Brazilian World Cup Stadiums

With football being a way of life in Brazil, there is no shortage of stadia that will be capable of hosting matches when the World Cup begins.  FIFA’s rules state that no city may have two stadiums hosting matches and eight to ten cities must provide the stadia.  Brazil however have appealed to FIFA to allow them to use twelve host cities.  As yet, the venues haven’t been decided but nineteen stadiums have been put forward on the shortlist. 

Estadio do Maracana (Estadio Jornalista Mario Filho)

City: Rio de Janeiro
Clubs: Fluminese & Flamengo
Current Capacity: 95,000
Record Attendance: 199,500

The Maracana Stadium is one of the world’s most famous stadiums.  It has the pedigree of already hosting a World Cup Final when Brazil and Uruguay faced off in the 1950 final.  It can also boast the biggest crowd ever at a football match when nearly 200,000 people watched the afore mentioned final.  It would be a major surprise if the final was not held in at the famous venue and it would place it alongside the Azteca Stadium in Mexico city as the only stadium to host two finals.

The Maracana was completed in 1950 and was the centre piece for the 1950 tournament despite not being entirely finished.  It is the eleventh largest stadium in the world and the largest in South America.  The famous ground is owned by the Rio de Janeiro State Government and is the home ground of Fluminese and Flamengo, arguably the biggest derby match in Brazil.  The opening match at the stadium was contested by Rio de Janeiro All-Stars and Sao Paulo All-Stars with the home side winning 3-1.  In 1969, an astonishing 177,656 people turned up to see a Fla-Flu derby, which must be a local derby record crowd.  The Maracana has hosted some memorable events post the 1950 World Cup Final.  It was at this stadium that Pele scored his 1000th professional goal in front of 125,000 people and in 1989 Zico scored his 333rd Maracana goal whilst playing for Flamengo.  The stadium has fond memories for England football supporters too.  It was at the Maracana where John Barnes waltzed through the Brazil side to score a Brazilian style goal and give England a one nil win.

In 1992 a tragic accident occurred at the stadium and 50 people lost their lives.  The stadium was closed and converted to an all-seater stadium which massively reduced its capacity and between 2005 and 2006 the stadium underwent further renovations to bring it up to standard.

In addition to high profile football matches, the famous old stadium has also hosted high profile music events, seen the Harlem Globetrotters strut their stuff and had a visit from the Pope.

Mangueirao (State Stadium Edgar Augusto Proenca)

City: Belem
Clubs: Paysandu Sport Club and Club do Remo
Current Capacity: 45, 007
Record attendance 65,000

The Mangueirao Stadium played host to its first match in 1978 when an all star team from the Para State region took on and beat a Uruguayan International youth team four nil.  Originally its attendance was 70,000 but was re-inaugerated as an Olympic Stadium in 2002 and the capacity was reduced to its current level.

Estadio Mineirao (Governor Magalhaes Pinto Stadium)

City: Belo Horizonte
Clubs: Atletico Miniero & Cruziero Esporte Clube
Current Capacity: 71, 680
Record attendance: 132, 843

The Estadio Mineirao was built and opened in 1965 and is one of the favourites to host World Cup matches in 2014.  The state built stadium was celebrated by an inaugural match between the Minas Gerais State team and Argentinean powerhouses River Plate.  In 2004, FIFA decreed that the capacity be reduced to its current size.  Two teams currently call the stadium home but a third, America Mineiro has also played there.  The Brazilian national team has played at the Estadio Mineirao which will improve its chances of hosting matches when the finals get underway.

Estadio Mane Garrincha

City: Brasilia (capital)
Clubs: Brasiliense Futebol  Clube
Current Capacity: 45, 200
Record Attendance:  51,000

The Estadio Mane Garrincha was built and opened in 1974 and is owned by the Department of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation of Distrito Federal.  The Stadium was named after the Brazilian legend Garrincha who starred for Brazil in the 1958 and 1962 World Cup triumphs.  Garrincha played 50 times for Brazil and is rated as Brazil’s second greatest player behind Pele.  The stadium opened with a match between Brazilian heavyweights Corinthians and local side CEUB which resulted in a 2-1 win for the more famous club.  The Stadium was home to Brasiliense Futebol Clube from 1996 – 2003.

Morenao (Pedro Pedrossian University Stadium)

City:  Campo Grande
Clubs: Operario & Esporte Clube Comercial
Current Capacity: 45, 000
Record Attendance:  38, 122

The Morenao stadium opened in 1971 and is owned by the Mato Grosso  do Sul Federal University.  It is the largest University stadium in Latin America.  The city of Campo Grande is nicknamed Cidade Morena (Brown City) and it is from this nickname that the stadium took its moniker.  The first match held at the Morenao was between Flamengo and Corinthians which resulted in a 3-1 win to the former.

Verdao (Estadio Governador Jose Fragelli)

City: Cuiaba
Clubs: Mixto
Current Capacity: 47, 000
Record Attendance: 44, 021
The Verdao Stadium was built in 1976 and is owned by the Government of the State of Mato Grosso.  It is a multi-purpose stadium but is mostly used for hosting football matches.  It was named after Jose Fragelli, who was governor of the state when the Stadium was built.  The first match was played between home side Mixto and Dom Bosco.  The home team were inspired by their new surroundings and won the match two goals to nil.  It was in this first match that the current record Attendance was set.

