Monday, August 9, 2010

Arena da Baixada

Arena da Baixada is the stadium in the city of Curitiba (see other host cities) which will host matches of the World Cup 2014.

There are two major teams in Curitiba: Atlético Paranaense, to which Arena da Baixada belongs, and Coritiba, which is owner of another stadium called Couto Pereira.
Above, a photo of Arena da Baixada in January 2010. The image shows that a good part of the stadium is yet to be completed.
From the beginning, it was known that, if Curitiba was chosen as host city, then Arena da Baixada would be chosen as the stadium, for it is clearly much more modern and in much better shape than Couto Pereira; in Porto Alegre, only other city with a similar situation, the dispute was much fiercer.
“Baixada” means “low lands”. This is because Atlético Paranaense is located in a relatively lower altitude, compared to the central area of Curitiba (where Coritiba is located).
The official name of the stadium is Estádio Joaquim Américo Guimarães. Mr. Guimarães was President of Internacional-PR, an old club which merged with América-PR, thus forming Atlético Paranaense; Mr. Guimarães started the stadium’s construction in 1912, and the inaugural match took place in 1914.
In 1997, the old stadium was demolished. In 1999, the new stadium, now renamed to Arena da Baixada, was opened (which explains why this is one of the most modern stadia in Brazil). In 2001, Atlético Paranaense was champion of the Brazilian League, and the stadium experienced its record attendance: 31,740 people.
From 2005 to 2008, the Japanese company Kyocera became a sponsor of Atlético, and the name of the stadium was changed to Arena Kyocera.
Below, some artistic image of the new Arena da Baixada.

The lateral side which today is incomplete will be finished, bringing the stadium closer to an Arena. Capacity will be increased from current 25,400 seats to 41,375 seats. Two parking loots will be built, one inside the stadium fitting 1,908 vehicles and one outside the stadium fitting 7,500 vehicles. The restaurants and commercial sectors will be expanded.
Arena da Baixada is one of the three private stadiums to host matches of the Cup 2014 (the other ones are Beira-Rio and Morumbi). Because the stadium is private, the Governments (Federal, State and city) are less willing to inject public money to carry out the necessary works; this report of March 5th informs that, according to the managers of Atletico, works in the stadium will start in 2011 or, at the earliest, after the World Cup 2010 is finished.

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