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Maracana Stadium
Football is by far the most important sport in Brazil and the Maracan??? Stadium is one of Rios most important landmarks. Once the worlds highest capacity football venue, it was able to hold nearly 200,000 people when it opened in 1950. In modern times, the capacity has been reduced because of safety considerations, and the introduction of seating for all fans. It was partially rebuilt in preparation for the 2014 World Cup and is currently able to seat 80,000 spectators making it the largest stadium in South America.

Owned by the Rio de Janeiro state government, it is, as is the Maracan neighborhood where it is located, named after the Rio Maracan, a now canalized river in Rio de Janeiro. It was opened in 1950 to host the FIFA World Cup, in which Brazil were beaten 2??1 by Uruguay in the deciding game.Since then, it has mainly been used for football matches between the major football clubs in Rio de Janeiro, including Flamengo, Fluminense, Botafogo and Vasco da Gama. It has also hosted a number of concerts and other sporting events.
Although the total attendance at the final game of the 1950 FIFA World Cup was 199,854 , the stadium currently seats 78,838 spectators, making it the largest stadium in Brazil and the second in South America after Estadio Monumental in Peru. It was the main venue of the 2007 Pan American Games, hosting the football tournament and the opening and closing ceremonies.
The Maracan 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 opening and closing ceremonies of the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics. The stadium will also host the final of the 2014 World Cup.The stadium held a test game on April 27, 2013, with teams led by Ronaldo and Bebeto. The first official match was on June 2, 2013, when Brazil drew 2??2 with England in a friendly match.Maracan, officially called Estdio M???rio Filho, was built to serve as the flagship venue for the 1950 World Cup.

It was meant to become the biggest football stadium in the world.Construction began in August 1948 and was completed almost two years later. Maracan??? officially opened on 16 June 1950 with a friendly between a selection of players from Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.Eight days later, Maracan??? hosted the opening match of the 1950 World Cup between Brazil and Mexico (4-0). It would go on to host four more matches in the first round group stage and a further three in the second round stage, among which the deciding final match between Uruguay and Brazil (2-1).The official attendance of the final was about 173,000 paying spectators, but it is estimated that more than 200,000 witnessed the game live from the stands.The stadium was officially renamed in 1966 following the death of Brazilian journalist M???rio Filho, but most people have kept referring to the stadium as Maracan.Maracan??? hardly changed until the 1990s, when a deathly accident and resulting safety measures greatly reduced capacity. Shortly later it got converted into an all seater.When Brazil got awarded the 2014 World Cup in 2007, it was clear that Maracan??? was destined to host the final and would therefore need a massive redevelopment.Building works started in 2010 and involved the complete rebuilding of the bottom tier and the installation of a new roof with a capacity of 79,000 seats as a result. The stadium reopened on 2 June 2013 with a friendly international between Brazil and England (2-2).Maracan is scheduled to host a total of seven matches during the 2014 World Cup, including one quarter-final and the final. It also hosted several matches and the final of the 2013 Confederations Cup.Maracan??? is owned by the state of Rio de Janeiro, but has grown to become the regular home of Flamengo and Fluminense. Other Rio clubs such as Botafogo and Vasco da Gama also occasionally use the stadium for high-profile matches.


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