Thursday, February 16, 2017

Rio's Maracana Stadium, left deserted after the Olympics

Rio de Janeiro's iconic Maracanã Stadium has a very long history dating back to 1950. That was when it was inaugurated to host the 1950 World Cup where Brazil was beaten 2-0 from Uruguay. The total attendance of that game was 199,854, making it the world's largest stadium. 

In the following decades, Maracana hosted football matches between the major football clubs in Rio, domestic football cup finals, concerts, and sporting events, including the final round of 1989 Copa América, the 2007 Pan American Games, the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics

Although it was inaugurated in 1950, Maracana's construction didn't officially finish before 1965. In 1992, after the collapse of an upper stand during a football match which resulted in the death of 3 spectators, Maracana's capacity was greatly reduced and it was converted into an all-seater stadium. Another renovation in 2000 increased its capacity to 103,000, while a renovation that kept the stadium closed between 2005-2006 reduced it to 87,000.

Another major and costly reconstruction, which included the construction of a new roof, was launched in 2010 to prepare the stadium for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. 

After the Olympics, Maracana has remained empty and unused, as clubs and authorities argue over who should manage it. Although it is owned by the Rio de Janeiro's state government, officials have stopped paying for maintenance and security as the government has been hit hard by Brazil's deep economic crisis. According to media reports and photos, Maracana stadium has been looted and even cables have been stolen. 

Maracana Stadium is the latest victim of the Olympics curse, with sport venues and facilities left abandoned after a city hosts the Olympic Games. 

SEE ALSO: More abandoned Olympic venues around the world // More abandoned sport facilities // More abandoned places in Brazil // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES
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