The Juan Carmelo Zerillo Stadium, also known as El Bosque (Spanish for "the forest", due to its location in a big city park of the same name), is a sports venue located in the city of La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is located on 60th Avenue and its intersection with 118th Street. It is the stadium of the Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, and nowadays has the capacity to accommodate approximately 25,000 spectators.
On March 22, 1923 work began to build the stadium. The field's dimensions were made 118 meters long and 74 meters wide, and was later named in honor of Juan Carmelo Zerillo, president of the club from 1929 to 1931. In this period the club claimed its only national championship to date, in 1929.
On April 26, 1924 a ceremony was held, with the presence of then Governor, Dr. Cantilo. The official inauguration, however, was postponed until the anniversary of the city of La Plata, on November 19, with Gimnasia playing a friendly match against Peñarol de Montevideo.
The stands were made of wood, as it was traditional at that time. The club added a concrete covered structure to house the club members. This covered structure, situated in the midfield, was finished in 1931; individual seats were added to it in the late 1940s. This structure has been classified as a historical building by the city of La Plata (City order #1579).
During a La Plata derby game in 1959, one of the wooden stands collapsed, causing dozens of injuries and the suspension of the match.
Over the years the stadium changed its structure, in order to harbor a greater amount of public. After the club's remarkable campaigns in the 90s and the delay of the construction of the Estadio Ciudad de La Plata, Gimnasia's coach Carlos Timoteo Griguol required the then club's president, Héctor Atilio Delmar, to expand the capacity of the stadium to meet the standards required by FIFA, which said that from 2001 no first division club could have their stadium built with wood.
Between 2006 and June 2008, the stadium could not be used for official tournaments, due to new safety standards the Co.Pro.Se.De (Coprosede) committee created in 2002 with the aim of reducing incidents of violence at sporting events in the Province of Buenos Aires. The president at the time, Juan José Muñoz, decided to use the Estadio Ciudad de La Plata to play the home games. This decision taken by Muñoz was done without calling an assembly. This unilateral decision resulted in several complaints.
The management board that took the reins of the club in 2008 began some repairs and improvements of facilities in early 2008 to get the approval of the Coprosede to play official matches. On June 21, 2008, Gimnasia played again an official game in El Bosque, against Lanús. Since the start of the Apertura 2008 tournament, Gimnasia uses his Stadium of The Forest for most home games.
Juan Carmelo Zerillo was president of the Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, during 1929, after the mandate of Dr. Adolfo Rivarola, and ended his presidency in 1931, John T. Erbiti becoming the next president.Champion of the Primera División de Argentina Tournament in 1929.