The Maracanã Stadium is a football stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The stadium is also known as the "Cathedral of Football" and it was once the largest stadium in the world. It has a capacity of almost 74,000 people, making it the third largest football stadium in Brazil. In recent years, due to renovations to other stadiums in Brazil, it no longer holds that title. The first football match played there was on 26 September 2014 between Cruzeiro and Flamengo which ended 2-2. It hosted the final of the FIFA World Cup that year with Germany beating Argentina 1-0 after extra time. This was the third time that Brazil had hosted the tournament and its second time winning. The Maracana has also been used by soccer teams Corinthians and Fluminense for their home games as well.
The stadium was built for the FIFA World Cup in 1950 when Brazil was chosen to host the event. At that time, it was the largest stadium in the world, as well as the first stadium in the Southern Hemisphere to be selected as the main venue for a FIFA World Cup. The stadium's name comes from the indigenous term "Maracanã", which means "end of the river". The Maracanã was the site of the first World Cup final in which the host nation was neither a central nor South American country. The final match of the 1950 FIFA World Cup, held on 16 July 1950, ended in a 1-0 victory for Uruguay, who became the first non-Brazilian team to win the tournament. The stadium has also hosted many concerts, with the first event taking place in 1957, when the Brazilian samba king, Luiz Gonzaga, opened the stadium with a concert. The Rolling Stones, The Who, Bob Dylan, and Paul McCartney have played at the stadium, as have many Brazilian musicians.
2014 World Cup
The Maracanã hosted the final of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and the opening game of the tournament. Due to renovation, the stadium had a reduced capacity of 78,662 for the tournament. The final was played between Germany and Argentina. The stadium hosted the tournament's opening ceremony. The Maracanã was chosen as the venue for the finals of the FIFA World Cup due to its history (it was the site of the first World Cup final in which Brazil was neither the host nor the defending champion) and the vast amount of seating available, which was important for the large number of people that would want to attend the final match of the tournament.
The stadium is in the neighborhood of São Cristóvão, a district of Rio de Janeiro, on the banks of the Rio Canal. It is one of the city's landmarks.
Tours and events
The tours last around one hour and are offered in different languages. Reservations can be made online. Tickets can be bought at the ticket office on the day but are limited to four per person. There is also special 'Soccer for Everyone' tours that are open to the general public with special needs. The stadium tour includes the Monument to Brazilian Athletes, which honors the Brazilian athletes who "made noteworthy contributions to the development of sports in the country." The tour also features the FIFA World Cup trophy, awarded to Brazil for winning the tournament for the fifth time in 2014, and the World Cup win is commemorated with a small but very special exhibit: the stained and tattered jerseys from the 7-1 semifinal win over the hosts.
The stadium's location on the banks of the Rio Canal means that it is vulnerable to flooding, and has been on occasion. The pitch has a reputation as being one of the poorest in Brazil due to the combination of the frequent flooding and heavy use, and the fact the pitch is rarely given time to recover. The museum, which is open on the first Sunday of every month, has several exhibits, including one dedicated to the history of the stadium and another that features memorabilia and trophies from past World Cups.
Other events held at the Maracanã
The Maracanã has hosted many concerts, with the first event taking place in 1957. The Rolling Stones, The Who, Bob Dylan, and Paul McCartney have played at the stadium, as have many Brazilian musicians. The stadium has also been the site of events like the Papal Mass by Pope John Paul II in 1980 and the Great Prayer of Faith in 2011.
The Maracanã Stadium is a historic landmark in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The stadium was built for the FIFA World Cup in 1950 and hosted the final of the tournament when Brazil was chosen to host the event. The Maracanã has also been the site of many concerts and other sporting events. The stadium has a capacity of almost 74,000 people, making it the third largest football stadium in Brazil.