Officially named Estádio José Pinheiro Borda, better known as Estadio Beira-Rio, is the biggest stadium in the south of Brazil and has a very rich history with the people of Porto Alegre. The stadium is the home of Internacional, arch-rivals to their Porto Alegre neighbours Gremio.
History of Estádio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre
In 1956, the city of Porto Alegre donated the site on which Estadio Beira-Rio is located. The site is near the Guaiba river, giving rise to the mean of the stadium’s name in Portuguese, Riverside Stadium. The site had to be initially drained before construction could begin. Construction only began in 1959 due to the financial difficulties that Internacional was experiencing at the time. Internacional therefore relied heavily on their fans for contributions of building materials.
At some stage it was feared that the stadium would never be completed. The passion of Internacional fans was also further displayed during the building phase when they would leave their team trailing in matches at their old ground, to go and cheer on the workers as they built the stadium.
It took over a decadeand in 1969 the Estadio Beira-Rio was officially opened. During its inaugural match Internacional won a friendly 2-1 against Benfica of Portugal. The stadium did not change a great deal until it was chosen as one of the venues for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Extensive redevelopment took place and included a new roof, reconstruction of the lower tiers and a new exterior built.
FIFA World Cup 2014 – Games at Estádio Beira-Rio Stadium
Just like its beginning, the stadium was plagued with delays and soaring costs. It was however completed, with a few months to go before the 2014 FIFA World Cup, where it will host the following matches:
- June 15 – France vs. Honduras,
- June 18 – Australia vs. Holland,
- June 22 – Korea Republic vs. Algeria,
- June 25 – Nigeria vs. Argentina,
- June 30 – Group G Winner vs. Group H Runner-up