Are you sure you know Maracanã? Read this text and discover – really – the peculiarities of the most important stadium in Brazil!
The Maracanã stadium is one of the great material patrimony of Brazil. Stage of a number of important events throughout our history, from World Cup finals to epic musical shows, the sports complex is now preparing to host the 2019 America’s Cup.
In this text, you will learn more about the particularities of Maracanã, located in the neighborhood of the same name, in the region of Tijuca / Grande Tijuca in the North Zone of Rio de Janeiro. Home of Brazilian football, this postcard was once the largest stadium in the world in terms of people capacity. But despite losing his post, his grandeur is still recognized worldwide.
Curious to learn more about this true sacred temple of sport? So let’s go!
First, the priorities. If you plan to visit the stadium or attend a match there, you need to know how to get there. For those going by public transport, there are subway lines near the destination.
The choice of the best arrival station depends on the access gate you need to reach. See below:
- Maracanã Station: gates A, B and C;
- São Cristóvão Station: gates D, E and F;
- San Francisco Xavier Station: Gates C, D and E.
The BRT and the Train are also connected to the first two stations. That is: it is easy to reach from any corner of the wonderful city.
Public transportation is the best option for those who want to access the place during games and events, as the roads around it are closed.
Officially called the Jornalista Mário Filho Stadium, Maracanã was inaugurated on June 16, 1950. Built for the same year’s World Cup, it was erected on the grounds of a horse racing club.
Maraca was born with the nickname of the largest stadium in the world, with a capacity of 166,369 spectators. At the end of the 50th World Cup, it is estimated that it received 200,000 people. Today, after recent renovations, it can hold just over 78,000 in its audience.
Its first restructuring took place in 1999 for the 2000 FIFA Club World Cup. The stadium was then closed between 2005 and 2006 for repairs aimed at the opening ceremony of the 2009 Pan American Games.
Finally, the renovation was redone to host the 2014 World Cup, and Maracanã now has only one set of stands.
Curiosities of Maracanã
Did you know that it was at this stadium where Pelé made his Brazilian debut in 1957? It was also there where the king scored his thousandth goal in 1969. Yes, Maraca is not the temple of football by chance. In the stadium, there were remarkable moments of the sport.
Its 75-meter-wide, 110-meter-long lawn saw Zico score 333 goals and become Maracanã’s top scorer. There were also two World Cup finals (1950 and 2014), a mark matched only by the Azteca stadium in Mexico.
In 2016, Maracanã became the first non-Olympic stadium in the world to host both the opening and closing of the Olympic Games. And it wasn’t the only bash the 68-year-old structure has ever seen. In 1990, Paul McCartney entered the record book for the largest solo performing audience to date: 184,000 people.
Prior to that, in 1980, the stadium had hosted Frank Sinatra for a performance that was marked in the history of the Brazilian singer and show business. Produced by businessman Roberto Media, the show attracted 150,000 people and gave him the idea of creating the Rock in Rio festival.
In addition to the singers, they also visited the Madonna stadium, Rolling Stones, Tina Turner and Pope John Paul II, who held camp masses in Maracanã in 1980 and 1997.
Attractions around the stadium
In addition to visiting Maracanã and getting to know the entire sports complex, which features the Júlio de Lamare Water Park and the Maracanãzinho multi-sport arena, visitors can also have access to various sporting relics.
These include Pelé’s 1,000th goal ball and a Walk of Fame that brings together the footprints of players like Garrincha, Zagallo and the King of Football himself.
In addition, tourists can enjoy an area of 50,000 meters around the stadium, which was transformed into a park in the last World Cup renovation. The place has been a meeting point for cyclists and practitioners of physical activities.
For those who like to drink that beer with snack, there are also plenty of options for bars and restaurants around the stadium, which fit the mood of their sporting competitions. An example is the Ball Show, with a varied menu and service praised by the visitors.
If you want to include Maracanã in your itinerary of the day and visit nearby tourist attractions, check out Rio Zoo, Mangueira shed and Quinta Da Boa Vista Municipal Park.
Accessibility in Maracanã
The stadium has been modernized to cater for all people. There are seats for the obese, tactile floor for the visually impaired and area reserved for people with special needs. In addition, the existing access ramps have been restored and four other sets of entrances and exits have been built, facilitating access to the interior.
The new structure is modern and complies with international safety, logistics and sustainability standards. Retractable seats, for example, have flame protection and are made from recyclable materials such as PET bottles. The roof captures rainwater for reuse in bathrooms and solar panels have been installed to capture power.
Maracana, the sacred temple of Brazilian sport, populates the minds of the entire nation. And after reading this text, you can say that you know the stadium for real!
If you plan to visit Rio de Janeiro, be sure to include it in your tourist attractions route. And if you still don’t know where to stay in the wonderful city, it might be a good idea to stay close to the stadium to make it easy to get there and not miss a bid!