is an Argentinian sports clubs from the Buenos Aires neighbourhood of Caballito. The club was founded as Club Atlético del Ferrocarril Oeste de Buenos Aires on 28 July 1904 by around 95 employees of the Buenos Aires Western Railway.
The home stadium of the club is Estadio Arquitecto Ricardo Etcheverry or the ‘Temple of Wood’. Opened in 1905 it has a current capacity of 24,442 and it is surrounded by a densely populated neighbourhood of nearly 180,000 inhabitants.
The neighbourhood’s growth was linked to the construction of the surrounding Western Railway which was the first laid out rail route in Buenos Aires and inaugurated in 1857.
Despite being a century old club with a long tradition of participation in the top league of Argentinian football, these days the club competes in the second tier of Argentine soccer. It does though retain its position as one of the most traditional and historical clubs in Argentina and continues to have a rivalry with Velez Sarsfield in the so-called ‘Classic West’ fixture.
The stadium was named after an Architect by the name of Ricardo Etcheverry in 1995. This naming was done in tribute to a man who was vice president of the Club for over 30 years. It was originally built on land donated by the railway company. It remains one of the oldest stadiums in Argentina and one of the few stadiums in Argentina that retains stands with wooden seating hence the knick-name ‘The Temple of Wood’.
Naturally given the ageing structures within the stadium, a number of efforts have been made to develop it into a more modern structure. Projects have been planned to completely remodel the stadium and transform its structure into one of solid cement with embedded viewing areas.
As it is the stadium retains its ramshackle feel of terracing, wooden stands and wider sporting infrastructures – it remains a true ‘temple’ of football. Open to the elements whether during the Argentina winter or the scorching heat of the Argentine summer the stadium is colourful, homely and a fitting home for the sporting club.
All in all, the stadium sits as a splendid contrast to the grandeur and extravagance of the La Bombonera home of Boca Juniors.