Built to serve as one of the host venues for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Arena Amazônia has drawn a lot of attention in the run up to the tournament. The impressive stadium was built as a replacement of the city’s old main stadium, Vivaldão stadium.
History of Arena Amazônia
The demolition of the old Vivaldão stadium began in March 2010 and allowed for construction on the new arena to begin in early 2011. The opening of the stadium was pushed back almost a year and officially opened on Marcg 9, 2014. The stadium cost US$272 million. However, this was not the biggest cost in building the stadium as three construction workers lost their lives in the process of erecting of the jewel of Manaus.
Located in the heart of the Amazon jungle, the stadium will belong to local team Remo, although other major matches in the area are likely to be played at the venue too. Designed by German architectural firm gmp Architekten the stadium boasts a vast array of sustainable features along with cultural relevance. The shape of the stadium is set to resemble traditional hand-woven baskets that are indigenous to Manaus. Arena Amazônia has a state of the art gutter drainage system incorporated in its external steel structure, which will recycle water and reuse it in the toilets and watering the pitch. Heavy rainfall and sweltering heat are synonymous with the Amazon thus solar panels and reflective coatings were used on the exterior to maximise sustainability and improve conditions for on looking fans.
FIFA World Cup 2014 – Games at the Arena Amazônia
Prior to the fixtures of the World Cup being announced, England manager Roy Hodgson found himself in a war of words with the mayor of Manaus after the English manager stated that the city in the jungle was the place to avoid at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The mayor Manaus hit back by stating that England ‘were not welcome.’ However, like it was scripted it was announced that England’s first match at the World Cup would be at the Arena Amazônia. The following group games will be played at the stadium:
- June 14 – England vs. Italy,
- June 18 – Cameroon vs. Croatia,
- June 22 – U.S.A. vs. Portugal,
- June 25 – Honduras vs. Switzerland.