Estádio do Maracanã
Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro
Full name Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho
Location Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Coordinates 22°54′43.80″S 43°13′48.59″W / 22.912167°S 43.2301639°W / -22.912167; -43.2301639Coordinates: 22°54′43.80″S 43°13′48.59″W / 22.912167°S 43.2301639°W / -22.912167; -43.2301639

Broke ground August 2, 1948
Opened June 16, 1950
Renovated 2006, 2013
Surface Grass
Architect Waldir Ramos
Raphael Galvão
Miguel Feldman
Oscar Valdetaro
Pedro Paulo B. Bastos
Orlando Azevedo
Antônio Dias Carneiro
Capacity 78, 838[1] (currently in renovation)
Record attendance 199,854 (Brazil-Uruguay, July 16, 1950)
Field dimensions 110 m × 75 m (360 ft × 246 ft)
105 m × 68 m (344 ft × 223 ft) after 2014
1950 FIFA World Cup
2014 FIFA World Cup
2014 FIFA World Cup Final
2016 Summer Olympics
2016 Summer Paralympics

The Estádio do Maracanã (English: Maracanã Stadium, standard Brazilian Portuguese: [iʃˈtadʒi.u du maɾakɐˈnɐ̃], local pronounce: [iʃˈtadʒu du mɐˌɾakɐˈnɐ̃]), officially Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho (IPA: [iʃˈtadʒu ʒoɦnaˈliʃtɐ ˈmaɾju ˈfiʎu]), is an open-air stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Owned by the Rio de Janeiro State Government, it is, as 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, and in the final game Brazil was beaten 2-1 by Uruguay. Since then, it has mainly been used for football matches between the major football clubs in Rio de Janeiro, including Botafogo, Flamengo, Fluminense, and Vasco da Gama. It has also hosted a number of concerts and other sporting events. Although the paid attendance at the final game of the 1950 FIFA World Cup was 199,854 (being the world's largest stadium by capacity, when it was inaugurated), the stadium currently seats 78,838 spectators.[1] It was the main venue of the 2007 Pan American Games, hosting the football tournament and the opening and closing ceremonies.

Over time, however, the stadium also has become a multi-character space to receive other events such as shows and games from other sports, such as volleyball. After several works of modernization, the current capacity of the stadium is 82,238 spectators, making it the largest stadium in Brazil and South America.

The Maracanã is, as of December 2012, closed for renovations and upgrades, and will reach a total capacity of around 78,838 spectators in preparations for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, the 2014 World Cup which will since its inception 64 years ago, the 2016 Summer Olympics, and the 2016 Summer Paralympics. The stadium's reopening is forecasted for early 2013.


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



After winning the right to host the 1950 FIFA World Cup, the Brazilian government sought to build a new stadium for the tournament. The plans for the stadium were drawn up by seven Brazilian architects, Miguel Feldman, Waldir Ramos, Raphael Galvão, Oscar Valdetaro, Orlando Azevedo, Antônio Dias Carneiro and Pedro Paulo Bernardes Bastos.[2] The first stone was laid at the site of the stadium on August 2, 1948.[3] 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.

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. Still it was supported by journalist Mário Rodrigues Filho, Mendes de Morais was able to move the project forward. At the time, a horse racing arena stood in the chosen area. The competition for the work was opened by municipality of Rio de Janeiro in 1947, with the construction contract awarded by engineer Humberto Menescal, and architectural contract awarded by Michael Feldman, Waldir Ramos, Raphael Galvão, Oscar Valdetaro, Orlando Azevedo, Pedro Paulo Bernardes Bastos, and Antônio Dias Carneiro. The works initiated on August 2, 1948, with the laying of the cornerstone. 1,500 workers constructed the stadium, with an additional two thousand working in the final months. Despite having come into use in 1950, the works were only completed in 1965.

Opening and World Cup 1950Edit

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.[4] 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, making it one of the largest stadiums in the world at the time.[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. 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. 81,000 spectators attended the game.

Built for the 1950 World Cup, the Maracanã's first official match was in that competition on June 24, 1950. The game saw Brazil defeat Mexico 4-0, with two goals from Ademir and 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 the Maracanã (the exception being their 2-2 draw with Switzerland).

The MaracanazoEdit

Eventually, Brazil progressed to the final round, facing Uruguay in the final match of the tournament on July 16, 1950. Brazil only needed a draw to finish top of the group, but Uruguay won the game 2-1, shocking and silencing the hundred thousands who attended the game. This defeat on home soil is a significant event in Brazilian history, being known popularly as the Maracanazo. The official attendance of the game was 199,854, with the actual attendance estimated to be about 210,000.[5][6]

Post World Cup yearsEdit

File:Estádio do Maracanã structure.jpg

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 177,656 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 left Brazil in 1950, the 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, Mário Rodrigues Filho, a Brazilian journalist, columnist and sports figure, died, leading to the administrators of the stadium renaming the stadium after him to Estádio Jornalista Mário Rodrigues Filho. However, the nickname of Maracanã continued to be used. Mario Rodrigues Filho was a prominent campaigner who was largely responsible for the stadium originally being built. In 1969, Pelé scored the 1,000th goal of his career at the Maracanã against Vasco in front of 125,000 spectators. In 1989, 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.

