August 02: Hey, Maracanã

2016/08/02 § Leave a comment

On this day in 1948 the cornerstone was laid for the Estádio do Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro.

At the time of its inauguration in 1950 the stadium was the largest in the universe, accommodating almost 200,000 at the 1950 FIFA World Cup, for which it was built.  (Regrettably, Brazil came in second after Uruguay).  It achieved these numbers by accommodating lots of people on their feet.  To make the experience all the more interesting, the stadium was basically an open construction site for years, deemed complete only in 1965.  Conditions have been improved (read: made safer) by the introduction of more seats, although the capacity has dropped to a mere 82,238.  Even so, due to its cultural centrality the Maracanã was granted the status of national landmark in 1998.  Further “modernised” for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, it will house the opening and closing ceremonies (and, yes, football matches) for the 2016 Olympic games.

Image: inside (from this site, a top-ten list, if you like that kind of thing)


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