(WFI) The sixth and final stadium for the FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil is now open.
The 46,000-seat Pernambuco Arena in the Recife was inaugurated on Monday just a few weeks before the June 15-30 tournament; a friendly match took place between two teams of stadium site workers.
It will host three matches Confederations Cup matches and five 2014 World Cup games.
Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff and sports minister Aldo Rebelo inaugurated the stadium along with authorities from the Pernambuco state government and Recife City Hall.
On Wednesday, the first professional match between local team Náutico and Portugal’s Sporting Lisbon takes place at the new stadium. The other five Confederations Cup stadiums – the Castelão in Fortaleza, the Mineirão in Belo Horizonte, the Fonte Nova in Salvador, the Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro and the National Mané Garrincha Stadium in Brasilia – have already staged test events.
Built with resources from a public-private partnership between the Pernambuco state government and the Pernambuco Arena Group, the stadium received investments totaling R$ 532 million ($261 million), of which R$ 400 million ($ 196.5mn) was financed by the Brazilian National Development Bank (BNDES).
The stadium boasts six levels. The stands are fitted with retractable seats and 102 corporate boxes. Notable too are the 42 food kiosks and two restaurants and parking space for 4,700 cars.
To encourage the use of public transportation, the urban mobility plan comprises the construction of a metro station located approximately two kilometers from the stadium.
The Pernambuco Arena is equipped with 271 security cameras, 34 of which are high-definition.
During matches and events, two LED high-resolution, 77 square meter screens will be used to broadcast audiovisual updates in real-time to the public.
Designed with a multi-purpose concept, the venue will set aside 70 dates for football matches every year. Other sporting events, concerts, trade shows and conventions will pepper the events calendar.
According to the state government, the Pernambuco Arena represents the beginning of a new urban center. The stadium is the first venue to be part of the ‘World Cup City’ (Cidade da Copa), a 242 hectare area that aims to bring together housing, offices, educational institutions and leisure areas. The ‘World Cup City’ is expected to be completed in the next 15 years and to generate 10,000 direct jobs through 2024.
Naming Rights Deal
Brazilian brewing giant Grupo Petrópolis has landed a naming rights deal with Pernambuco Arena.
The partnership, announced on Monday, will see the company
spend $4.9m per year over the next 10 years to put the name of its beer brand Itaipava on the stadium.
Grupo Petrópolis has already signed a similar naming rights deal with Arena Fonte Nova, a World Cup stadium in the city of Salvador.
Brasilia Stadium Opens
After two years of construction delays, the Mané Garrincha National Stadium was opened in Brazil’s capital on Saturday. Rousseff and Rebelo were also at this opening.
It will host the Brazil v Japan Confederations Cup opener on June 15 and seven matches at the World Cup.
Despite staging the final of the Brasília Football Championship between Brasília and Brasiliense on Saturday, there is much work still to be done on the venue, according to reports from Brazil.
Traffic congestion near the stadium and long queues were among the difficulties for the 20,000 people who were allowed in for the venue’s first match. Fans also complained that there were no locks on toilet doors and about lack of mobile phone coverage inside the stadium.
Brasilia’s World Cup organisers admitted to problems and promised to make changes to accommodate the 70,000-plus fans expected for the Brazilian league clash between Santos and Flamengo this weekend.
Alongside the Maracana’s $500m renovation, the 72,800-seat stadium is one of the most expensive to be built for either the Confederations Cup or World Cup. Built by more than 15,000 construction workers, it is estimated to also cost $500m.
The stadium design is based on the ideas of the famous Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer.
His work inspired the arena’s facade, composed of 288 36-foot pillars distributed around the building to form its open spaces and public access area.
Another design highlight is the terrace surrounding the stadium. The 6.6 million square foot area allows for quick and independent access to all levels of the stands. The stadium has 74 skyboxes 40 bars and 14 restaurants.
Like Pernambuco Arena, Brasilia’s new stadium is conceived as a multi-use venue once the World Cup party has left town. Without a football club, doubts have been expressed about the legacy plan. But the city’s tournament chiefs say concerts, shows, conferences and meetings will keep the stadium busy year-round.
“The stadium has embodied a differentiated concept for its use, involving public amenities, leisure, and interactive spaces for the population,” said Maruska Holanda, the engineer responsible for the venue.
“We have restaurants and snack bars as well as spaces for multi-purpose theaters and movie theatres, allowing people to come to the stadium simply to meet their friends or to watch the major events.”
During the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the arena will host the Brazilian national team’s last group match on June 23, a game that may be decisive in the country’s quest to progress to the next round.
By INSIDER’s Mark Bisson
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