Modern dayEdit

An upper stand in the stadium collapsed on July 19, 1992, leading to the death of three supporters and 50 more being injured.[7] 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 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 82,238.

The stadium is part of a complex that includes an arena known by the name of Maracanãzinho, which means "the Little Maracanã" in Portuguese.

In May 2012 the stadium will be opened to the public to get tours of the stadium for each first Saturday of each month.[8]

Internal view of the Maracanã stadium with a small crowd, moments before the first match of the 2010 Brazilian Football Championship between Flamengo and São Paulo.

Design for the World Cup 2014 and the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic GamesEdit

The Maracanã is one of the venues to host matches at the 2014 World Cup. The intention is that the stadium will be the location of the final match of the competition, becoming the second stadium in the world to host two World Cup finals, the first being the Estadio Azteca in Mexico, which hosted the finals in 1970 and 1986. In 2016, it may become the sixth stadium to host both a World Cup final and the Opening/Closing Ceremonies of the Summer Olympics, after the original Wembley in London, host of the 1948 Olympics and 1966 World Cup Final; Stade Olympique in Paris, host of the 1924 Olympics and the 1938 World Cup Final; Stadio Olimpico in Rome, host of the 1960 Olympics and 1990 World Cup Final; Munich's Olympic Stadium which hosted the Olympics in 1972 and the World Cup Final in 1974 and Berlin's Olympic Stadium, host of the 1936 Olympics and the 2006 World Cup Final (which was thoroughly redesigned and renovated between those two events), though all those stadiums have hosted the athletics events as well. Another stadium that will end up having that same distinction will be the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, which hosted the Ceremonies and athletics events of the 1980 Olympics and the 2018 World Cup final. Mexico City's Estadio Azteca and Los Angeles's Rose Bowl were Olympic venues, but were never the main stadium.

For the World Cup in 2014, it is running a major reconstruction project that involves an expansion of the stadium's roof, which will cover all seats inside the stadium, unlike the current design, where protection is given from the seats of the bleachers above the gate access of each sector. In addition, the grayish tone returns to the main color of the stadium, the original seating bowl, with a two-tier configuration, will be demolished, giving way to a new seating bowl, possibly with a single level of luxury boxes on one side and a couple of levels on the other. The old level of boxes, which were installed above the stands for the 2000 FIFA Club World Cup, were dismantled in the reconstruction process.

The reconstruction project will also prepare the stadium to host the opening and closing ceremonies and the football games of the 2016 Summer Olympics, and the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2016 Summer Paralympics.[9]

Non-footballing eventsEdit

File:Abertura Jogos Panamericanos 1 13072007.jpg

International sports competitionsEdit



  • Pope John Paul II celebrated masses at the stadium.
  • In the anime Yu Yu Hakusho the first stadium featured in the Dark Tournament Saga was based on Estádio do Maracanã.
  • It also has a very brief cameo in the Fox Animation film Rio in the scene where the two bird smugglers are traversing the city in the search of Blu and Jewel.
  • The stadium of the Red Star Belgrade is also popularly called Maracana (in the honor of the Brazilian stadium of the same name).

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Maracanã fica mais moderno sem abrir mão de sua história" (in Portuguese). Estado de S. Paulo.,182163.htm. Retrieved September 22, 2012.
  2. "El fútbol vuelve al histórico Maracaná tras nueve meses de espera" (in Spanish). El País. January 22, 2006. Retrieved October 20, 2008.
  3. "Soccer Hall: 1950 FIFA World Cup". Retrieved March 23, 2007.
  4. " Maracanã, the largest stadium of the world". Retrieved March 23, 2007.
  5. "Futebol; the Brazilian way of life". Retrieved March 23, 2007.
  6. " Maracanã, the largest stadium of the world". Retrieved March 23, 2007.
  7. "Sports Disasters". Retrieved March 23, 2007.
  8. Part-rebuilt Maracanã stadium opens to the public
  9. bid package. Volume 2. p. 18.
  10. ">Х> FRANK SINATRA - Era uma vez um mito chamado Frank Sinatra >". Duplipensar.Net. Retrieved May 26, 2009.
  11. Jet February 8, 1988 - Vol. 73, n. 19, p.60. ISSN 0021-5996
  12. "One Year Ago: Internet Gives McCartney All-Time Largest Album Promo". E-Commerce Times. December 14, 2000. Retrieved March 9, 2010.
  13. "Klar for take-off /". Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  14. "Stjerne. Punktum. /". Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  15. "Et slags monster /". Retrieved June 7, 2011.

External linksEdit

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