Mineirão Stadium, officially called Estádio Governador Magalhães Pinto was officially opened on 5 September 1965. The stadium took 5 years to build and was a culmination of the architectural work of Oscar Niemeyer. The sheer beauty of the stadium cannot be ignored and its listing by the Heritage Council of Belo Horizonte is a testament. Upon its erection the stadium was set to host local teams Cruzeiro and Atlético Mineiro was projected to hold a massive amount of 130 000 spectators. The record attendance for the venue stands at a staggering 132 834 set on 22 June 1997 in a match between Cruzeiro and Villa Nova.
History of the Mineirão Stadium
Since 1997, safety regulations and the stadium have gone through massive renovations so such large attendances are not expected. After it was announced that Brazil would be hosting the 2014 World Cup it was clear the stadium had to undergo reconstruction. A three year US$ 310 million project was the result which bought down the capacity to approximately 62 000. The project included an extension of the roof, lowering the pitch for better viewing, the complete reconstruction of the bottom tier, and further restoration to upgrade the stadium to FIFA standards. The stadiums eco-friendly status climbed exponentially during this phase too as debris was used for mining landfills, retention and reuse 6 270 000 litres of water was implemented and extensive solar power installed. Belo Horizonte does not have any beaches like the northwest nor the pizzazz of the capital but its food and beverage industry is to die for. Serving the local cuisine, comida mineira, said to be the best in Brazil many will tell you that setting aside 3 days may not be enough to truly enjoy the culinary experience that is found in Belo Horizonte. Belo Horizonte has the highest bars per capita of all the Brazilian cities and with a 6.5km journey from the city centre to Mineirão Stadium, a true match day feeling is expected. Estádio Governador Magalhães Pinto proves to be a happy hunting ground for the national team. Out of the 22 games at the venue Brazil have won 16, drawn 4 and lost twice.
World Cup Matches 2014 at the Mineirão Stadium
The venue will host 5 matches during the 2014 World Cup;
- Colombia vs. Greece (June 14),
- Belgium vs. Algeria (June 17),
- Argentina vs. Iran (June 21),
- Costa Rica vs. England (June 24).
The final match held at the stadium will be the first semi-final on the 9th of July 2014.