SALVADOR: After Fortaleza and Belo Horizonte Brazil can now boast three of its World Cup stadia ‘delivered’ – and, what is more important right now, three of the stadia scheduled for use during the Confederations Cup in June.

The latest venue signed off by the construction workers is the Fonte Nova Arena (officially the Governor Octávio Mangabeira Sports-Cultural Complex) in Salvador, Bahia. It was ‘only’ three months late which was good goiong compared with various other stadia.

State President Dilma Rousseff formally opened Bahia’s first multipurpose arena. Sustainable initiatives for the Fonte Nova Arena include the reuse of 100 percent of the concrete and steel from the former stadium and the use of rainwater and solar power to support the new arena’s ongoing operations.

During the Confed Cup Salvador will host group matches between Nigeria and Uruguay as well as the potentially decisive Group A duel between hosts Brazil and Italy.

Rousseff said: “This country is only respected on the international stage because it  respects itself, and that is the reason we may well be the country that has made the best use of its economic growth to improve the living standards of its population.”

Work on the Fonte Nova Arena began in June 2010 with the demolition of the old stadium, followed by the complete reconstruction of the arena. The stadium will seat 50,000 people in covered seats and include 90 skyboxes, a panoramic restaurant, and 2,000 parking spaces in a newly constructed garage.  Nearly 4,000 workers were employed during the three years of construction work.

Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo said: “Salvador has a stadium that reflects its personality, history and identity. I have followed Fonte Nova’s reconstruction, from the very beginning. It respects the history, dignity, the passion of the fans and the glory of the state of Bahia’s football,”

The construction of the Fonte Nova Arena is a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between the Government of the State of Bahia and Fonte Nova Negócios e Participações (FNP).

Salvador is investing $361.7m – including federal financing and investment and resources from the local government – for the ovrall infrastructure projects associated and supporting the World Cup hosting.

Enhancements to the stadium ‘apron’ such as new pedestrian walkways and accessibility improvements, the Deputado Luis Eduardo Magalhães International Airport is also undergoing redevelopment of  its passenger terminal, extensions to its aircraft apron and the construction of a control tower.

Also underway in the city’s port area is a Maritime Passenger Terminal and the creation  of new car and bus parking lots.

As for the other stadua . . . the Arena Pernambuco stadium will be delivered on April 14 and the Mane Garrincha National Stadium in Brasilia a week later, less than two months before it hosts the opening match of the Confederations Cup on June 15 with Brazil facing Japan.

Amid some local controversy, FIFA has trimmed its name to National Stadium Brasilia, dropping the tribute to  Garrincha, a legend of Brazil’s 1958 and 1962 World Cup victories.

The last stadium to be ready will be the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, once the world’s largest but now overhauled to fit a reduced capacity of 78,639 spectators. It is due to be delivered on April 27.

Key Facts:

Name: Fonte Nova Arena

Capacity: 50,000 seats

Parking: 2,000 parking spaces

Investment: $302.7m  ($165.5m in financing by the BNDES)

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