Maracanã Stadium

"Rio Olympic Stadium" redirects here. For the venue of athletics at the 2016 Summer Olympics, see Estádio Olímpico João Havelange.
Not to be confused with Marakana Stadium, in Belgrade, Serbia.
Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho
Maracanã Stadium

Aerial view of the Maracanã complex in 2014, with the stadium visible at top and the Maracanãzinho at left
Full name Estádio do Maracanã
Location Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Coordinates 22°54′43.80″S 43°13′48.59″W / 22.9121667°S 43.2301639°W / -22.9121667; -43.2301639Coordinates: 22°54′43.80″S 43°13′48.59″W / 22.9121667°S 43.2301639°W / -22.9121667; -43.2301639
Public transit Maracanã Station: SuperVia/Rio de Janeiro Metro
Owner State of Rio de Janeiro
Operator Complexo Maracanã Entretenimento S.A. (Odebrecht, IMX, AEG)
Capacity 78,838[1][2]
Record attendance 199,854 (16 July 1950)
Field size 105 m × 68 m (344 ft × 223 ft)
Surface Grass
Broke ground 2 August 1948
Opened 16 June 1950[3]
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 (Série A) (1950–present)
Fluminense (Série A) (1950–present)

The Maracanã Stadium (/mah-ra-ca-Nahn/,[p] Portuguese: Estádio do Maracanã, standard Brazilian Portuguese: [esˈtadʒi.u du maɾakɐˈnɐ̃], local pronunciation: [iʃˈtadʒu du mɐˌɾakɐˈnɐ̃]), 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.

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. 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.[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. It was also selected 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 João Havelange.


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.



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

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

Original configuration of the Maracanã from 1950 to 2010, featuring a two-tier bowl and solid-colour 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 vs. 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. 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 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

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 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 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]

Non-football events

International sports competitions

A scene from the opening ceremony of the 2007 Pan American Games.
View of the metropolis stage during the Parade of Nations at the 2016 Summer Olympics opening ceremony.



Tournament results

1950 FIFA World Cup

Date Time (UTC-03) Team #1 Res. Team #2 Round Attendance
24 June 195015:00 Brazil 4–0  Mexico Group 182,000
25 June 195015:00 England 2–0  Chile Group 230,000
29 June 195015:00Spain Spain 2–0  Chile Group 216,000
1 July 195015:00 Brazil 2–0  Yugoslavia Group 1142,000
2 July 195015:00Spain Spain 1–0  England Group 274,000
9 July 195015:00 Brazil 7–1  Sweden Final Round139,000
13 July 195015:00 Brazil 6–1 Spain Spain Final Round153,000
16 July 195015:00 Uruguay 2–1 Brazil Final Round199,854

1989 Copa América

Date Time (UTC-03) Team #1 Res. Team #2 Round Attendance
12 July 1989  Uruguay3–0 Paraguay 1989 Copa America - Final Round100,135
12 July 1989  Brazil 2–0 Argentina 1989 Copa America - Final Round100,135
14 July 1989  Uruguay 2–0 Argentina 1989 Copa America - Final Round53,909
14 July 1989  Brazil 3–0 Paraguay 1989 Copa America - Final Round53,909
16 July 1989  Argentina 0–0 Paraguay 1989 Copa America - Final Round148,068
16 July 1989  Brazil 1–0 Uruguay 1989 Copa America - Final Round148,068

2013 FIFA Confederations Cup

Date Time (UTC-03) Team #1 Res. Team #2 Round Attendance
16 June 201316:00 Mexico 1–2 Italy Group A73,123
20 June 201316:00 Spain 10–0 Tahiti Group B71,806
30 June 201319:00 Brazil 3–0 Spain Final73,531

2014 FIFA World Cup

Date Time (UTC-03) Team #1 Res. Team #2 Round Attendance
15 June 201419:00 Argentina 2–1  Bosnia and Herzegovina Group F74,393
18 June 201416:00 Spain 0–2  Chile Group B74,101
22 June 201413:00 Belgium 1–0  Russia Group H73,819
25 June 201417:00 Ecuador 0–0  France Group E73,750
28 June 201417:00 Colombia 2–0  Uruguay Round of 1673,804
4 July 201413:00 France 0–1 Germany Quarter-finals73,965
13 July 201416:00 Germany 1–0 (a.e.t.) Argentina Final74,738

2016 Summer Olympics

Date Time (UTC-03) Team #1 Res. Team #2 Round Attendance
16 August 201613:00 Brazil 0-0 (3-4 pen.)  Sweden Women's Semifinal70,454
17 August 201613:00 Brazil 6-0  Honduras Men's Semifinal52,457
19 August 201617:30 Sweden 1-2  Germany Women's Gold Medal Match52,432
20 August 201617:30 Brazil 1-1 (5-4 pen.)  Germany Men's Gold Medal Match63,707

See also


  [p] ^ The "r" is spoken as "d" in "ladder" with "ã" a nasal "ahn".[19]

  3. Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho
  4. "Maracanã fica mais moderno sem abrir mão de sua história" (in Portuguese). Estado de S. Paulo. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  5. "El fútbol vuelve al histórico Maracanã tras nueve meses de espera". El País (in Spanish). 22 January 2006. Retrieved 20 October 2008.
  6. "Soccer Hall: 1950 FIFA World Cup". Retrieved 23 March 2007.
  7. " Maracanã, the largest stadium of the world". Retrieved 23 March 2007.
  8. "Futebol; the Brazilian way of life". Retrieved 23 March 2007.
  9. " Maracanã, the largest stadium of the world (part 2)". p. 2. Retrieved 23 March 2007.
  10. [Book Almanaque do Santos]
  11. "Sports Disasters". Retrieved 23 March 2007.
  12. 1 2
  13. 1 2 "Brazil v England suspended over Maracanã safety concerns". BBC Sport. 30 May 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
  14. "Brazil 2 England 2". Daily Mail. 2 June 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  15. 15 Biggest Stories of the 2014 FIFA World Cup
  16. ">Х> FRANK SINATRA – Era uma vez um mito chamado Frank Sinatra >". Duplipensar.Net. 2005. Retrieved 26 May 2009.
  17. Jet 8 February 1988 – Vol. 73, n. 19, p.60. ISSN 0021-5996
  18. "One Year Ago: Internet Gives McCartney All-Time Largest Album Promo". E-Commerce Times. 14 December 2000. Retrieved 9 March 2010.
  19. "Pronouncing Maracanã in Preparation for the 2014 World Cup". May 7, 2014. Retrieved 2016-08-20.
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