Arena Pantanal hosted its first match on April 2 (Getty)

(WFI) The architects of Cuiaba Arena Pantanal says concerns about the venue’s legacy are misplaced.

The 42,968-seat stadium staged its first official match earlier this month, even though only half of its seats were installed. It is scheduled to be inaugurated on April 26.

Sergio Coelho, principal at GCP Architects, who is responsible for the project, believes the design flexibility will make the stadium a sustainable venue post-World Cup.

Around the stadium, an area of more than 300,000sqm, locals will have access to a park, snack bars, a museum and restaurant as well as other amenities.

Crucially, he said that after the FIFA showpiece, modular elements of the north and south grandstands will allow the government of Mato Grosso State to downsize capacity to 27,000 to meet post-tournament demand.

Coelho said this would reduce maintenance costs and also spread the World Cup legacy throughout the state; two smaller stadiums could accommodate the grandstand modules.

With covered seats, Arena Pantanal was as a multi-purpose venue able to host a range of diverse events, including other sports, concerts and exhibitions to aid revenue generation. Coelho is also keen to highlight the sustainability solutions built into the stadium project, naming the recycling of water, natural ventilation and use of solar power as key benefits.

Following months of delays, Cuiaba’s stadium is one of three host venues yet to be finished, with the World Cup just 58 days away.

Sao Paulo’s Arena Corinthians, venue for the June 12 opener, is not scheduled to open until mid-May. Curitiba’s Arena da Baixada is expected to open around the same time.

Final Ticket Sales

A total of 199,519 tickets for the World Cup were available today in the last sales phase. FIFA reported a rush for tickets when the sales window opened at 12:00 CET. After 90 minutes, 57,695 tickets had been sold on

Tickets for 54 matches were available on a first-come, first-served

basis. No tickets were available for ten out of the 64 matches: opening (Brazil vs. Croatia), final and matches 2 (Mexico vs. Cameroon), 8 (England vs. Italy), 11 (Argentina vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina), 17 (Brazil vs. Mexico), 19 (Spain vs. Chile), 33 (Cameroon vs. Brazil), 34 (Croatia vs. Mexico) and 35 (Australia vs. Spain).

“With less than two months to go, this is the last chance for fans to secure their tickets for football’s flagship event. I am confident we will have a high demand for the remaining tickets, not only from Brazilian fans but also from people all over the world,” said Thierry Weil, FIFA marketing director in charge of ticketing.

So far, a total of 2,577,662 tickets have already been allocated through all sales phases and channels, including the FIFA hospitality programme and other constituent groups. 61% went directly to the general public via

Panini Online Sticker Album

The Panini online sticker album for Brazil 2014 was launched today on

Football fans across the world can now collect and trade virtual stickers of the players and teams who will be taking centre stage at FIFA’s showpiece event in June and July.

Weil said: “The launch of the Panini FIFA World Cup Sticker Album is always a highlight event in the lead-up to the FIFA World Cup and I am pleased that we are able to provide this experience to fans virtually through

“In 2010, over 1.4 million users registered for the South African edition of the virtual album, with a third of those managing to complete their entire collection, and I have no doubt the 2014 edition will engage even more collectors across the world.”

By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson

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