Maracanã Stadium

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Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho
(Maracanã Stadium)
Maracana Stadium June 2013.jpg
Full name Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho
Location Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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Owner State of Rio de Janeiro
Operator Complexo Maracanã Entretenimento S.A. (Odebrecht, IMX, AEG)
Capacity 78,838[1]
Record attendance 199,850 (Uruguay vs Brazil, July 16, 1950)
Field size 105 m × 68 m (344 ft × 223 ft)
Surface Grass
Broke ground August 2, 1948
Opened June 16, 1950[2]
Renovated 2000, 2006, 2013
Architect Waldir Ramos
Raphael Galvão
Miguel Feldman
Oscar Valdetaro
Pedro Paulo B. Bastos
Orlando Azevedo
Antônio Dias Carneiro
Brazil national football team (1950–present)
Flamengo (1950–present)
Fluminense (1950–present) 2016 Summer Olympic Games

The Maracanã Stadium (Portuguese: Estádio do Maracanã, standard Brazilian Portuguese: [esˈtadʒi.u du maɾakɐˈnɐ̃], local pronunciation: [iʃˈtadʒu du mɐˌɾakɐˈnɐ̃]) (stress on the last syllable), also known as Maracanã, officially Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho (IPA: [iʃˈtadʒ(i)u ʒoʁnaˈliʃtɐ ˈmaɾi.u ˈfiʎu]), is a football stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The stadium is part of a complex that includes an arena known by the name of Maracanãzinho, which means "the Little Maracanã" in Portuguese.

Owned by the Rio de Janeiro state government, it is, as is the Maracanã neighborhood where it is located, named after the Rio Maracanã, a now canalized river in Rio de Janeiro. It was opened in 1950 to host the FIFA World Cup, in which Brazil was beaten 2–1 by Uruguay in the deciding game. Since then, it has mainly been used for football matches between the major football clubs in Rio de Janeiro, including Flamengo, Fluminense, Botafogo and Vasco da Gama. It has also hosted a number of concerts and other sporting events.

The total attendance at the final game of the 1950 FIFA World Cup was 199,854, making it the world's largest stadium by capacity (when it was inaugurated). After its 2010–13 renovation, the rebuilt stadium currently seats 78,838 spectators, making it the largest stadium in Brazil and the second in South America after Estadio Monumental in Peru.[3]

It was the main venue of the 2007 Pan American Games, hosting the football tournament and the opening and closing ceremonies. The Maracanã was partially rebuilt in preparation for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, and the 2014 World Cup, where the final of the latter competition was held. It will also be the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.


The official name of the stadium, Mário Filho, was given in honor of an old Pernambucan journalist, (the brother of Nelson Rodrigues), who was a strong vocal supporter of the construction of the Maracanã.

The stadium's popular name is derived from the Maracanã River, whose point of origin is in the jungle covered hills to the west, crossing various bairros (neighborhoods) of Rio's Zona Norte (North Zone) such as Tijuca and São Cristóvão via a canal which features sloping sides constructed of concrete. Upon flowing into the Canal do Mangue, it empties into Guanabara Bay. The name Maracanã derives from the indigenous Tupi–Guarani word for a type of parrot which inhabited the region. The stadium construction was prior to the formation of the Maracanã neighborhood that was once part of Tijuca.


Maracanã Stadium and complex.


After winning the right to host the 1950 FIFA World Cup, the Brazilian government sought to build a new stadium for the tournament. The construction of Maracanã was criticized by Carlos Lacerda, then Congressman and political enemy of the mayor of the city, general Ângelo Mendes de Morais, for the expense and for the chosen location for the stadium, arguing that it should be built in the West Zone neighborhood of Jacarepaguá. At the time, a tennis stadium stood in the chosen area. Still it was supported by journalist Mário Filho, and Mendes de Morais was able to move the project forward. The competition for the design and construction was opened by the municipality of Rio de Janeiro in 1947, with the construction contract awarded to engineer Humberto Menescal, and the architectural contract awarded to seven Brazilian architects, Michael Feldman, Waldir Ramos, Raphael Galvão, Oscar Valdetaro, Orlando Azevedo, Pedro Paulo Bernardes Bastos, and Antônio Dias Carneiro.[4]

The first cornerstone was laid at the site of the stadium on August 2, 1948.[5] With the first World Cup game scheduled to be played on June 24, 1950, this left a little under two years to finish construction. However, work quickly fell behind schedule, prompting FIFA to send Dr. Ottorino Barassi, the head of the Italian FA, who had organized the 1934 World Cup, to help in Rio de Janeiro. A work force of 1,500 constructed the stadium, with an additional 2,000 working in the final months. Despite the stadium having come into use in 1950, the construction was only fully completed in 1965.

