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Maracanã-Stadium: Rebuilding a Myth

Brazil will be hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but the construction and refurbishing of the old stadiums is taking a little too long according to FIFA and even the local organising committee. And with guarantees from the city missing Brazil’s financial capital and home of legend Pele, Sao Paolo is currently off the venues list for the upcoming World Cup. But I hope that funds are made available for reconstruction to take place as what would a Brazilian World Cup be without Sao Paolo?

In Rio de Janeiro things are looking better as the world famous Maracanã-Stadium is undergoing refurbishment since Wednesday, August 25; but even this project is behind schedule as originally work was planned to start in March 2010. Until late 2012 around 300 Million Euros will be spend on the arena to bring it up to World Cup standard as in its current form it is outdated and wouldn’t qualify as a World Cup venue. And besides the World Cup, Rio is also set to host the 2016 Olympics for which the stadium would also be needed.

The Maracanã in its full name is called the Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho and it is one of the iconic venues of world football. Legendary stories are told about the 1950 World Cup final in the stadium between hosts Brazil and then giants Uruguay. It is said that over 200,000 people where live at the ground to watch the final. It used to be the biggest stadium in the world, but development work over the years have reduced the capacity to now 88,000. The last time the stadium was redeveloped was in 2007 ahead of the Pan American Games.

Now for the 2014 FIFA World Cup the capacity will come down further to around 83,000 as tough FIFA guidelines are enforcing less capacity at the ground plus better facilities for players, media, VIPs and the general public. Still the outside of the stadium will remain the same as it is a Brazilian national monument, but besides improvement inside the ground it will also get a new modern roof. Currently the Maracanã is the home venue of local Rio giants Flamengo and Fluminense plus also hosting to matches of the Brazilian Selecao.

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