Maracanã Stadium

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Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho
Maracanã Stadium
Maracana 2014 g.jpg
Aerial view of the Maracanã complex in 2014, with the stadium visible at top and the Maracanãzinho at left Maracana Stadium
Former namesEstádio do Maracanã (1950–1966) [1]
Location Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro
Coordinates 22°54′43.80″S43°13′48.59″W / 22.9121667°S 43.2301639°W / -22.9121667; -43.2301639 Coordinates: 22°54′43.80″S43°13′48.59″W / 22.9121667°S 43.2301639°W / -22.9121667; -43.2301639
Public transit Maracanã Station
Logo da SuperVia.svg SuperVia train services
Logo MetroRio.svg Metrô Rio line 2
OwnerRio de Janeiro State Government
OperatorComplexo Maracanã Entretenimento S.A. (Odebrecht, IMX, AEG)
Capacity 78,838 [2]
Record attendance199,854 (16 July 1950)
Field size105 m × 68 m (344 ft × 223 ft)
Broke ground2 August 1948
Opened16 June 1950
Renovated2000, 2006, 2013
ArchitectWaldir Ramos, Raphael Galvão, Miguel Feldman, Oscar Valdetaro, Pedro Paulo B. Bastos, Orlando Azevedo, Antônio Dias Carneiro
Clube de Regatas do Flamengo
Fluminense FC
Brazil national football team (selected matches)

The Maracanã (Portuguese : Estádio do Maracanã, standard Brazilian Portuguese: [esˈtadʒi.u du maɾakɐˈnɐ̃] , local pronunciation: [iʃˈtadʒu du mɐˌɾakɐˈnɐ̃] ), officially named the Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho (IPA:  [iʃˈtadʒ(i)u ʒoʁnaˈliʃtɐ ˈmaɾi.u ˈfiʎu] ), is a stadium in Rio de Janeiro. 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.


The stadium was opened in 1950 to host the FIFA World Cup, in which Brazil was beaten, 2–1, by Uruguay in the deciding game, in front of 199,854 spectators on 16 July 1950. [3] The venue has seen attendances of 150,000 or more at 26 occasions, the last being on 29 May 1983, as 155,253 spectators watched Flamengo beat Santos, 3–0. The stadium has seen crowds of more than 100,000 284 times. [3] But as terraced sections have been replaced with seats over time, and after the renovation for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, its original capacity has been reduced to the current 78,838, but it remains the largest stadium in Brazil. The stadium is mainly 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 last (and indeed decisive game, but not a final) game of the 1950 World Cup was 199,854, making it the world's largest stadium by capacity when it was inaugurated. After its 2010–2013 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. [4] 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, for which it hosted several matches, including the final. It also served as the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, with the main track and field events taking place at the Estádio Olímpico.


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 drainage 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 later Maracanã neighborhood, that was once part of Tijuca.

The stadium of Red Star Belgrade, the Red Star Stadium, is popularly called Marakana in honor of the Brazilian stadium.



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 of 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. [5]

The first cornerstone was laid at the site of the stadium on 2 August 1948. [6] With the first World Cup game scheduled to be played on 24 June 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 1950 FIFA World Cup

Opening game of the Maracana Stadium, shortly before the 1950 FIFA World Cup. Jogo no Estadio do Maracana, antes da Copa do Mundo de 1950.tif
Opening game of the Maracanã Stadium, shortly before the 1950 FIFA World Cup.
Postage stamp featuring the Maracana, commemorating the 1950 FIFA World Cup. Selo da Copa de 1950 Cr 1,20.jpg
Postage stamp featuring the Maracanã, commemorating the 1950 FIFA World Cup.

The opening match of the stadium took place on 16 June 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. While the major part of the stadium was finished, it still looked like a construction site; it lacked toilet facilities and a press box. Brazilian officials claimed it could seat over 200,000 people, while the Guinness Book of World Records estimated it could seat 180,000 and other sources pegged capacity at 155,000. What is beyond dispute is that Maracanã overtook Hampden Park as the largest stadium in the world. [7] Despite the stadium's unfinished state, FIFA allowed matches to be played at the venue, and on 24 June 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). 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 16 July 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. [8] [9] In any case, it was the largest crowd ever to see a football game—a record that is highly unlikely to be threatened in an era when most international matches are played in all-seater stadiums. At the time of the World Cup, the stadium was mostly grandstands with no individual seats.

Stadium completion and post-World Cup years

Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.jpg
Maracana L.jpg
Original configuration of the Maracanã from 1950 to 2010, featuring a two-tier bowl and solid-color seating. (left: Exterior view, 2009. right: interior view looking towards the southern end, 2007.)