Arena da Baixada (Estadio Joaquim Americo Guimares)

City: Curitiba
Clubs: Atletico Parananense
Current Capacity: 25,272
Record Attendance: 31,740

The Arena da Baixada was built in 1914 and is the home stadium of Clube Atletico Parananense.  It was demolished in 1997 and rebuilt in 1999.  In 2005 the name of the stadium was changed to the Kyocera Arena as the Japanese company, Kyocera, bought the naming rights.  The sponsorship deal expired in early 2008 and was not renewed and therefore the stadium reverted to its original name.  The first match staged at the stadium was in 1914 and contested between Flamengo and Internacional, who were the home team at the time, and resulted in a 7-1 win for the away side.  When the stadium reopened current home side Atletico overcame Cerro Porteno of Paraguay by two goals to one.

Estadio Orlando Carpelli

City: Florianopolis
Clubs: Figueirense Futebol Clube
Current Capacity: 19,908
Record Attendance: 16,842

The Estadio Orlando Carpelli opened in 1961.  Construction on the stadium began in 1940 and took twenty one years to build.  It is named after former club president, Carpelli, who donated the land to enable the stadium to be built.  The first match after construction was completed took place between Figueirense and Aletico Catarinense.  The home side struggled and was beaten by four goals to nil.  The record Attendance of 16,842 was set when the home side faced Vasco de Gama and drew 0-0.  The stadium became all-seater in 2005.

Estadio Castelao

City: Fortaleza
Clubs: Ceara Sporting Club & Fortaleza Esporte Clube
Current Capacity: 69,000
Record Attendance: 118,496

The Estadio Castelao was opened in 1973 and is the home stadium for two teams.  It has also hosted the Brazil national team and it was a match between the Brazilians and Uruguay that recorded its biggest ever Attendance in 1980.  The stadium is owned by the Ceara State Government and is officially named after Placido Alderado Castelo who was State Governor for five years.  The first match played at the stadium was contested by the two resident teams who fought out a nil nil draw.  In 2000 the State Government decided to renovate the stadium and the capacity was reduced to its current level.  When the stadium reopened in 2002, the first match was between the Brazil national team and the Yugoslavian national team.  The Brazilians responded to the new surroundings and overcame the Europeans thanks to a solitary goal from Luizao.

Estadio Estrela dos Reis Magos

City: Natal
Clubs: n/a
Current Capacity: 65,100

The Estadio Estrela dos Reis Magos is yet another proposed stadium.  Once again it was proposed that it would be built if the Brazilian bid was successful.  If built, the stadium will seat over 65,000.

Estadio Beira-Rio (Estadio Jose Pinheiro Borba)

City: Porto Alegre
Clubs: Sport Club Internacional
Current Capacity: 56,000
Record Attendance: 106,554

The Estadio Beira-Rio was built in 1959 and its official name came from a Portuguese engineer who oversaw the building of the Stadium, yet died before the stadium could be finished.  The stadium takes its nickname from its location.  Beira-Rio literally translates as “River Bank” as Sport Club Internacional play the home matches along the River Guaiba.  He first match staged at the Beira-Rio was between the home side Internacional and Portuguese giants Benfica.  The Brazilian side won the match by two goals to one.  In 1972, the Brazilian National side took on a Rio Grande do Sull All-Stars eleven and drew three all.  The exhibition match attracted over 106,000 spectators which is a record for the stadium.  To be sure it is up to scratch for the finals, the stadium is to be renovated to  ensure it matches FIFA’s criteria.

Arena Recife-Olinda

City: Between Recife & Olinda
Clubs: n/a
Current Capacity: 48,500
Record Attendance: n/a
The Arena Recife-Olinda stadium is another proposed stadium that will be built for the 2014 World Cup.  When completed the stadium will seat over 48,000 spectators.

Arena da Floresta

City: Rio Branca
Clubs: Rio Branca AC
Current Capacity: 20,000
Record Attendance: 12,088
The Arena da Floresta or Forest Arena in English was built in 2006.  It is owned by the Acre State Government and Rio Branca AC play their home matches there.  It s the smallest of all the proposed stadia and would have to have its capacity significantly increased if it is to host matches.  In its first ever match, Rio Branca AC entertained the Brazil under 20 national side and emerged victorious by two goals to one.  In 2007, the stadium recorded its highest Attendance when Fluminese defeated Associacao Desportiva Senador Guiomard as 12,088 people attended the match.

Arena Bahia

City: Salavdor
Clubs: n/a
Current Capacity: 44,100 – 60,000

The Bahia Arena has yet to be built.  It is another  venue that was proposed would be built in the event that Brazil was awarded the finals.  When completed it is said the stadium will seat 44,000 to 60,000 people.

Estadio do Morumbi (Estadio Cicero Pompeu de Toledo)

City: Sao Paulo
Clubs: Sao Paulo FC
Current Capacity: 80,000
Record Attendance: 138,032

The Estadio do Morumbi opened in 1960 yet it wasn’t fully finished until 1970.  Its formal name comes from the Sao Paulo FC chairman who was in charge of the team during the majority of the construction.  The stadium, unlike so many in Brazil is owned by the team and not by the state.  The first match staged at the ground was between Sao Paulo and Sporting Lisbon of Portugal and the Brazilian side ran out winners by a goal to nil.  In 1970 the stadium was finally completed and the capacity rose to 140,000.  The  Attendance record was set in 1977 when over 138,000 people filed in to watch Corinthians defeat Ponte Preta.  As well as being home to Sao Paulo, the Morumbi Stadium has hosted some of the worlds biggest music stars including The Rolling Stones, Queen, U2 and Michael Jackson.

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