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Maracana Stadium, in Rio de Janeiro

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Facts and informatio,

City: Rio de Janeiro, capital of the State of Rio de Janeiro.

Capacity: 76,000 attendants (largest stadium in Brazil).
Maracana will continue to be the undisputed biggest stadium in Brazil. Three stadiums claim to be the second biggest: Castelao, Mineirao and Morumbi, all with capacity around 67,000 attendants.
If Maracana reaches full capacity during the Cup, it will be just fraction of the official record, of nearly 200,000 people, set on the finalmatch of the World Cup 1950 (source).

Official name: Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho.
Origins of name: Mario Filho was a journalist, who used his newspapers to impulse a campaign for the construction of the stadium in the neighborhood of Maracana (many people wanted the new stadium to be built in the more distant neighborhood of Jacarepaguá).
Maracana is a word of indigenous origin, which refers to certain species of macaw; a river was named after the birds, a district of Rio was named after the river, and the stadium was named after the district.

Design and architecture: the Public Works Department of Rio, Fernandes Arquitetos Associados and Schlaich Bergermann und Partner (this one worked also in Curitiba stadium).

Constructors: Andrade Gutierrez (also working in Manaus and Brasilia stadiums), Odebrecht (also in charge of Sao Paulo and Recife) and Delta (update: in April 2012, Delta quit the consortium; a Probing Comission in Brazilian Congress found out that Delta was closely linked to Carlos Cachoeira, charged of being involved in several cases of corruption and bribery).

Estimated cost: costs are mounting quickly: R$ 500 million (December 2009), R$ 720 million (June 2010), R$ 1 billion (May 2011).
Rio has a historic of corruption to build public stadiums. When Rio organized the Pan American Games of 2007, the initial estimated budget was around US$ 200 million, and the actual cost ended up being ten times that amount. The cost Maracana stadium alone was nearly US$ 200 million, money which should suffice to prepare the venue for the Olympic Games of 2016.

Matches and teams

Maracanã will stage seven matches of the World Cup, including the final match; only Brasilia will stage as many matches (the smaller cities, such as Natal and Cuiaba, will stage only four matches). The Brazilian team will play in Maracana only if it manages to reach the final match.
It's likely that several national teams stay in Rio de Janeiro, even if not playing here; Rio has many training centres, and an excellent hotel infrastructure, which could be used by the teams - and being the most beautiful Brazilian city, will certainly please the fans who follow the teams.

Matches of World Cup in Rio de Janeiro:
June 15th 2014 (Sunday):
June 18th (Wednesday):
June 22nd (Sunday):
June 25th (Wednesday):
June 28th (Sunday): Round of 16:
July 4th (Friday): Quarter Final:
July 13th (Sunday): Final match:

Rio is also one of the five host cities of the Confederations Cup 2013; Maracanã will be stage of three matches.
Matches of the Confederations Cup in Maracanã:
June 16th 2013 (Sunday): Mexico x Italy
June 20th (Thursday): Spain x Tahiti
June 30th (Sunday): Final match

Map of Maracana stadium:


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More photos and images of Maracana

The old (2009) Maracana.
Notice the large train station in the background, which should be main access to the matches; Maracana is in a busy neighbourhood, and traffic jams are a serious problem.
In front, one sees Maracanazinho (arena for indoor sports) and Parque Aquatico Julio Delamare; there were attempts to remove both of them to make more room for the expansion of Maracana, but the idea didn't prosper.
Above: August 2010, tractors start working in Maracana.
Above: December 2011 (source). Above: February 2012 (source: Government of Rio).
maracana-building Above: October 2012. According to sources, more than 70% of works were done. In November, the Government of Rio (owner of the stadium) started the discussion about the concession of Maracanã to private enterprises; the opening session, however, was very controversial.


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