BELO HORIZONTE: In the week of Belo Horizonte’s 115th anniversary (December 12, 1897), the redevelopment of the Mineirão stadium is 99pc completed ahead of its due delivery due on December 21. Local giants Cruzeiro and Atletico will play the opening match of on February 3, 2013, to mark the formal reopening after a closure of two years six months.

Plans to restage the historic United States v England match from the 1950 World Cup fell through because of fixture complexities.

Governor governor Antonio Anastasia said: “The [building] schedule has been followed according to a rigorous planning developed by Minas Gerais State Government and the private partner. The people from Minas will be proud of this monumental site where new chapters of the national and local football  will take place.”

The Minerao: original exterior, new interior

The economic sustainability of the new business is based on a model of shared management through a public-private partnership. The new partner, Minas Arena company, is in charge of the investments and construction of the stadium and will operate it for the next 25 years though the state of Minas Gerais remains the owner.

The contract establishes performances coefficients to ensure the  quality of the services provided by the new commercial partner. If the performance is beyond what has been agreed there might be sanctions or interruption of the contract.

Tiago Lacerda, state Secretary for the World Cup, said: “Mineirão will always be the home of the local football, but its horizon will be expanded with other leisure attractions in order to guarantee the economical sustainability  of the business.”

The location of the stadium also contributes to its consolidation as a tourist attraction of the state by being part of the surroundings of the Pampulha Architectural Complex. The area concentrates the works of international importance of the Brazilian modernism designed by Oscar Niemeyer. The San Francisco Church´s curves, for instance, are echoed in the footbridge which links Mineirão to the Mineirinho Gymnasium.

Envrionmental sustainability

The construction of the Mineirão stadium is highlighted by the commitment to the environmental sustainability standards. It aims to achieve the Leed Certificate. During the construction, 90pc of the waste was reused. After its opening, the new multipurpose arena will have a solar power plant on its roof.

Mineirão will host nine matches, three during the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 and six for the 2014 FIFA Brasil World Cup. There will be also a friendly game between Brazil and France on June 9, 2013. The 2014 World Cup will see four matches during the group stage (June 14, 17, 21 and 24), one during the second round and a semi-final (July 8) – with Brazil possibly on show.

For 2013, Mineirão will host Tahiti versus the African champions, Mexico v Japan plus a semifinal between the winners of Group A, possibly Brazil, and the runners-up of Group B.

Ssenator Aécio Neves said: “Mineirão will be delivered to the fans as a new landmark for what Minas Gerais provides best: the respect for our tradition and the audacity to build the new.It was a construction performed with respect to the people, fulfilling deadlines and costs and today we reap the benefits of this work well planned. The new Mineirão is one of the most modern stadiums in the world. It´s a portrait that highlights the Minas that we’ve trustily built so far.”


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