The origins of the National Auditorium have a curious note: they relate more to riding than to culture. In 1948, the national equestrian team had a brilliant performance in the Olympic Games in London. General Humberto Mariles, with his horse "Arete", won the gold medal and excited by the triumph, the then current President Miguel Alemán donated the land surrounding the Campo Marte to promote equestrian activities in a roofed area. The project included stables, rooms for the groomsmen, a barn and a main theater. The architects assigned to this project were Fernando Parra Hernández, Fernando Beltrán Puga, Fernando Peña Castellanos and Óscar de Buen. The riveted iron structure built was erected using the same technique as for the Eiffel Tower.
The complex was inaugurated on June 25, 1952, although the project had not been completed, with the holding of the World Convention of the Club de Leones. In December of that same year, when the new government took over, President Adolfo Ruiz Cortínez announced that he would follow an austerity policy. The work in the Auditorium was then suspended and in light of the doubts as to whether the property would be frequently used, its equestrian destination was cancelled.
In 1953 the Unidad Artística y Cultural del Bosque arts center began operating: the barn of the stables was adapted as a circular theater and became El Granero theatre. Naturally, the cultural breath of the Unidad del Bosque moved to the building. Construction work was completed in 1955 and the venue, originally called Municipal Auditorium changed its name to National Auditorium.
A close relationship developed between the venue and the Mexican society. For more than three decades, the National Auditorium hosted artistic and cultural events, trade fairs, political and social events, international beauty pageants and even the Olympic Games.
However, at the end of the 1980s it was clear that the venue was outdated, so INBA, Conaculta and the Department of the Federal District executed a collaboration agreement to remodel it. Architects Teodoro González de León and Abraham Zabludovsky were assigned to the task.
The result of 18 months of work was a building capable of meeting any requirement of the entertainment industry. With its reopening in 1991, the National Auditorium began a new phase of concerts and shows in Mexico. National and international artists, groups and companies began making our country an obligated stop, further promoting the building of new venues in different places in the country.
The National Auditorium has strengthened its commitment to foster a fruitful dialogue between society, art, culture and entertainment. For over a decade, it has consistently been in the top five among the best one hundred venues in the world for live shows and has obtained the highest honors from internationally renowned publications such as Billboard and Pollstar. In 2003, it received the Pollstar Award as best international venue, and four years later the Billboard Touring Award in the same category.
Además de conciertos de todos los géneros musicales, eventos de danza y ballet, cine y ópera —en vivo y vía satélite—, eventos políticos y de proyección social, también destacan en él las exposiciones de fotografía, pintura, escultura y arte popular; los programas para acercar al público a los libros, y la institución, desde 1992, de las Lunas del Auditorio, reconocimiento que se otorga a los actos escénicos más relevantes que se hayan presentado en nuestro país.
The determined participation of artists, promoters, sponsors and media, along with the excitement of the nearly 30 million attendees that in 22 years have shuddered with expectation when the lights go down, have made the National Auditorium the principal entertainment and cultural center of Mexico and one of the most important ones in the world.