Thursday, July 15, 2010

Rio's Stadium Faces Years-Long Closure for Renovation

Rio de Janeiro's Maracana Stadium will close for nearly 2 and a half years for renovations ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics. Its capacity will be slashed from about 175,000 to about 86,000. [Note: an earlier version of this post indicated that the seating would be reduced to 56,000, which, from what I can tell, is incorrect. Documents from Brazil's 2007 inspection report indicate the stadium will hold roughly 86,000. -NB 7/19/10]

To prepare for Maracana's starring role when Brazil plays host to the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, the International Olympic Committee and FIFA want a stadium with fewer seats and more exits. The new Maracana also will be the venue for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies at the Olympics.

The stadium will be closed for about 2 ½ years, but the renovation must be finished before Brazil plays host to the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2013.

Brazilian icon faces makeover
The Miami Herald
July 15, 2010