I’ve lived in Brazil for 2.5 years now (yikes) and I went to my first ‘football match’ yesterday at the famous Estádio do Maracanã (Maracanã Stadium) which was first opened in 1950 when Brazil hosted the FIFA World Cup. This open-air stadium, based in Rio de Janeiro is the largest stadium in South America currently seating 78,838 spectators. At one point in time, the stadium held 200,000 spectators (pretty insane right?!). The Maracanã was partially rebuilt in preparation for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, the 2014 World Cup which will be the first one held in Brazil since 1950, and also the 2016 Summer Olympics, and the 2016 Summer Paralympics. I am sure most of you reading the news were a bit confused by all the back and forth regarding the ‘Friendly match’ between Brazil and England. It was called off, on, off , on, off again due to safety concerns related to the stadiums construction then put back on a day later when the game was actually hosted. Yes, we did consider the fact that attending the match might be our last, but thankfully everything worked out:) Brazil drew 2-2 v England and made for a very exciting match.
- You can still see lots of construction is going on and since the parking lot is also under construction your options of getting to the stadium are to subway, bus or cab.
- Seats are numbered incorrectly (or tickets are sold for seats that don’t exist) so don’t expect to actually sit in your seat. This happens in Brazil all the time….
- No alcohol in stadium, this rule has always been in place for people’s safety. This was new to me and I think the first sporting event where alcohol wasn’t part of the experience
- Food & drink: currently you can only buy soda and chips at the concession stands. FYI they will pour the soda out of the mini bottles and into a cup so you aren’t temped to throw your bottle at someone (but you can still throw your cup:))
- Brazilians chanting ‘hey ref go fuck yourself’ while England continued to yell “ENG-GA-LAND” over and over again in a chant