Opening and World Cup 1950

Maracanã Stadium and mountains.

The opening match of the stadium took place on June 16, 1950. Rio de Janeiro All-Stars beat São Paulo All-Stars 3–1; Didi became the player to score the first ever goal at the stadium.[6] Despite hosting a match, the stadium was still unfinished. It lacked toilet facilities and a press stand, and still looked like a building site. It was said that the stadium could house 200,000 standing spectators, overtaking Hampden Park as the largest stadium in the world.[citation needed] Despite the stadium's unfinished state, FIFA allowed matches to be played at the venue, and on June 24, 1950, the first World Cup match took place, with 81,000 spectators in attendance.

In that first match for which Maracanã had been built, Brazil beat Mexico with a final score 4–0, with Ademir becoming the first scorer of a competitive goal at the stadium with his 30th-minute strike. Ademir had two goals in total, plus one each from Baltasar and Jair. The match was refereed by Englishman George Reader. Five of Brazil's six games at the tournament were played at Maracanã (the exception being their 2–2 draw with Switzerland in São Paulo).

1950 FIFA World Cup

Date Time (UTC-03) Team #1 Res. Team #2 Round Attendance
June 24, 1950 15:00  Brazil 4–0  Mexico Group 1 82,000
June 25, 1950 15:00  England 2–0  Chile Group 2 30,000
June 29, 1950 15:00 Spain Spain 2–0  Chile Group 2 16,000
July 1, 1950 15:00  Brazil 2–0  Yugoslavia Group 1 142,000
July 2, 1950 15:00 Spain Spain 1–0  England Group 2 74,000
July 9, 1950 15:00  Brazil 7–1  Sweden Final Round 139,000
July 13, 1950 15:00  Brazil 6–1 Spain Spain Final Round 153,000
July 16, 1950 15:00  Uruguay 2–1  Brazil Final Round 199,854

The Maracanazo

Eventually, Brazil progressed to the final round, facing Uruguay in the match (part of a round-robin final phase) that turned out to be the tournament-deciding match on July 16, 1950. Brazil only needed a draw to finish as champion, but Uruguay won the game 2–1, shocking and silencing the massive crowd. This defeat on home soil instantly became a significant event in Brazilian history, being known popularly as the Maracanazo. The official attendance of the final game was 199,854, with the actual attendance estimated to be about 210,000.[7][8]

Post-1950 World Cup years

Maracanã Stadium in a digital view.

On March 21, 1954, a new official attendance record was set in the game between Brazil and Paraguay, after 183,513 spectators entered the stadium with a ticket and 194,603 (177,656 p.) in Fla-Flu (1963). In 1963, stadium authorities replaced the square goal posts with round ones, but it was still two years before the stadium would be fully completed. In 1965, 17 years after construction began, the stadium was finally finished.

Since the World Cup in 1950, Maracanã Stadium has mainly been used for club games involving four major football clubs in RioVasco, Botafogo, Flamengo and Fluminense. The stadium has also hosted numerous domestic football cup finals, most notably the Copa do Brasil and the Campeonato Carioca.

In September 1966, upon the death of Mário Rodrigues Filho, the Brazilian journalist, columnist, sports figure, and prominent campaigner who was largely responsible for the stadium originally being built, the administrators of the stadium renamed the stadium after him: Estádio Jornalista Mário Rodrigues Filho. However, the nickname of Maracanã has continued to be used as the common referent.

In 1969, Pelé scored the 1,000th goal of his career at Maracanã against Vasco in front of 65,157 spectators.[9] In 1989 the stadium hosted the games of the final round of the Copa America; in the same year Zico scored his final goal for Flamengo at the Maracanã, taking his goal tally at the stadium to 333, a record that still stands as of 2011.

1990s and 2000s

An upper stand in the stadium collapsed on July 19, 1992, leading to the death of three spectators and injuring 50 others.[10] Following the disaster, the stadium's capacity was greatly reduced as it was converted to an all-seater stadium in the late 1990s. Despite this, the ground was classified as a national landmark in 1998, meaning that it could not be demolished. The stadium hosted the first ever FIFA Club World Cup final match between Vasco da Gama and Corinthians, which Corinthians won on penalties.

Following its 50th anniversary in 2000, the stadium underwent renovations which would increase its full capacity to around 103,000. After years of planning and nine months of closure between 2005 and 2006, the stadium was reopened in January 2007 with an all-seated capacity of 87,000.