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. On 21 March 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. 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 CR Vasco da Gama in front of 65,157 spectators. [10]

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 stood as of 2011. An upper stand in the stadium collapsed on 19 July 1992, in the second game of the finals of 1992 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, between Botafogo and Flamengo, leading to the death of three spectators and injuring 50 others. [11] Following the disaster, the stadium's capacity was greatly reduced as it was converted to an all-seater stadium in the late 1990s. Meanwhile, the ground was classified as a national landmark in 1998, meaning that it could not be demolished.[ citation needed ] The stadium hosted the first ever FIFA Club World Cup final match between CR Vasco da Gama and Corinthians Paulista, which Corinthians won on penalties.

21st century, renovations and 2014 FIFA World Cup

Panorama from inside the stadium during the closing ceremony of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Stadion Rio de Janeiro Finale WM 2014 (22117945206).jpg
Panorama from inside the stadium during the closing ceremony of the 2014 FIFA World Cup

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.

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. [12] The original stadium's roof in concrete was removed and replaced with a fiberglass tensioned membrane coated with polytetra-fluoroethylene. 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 Championship, 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 30 May 2013, a friendly game between Brazil and England scheduled for 2 June was called off by a local judge because of safety concerns related to the stadium. The government of Rio de Janeiro appealed the decision [13] and the game went ahead as originally planned, the final score being a 2–2 draw. [13] [14] This match marked the reopening of the new Maracanã. [12]

On 12 June 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, 15 June 2014. Host Brazil ended 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 7-1 by Germany. In the final, Germany defeated Argentina 1–0 in extra time. [15]

Disrepair after the 2016 Summer Olympics

Aerial photograph of Maracana's playing field in February 2017 Estadio Maracana 1 by Diego Baravelli.jpg
Aerial photograph of Maracanã's playing field in February 2017

The stadium lay dormant in the months after the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics, with photos surfacing in early 2017 of a dried-up playing field covered in brown spots and missing turf, ripped-out seats, and damage to windows and doors. A debt of R$3 million (US$939,937) to the local energy company led to power being shut off at Maracanã. At the heart of the issue was a legal wrangling between the stadium's owner, operator, and the organizing committee for the Rio Olympics over responsibility for maintaining the grounds. Maracanã SA, the operator, charges that the Olympic committee did not return the venue in an acceptable condition, while the committee says the things that they needed to fix should not keep Maracanã from operating. [16]

Within six months of the Olympics, daily tours of the stadium were halted due to vandalism at the stadium and violent robberies in the area. Items of value were looted from the stadium including fire extinguishers, televisions, and a bronze bust of journalist Mário Filho, for whom the stadium was named. [17] [18]

New managers

On 5 April 2017, the French group Lagardère signed an agreement to administer the Maracanã. In total, Lagardère will invest more than R$500 million by the end of the concession, won by Odebrecht in 2013 and valid until 2048. The Folha de São Paulo newspaper informed that the group estimates that it will need to spend about R$15 million on emergency reforms at the stadium. In 2013, the former managers of Odebrecht together with AEG and IMX, a company owned by Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista, won the bid to manage the stadium for 35 years. The company was associated with Brazilian building company OAS and the Amsterdam Arena. At the time, Lagardère was in second place in the bidding. [19]

Non-football events

The fight Masahiko Kimura vs. Hélio Gracie between Japanese judoka Masahiko Kimura and Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighter Hélio Gracie was held at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on October 23, 1951.

International sports competitions

A scene from the opening ceremony of the 2007 Pan American Games Abertura Jogos Panamericanos 1 13072007.jpg
A scene from the opening ceremony of the 2007 Pan American Games
The "Pindorama" segment during the 2016 Summer Olympics opening ceremony Cerimonia abertura Rio 2016 Danca indigena.jpg
The "Pindorama" segment during the 2016 Summer Olympics opening ceremony



Tournament results

1950 FIFA World Cup

DateTime (UTC-03)Team #1Res.Team #2RoundAttendance
24 June 195015:00Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg  Brazil 4–0Flag of Mexico (1934-1968).svg  Mexico Group 182,000
25 June 195015:00Flag of England.svg  England 2–0Flag of Chile.svg  Chile Group 230,000
29 June 195015:00Flag of Spain (1945-1977).svg  Spain 2–0Flag of Chile.svg  Chile Group 216,000
1 July 195015:00Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg  Brazil 2–0Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg  Yugoslavia Group 1142,000
9 July 195015:00Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg  Brazil 7–1Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden Final Round139,000
13 July 195015:00Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg  Brazil 6–1Flag of Spain (1945-1977).svg  Spain Final Round153,000
16 July 195015:00Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay 2–1 Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg  Brazil Final Round199,854

