Baskets, sand dunes and a solar power plant, these are only a handful of the design inspirations and elements that you will encounter among the 12 stadiums – some brand new, some renovated – being used for the World Cup in Brazil this year.
From the June 12 opening match in newly created Arena Corinthians to the July 13 final at refurbished Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, a great amount of effort and expense, around $3.5 billion, was poured into stadium projects by the host nation. Not that everything has gone smoothly.
Belo Horizonte: Estadio Mineirao – Capacity: 57,483
Brasilia: Estadio Nacional de Brasilia – Capacity: 68,009
Cuiaba: Arena Pantanal – Capacity: 42,968
Curitiba: Arena da Baixada – Capacity: 40,000
Fortaleza: Estadio Castelao – Capacity: 58,704
Manaus: Arena Amazonia – Capacity: 42,377
Natal: Estadio das Dunas – Capacity: 42,086
Porto Alegre: Estadio Beira-Rio – Capacity: 50,287
Recife: Arena Pernambuco – Capacity: 46,100
Rio de Janeiro: Estadio do Maracana – Capacity: 73,531
Salvador (Bahia): Arena Fonte Nova – Capacity: 52,048
Sao Paulo: Arena de Sao Paulo – Capacity: 65,000
Eight workers have been killed during construction. And key design features, such as a retractable roof in the stadium in Curitiba, have had to be scrapped due to cost and time overruns.
At this point, the arenas are all close enough to finished that the games will go on as planned. It’s just a matter of whether or not spectators will be quite as comfortable as possible in watching them.
Brazil is using the Cup as an opportunity to extend infrastructure to portions of the country that haven’t always been open to development, such as the city of Manaus, deep inside the Amazon rain forest.
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Arena Amazonia is just four miles from the Amazon River itself. Its design is supposed to be reminiscent of a straw basket — one of the products that the area is known for. The stadium collects rainwater, which is then used in toilets or to water the field.
As lovely to look at as the design of Arena Amazonia is, as well designed a home for soccer as it may be, critics of the Brazilian government have targeted this stadium and the $261 million it cost to build above the others.
That’s because Manaus has no professional soccer team, so after the World Cup, the stadium will sit unused. In fact, officials have floated the idea of using the arena as a detention center for prisoners as a way to help relieve the area’s overcrowded prisons.
Find out about the other stadiums and the stories behind them clicking on the video above.