Maracanã stadium in February 2009, showing the two-tier configuration and concrete roof

Rebuilding for the World Cup 2014 and the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Maracanã stadium in 2014, Downtown Rio on the far end.

For the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics and Paralympics, a major reconstruction project was initiated in 2010. The original seating bowl, with a two-tier configuration, was demolished, giving way to a new one-tier seating bowl.[11] The original stadium's roof in concrete was removed and replaced with a fiberglass tensioned membrane coated with Polytetrafluoroethylene. The new roof covers 95% of the seats inside the stadium, unlike the former design, where protection was only afforded to some seats in the upper ring and the bleachers above the gate access of each sector. The old boxes, which were installed at a level above the stands for the 2000 FIFA Club World Cup, were dismantled in the reconstruction process. The new seats are colored yellow, blue and white, which—combined with the green of the match field—form the Brazilian national colors. In addition, the grayish tone has returned as the main façade color of the stadium.

On May 30, 2013, a friendly game between Brazil and England scheduled for June 2 was called off by a local judge due to safety concerns related to the stadium. The government of Rio de Janeiro appealed the decision[12] and the game went ahead as originally planned, the final score being a 2–2 draw.[12][13] This match marked the reopening of the new Maracanã.[11]

On June 12, 2014, the 2014 FIFA World Cup opened with Brazil defeating Croatia 3–1, but that match was held in São Paulo. The first game of the World Cup to be held in Maracanã was a 2–1 victory by Argentina over Bosnia-Herzegovina on Sunday, June 15. Host Brazil ending up never playing a match in the Maracanã during the tournament, as they failed to reach the final after being eliminated in the semi-finals. In the final, Germany defeated Argentina 1–0 in extra time.[14]

Internal view of the stadium in 2013.

2013 FIFA Confederations Cup

Date Time (UTC-03) Team #1 Res. Team #2 Round Attendance
June 16, 2013 16:00  Mexico 1–2  Italy Group A 73,123
June 20, 2013 16:00  Spain 10–0  Tahiti Group B 71,806
June 30, 2013 19:00  Brazil 3–0  Spain Final 73,531

2014 FIFA World Cup

Date Time Team #1 Res. Team #2 Round Attendance
June 15, 2014 19:00  Argentina 2–1  Bosnia and Herzegovina Group F 74,393
June 18, 2014 16:00  Spain 0–2  Chile Group B 74,101
June 22, 2014 13:00  Belgium 1–0  Russia Group H 73,819
June 25, 2014 17:00  Ecuador 0–0  France Group E 73,750
June 28, 2014 17:00  Colombia 2–0  Uruguay Round of 16 73,804
July 4, 2014 13:00  France 0–1  Germany Quarter-finals 73,965
July 13, 2014 16:00  Germany 1–0 (a.e.t.)  Argentina Final 74,738

Non-football events

2014 FIFA World Cup Final, between Argentina and Germany.

International sports competitions



See also


  1. 17, 2014 "Estadio Do Maracana, Rio de Janeiro" Check |url= value (help). Estado de S. Paulo.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Maracanã fica mais moderno sem abrir mão de sua história" (in Portuguese). Estado de S. Paulo. Retrieved September 22, 2012. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "El fútbol vuelve al histórico Maracanã tras nueve meses de espera". El País (in Spanish). January 22, 2006. Retrieved October 20, 2008. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Soccer Hall: 1950 FIFA World Cup". Retrieved March 23, 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. " Maracanã, the largest stadium of the world". Retrieved March 23, 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Futebol; the Brazilian way of life". Retrieved March 23, 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. " Maracanã, the largest stadium of the world". Retrieved March 23, 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. [Book Almanaque do Santos]
  10. "Sports Disasters". Retrieved March 23, 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. 11.0 11.1 [1]
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Brazil v England suspended over Maracanã safety concerns". BBC Sport. May 30, 2013. Retrieved May 30, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Brazil 2 England 2". Daily Mail. June 2, 2013. Retrieved June 6, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. 15 Biggest Stories of the 2014 FIFA World Cup
  15. ">Х> FRANK SINATRA – Era uma vez um mito chamado Frank Sinatra >". Duplipensar.Net. Retrieved May 26, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Jet February 8, 1988 – Vol. 73, n. 19, p.60. ISSN 0021-5996
  17. "One Year Ago: Internet Gives McCartney All-Time Largest Album Promo". E-Commerce Times. December 14, 2000. Retrieved March 9, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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