Stadium Joao Havelange
Brazil’s most modern football stadium – the Joao Havelange Olympic Stadium – was recently inaugurated in Rio de Janeiro. A crowd of 44,000 flocked to the stadium to watch Botafogo beat Fluminense 2-1 in the inaugural game. Named after FIFA’s Honorary President, the arena was erected in the north of the city primarily for the Pan American Games staged in Rio de Janeiro from 13 to 29 July. “This project is only part of the investment we have been making to ensure that Rio can keep dreaming of hosting the Olympic Games in 2016,” commented Sports Minister Orlando Silva. According to football officials in Rio, the stadium is the last word in comfort. It features a running track and state-of-the-art lighting facilities that do not cast shadows on the pitch. According to official statistics, it cost 380 million reais (approximately 150m euros) and took three years to build. The city of Rio de Janeiro intends to put out a tender to clubs and other private organisations to manage the stadium for the next 40 years.