1989 Copa América

DateTime (UTC-03)Team #1Res.Team #2RoundAttendance
12 July 1989Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay 3–0Flag of Paraguay (1954-1988).svg  Paraguay Final Round 100,135
12 July 1989Flag of Brazil (1968-1992).svg  Brazil 2–0Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina Final Round 100,135
14 July 1989Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay 2–0Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina Final Round 53,909
14 July 1989Flag of Brazil (1968-1992).svg  Brazil 3–0Flag of Paraguay (1954-1988).svg  Paraguay Final Round 53,909
16 July 1989Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 0–0Flag of Paraguay (1954-1988).svg  Paraguay Final Round 148,068
16 July 1989Flag of Brazil (1968-1992).svg  Brazil 1–0Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay Final Round 148,068

2013 FIFA Confederations Cup

DateTime (UTC-03)Team #1Res.Team #2RoundAttendance
16 June 201316:00Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico 1–2Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Group A 73,123
20 June 201316:00Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 10–0Flag of French Polynesia.svg  Tahiti Group B 71,806
30 June 201319:00Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 3–0Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Final 73,531

2014 FIFA World Cup

DateTime (UTC-03)Team #1Res.Team #2RoundAttendance
15 June 201419:00Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 2–1Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg  Bosnia and Herzegovina Group F 74,393
18 June 201416:00Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 0–2Flag of Chile.svg  Chile Group B 74,101
22 June 201413:00Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium 1–0Flag of Russia.svg  Russia Group H 73,819
25 June 201417:00Flag of Ecuador.svg  Ecuador 0–0Flag of France.svg  France Group E 73,750
28 June 201417:00Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia 2–0Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay Round of 16 73,804
4 July 201413:00Flag of France.svg  France 0–1Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Quarter-finals 73,965
13 July 201416:00Flag of Germany.svg  Germany 1–0 (a.e.t.)Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina Final 74,738

2016 Summer Olympics

DateTime (UTC-03)Team #1Res.Team #2RoundAttendance
16 August 201613:00Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 0–0 (a.e.t.)
(3–4 pen.)
Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden Women's Semifinals 70,454
17 August 201613:00Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 6–0Flag of Honduras.svg  Honduras Men's Semifinals 52,457
19 August 201617:30Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden 1–2Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Women's Gold Medal Match 52,432
20 August 201617:30Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 1–1 (a.e.t.)
(5–4 pen.)
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Men's Gold Medal Match 63,707

2019 Copa América

DateTime (UTC-03)Team #1Res.Team #2RoundAttendance
16 June 201916:00Flag of Paraguay.svg  Paraguay 2–2Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar Group B 19,196
18 June 201918:30Flag of Bolivia (state).svg  Bolivia 1–3Flag of Peru (state).svg  Peru Group A 26,346
24 June 201920:00Flag of Chile.svg  Chile 0–1Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay Group C 57,442
28 June 201916:00Flag of Venezuela (state).svg  Venezuela 0–2Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina Quarter-finals 50,094
7 July 201917:00Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 3–1Flag of Peru (state).svg  Peru Final 69,968

Further reading

See also

Related Research Articles

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Events and tenants
Preceded by
Parc des Princes
FIFA World Cup
Opening venue

Succeeded by
4 venues (Wankdorf Stadium, Charmilles Stadium
Hardturm, Stade olympique de la Pontaise)
used for the 1954 FIFA World Cup,
matches on the first day were
all played at the same time
Preceded by
Stade Olympique de Colombes
FIFA World Cup
Final venue
(This match was the tournament-deciding game of a round-robin phase)

Succeeded by
Wankdorf Stadium
Preceded by
Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti
Buenos Aires
Copa América
Final round matches

Succeeded by
Estadio Nacional de Chile
Preceded by
FIFA Club World Championship
Final venue

Succeeded by
International Stadium Yokohama
Preceded by
Estadio Olímpico Juan Pablo Duarte
Santo Domingo
Pan American Games
Opening and closing ceremonies venue

Succeeded by
Estadio Omnilife
Preceded by
Ellis Park Stadium
FIFA Confederations Cup
Final venue

Succeeded by
Krestovsky Stadium
Saint Petersburg
Preceded by
Soccer City
FIFA World Cup
Final venue

Succeeded by
Luzhniki Stadium
Preceded by
Olympic Stadium
Summer Olympics
Opening and closing ceremonies (Olympic Stadium)

Succeeded by
Japan National Stadium
Preceded by
Wembley Stadium
Summer Olympics
Football finals

Succeeded by
Japan National Stadium
Preceded by
MetLife Stadium
East Rutherford
Copa América
Final venue

Succeeded by
Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez