Estádio Octávio Mangabeira (Estádio Fonte Nova) – until 2007
|City||Salvador da Bahia|
|Clubs||EC Bahia, EC Vitória|
|Last renovation year||1971|
|Inauguration||28.01.1951 (Botafogo de Salvador - AD Guarany, 1-1)|
|Record attendance||110 438 (EC Bahia - Fluminense, 2-1, 1988)|
Description: Estádio Fonte Nova
When built in 1951, it was the largest stadium of the entire Bahia state. Like most venues built at that time in Brazil, it had elliptical stands. Initially only the lower section of stands was done.
One thing that made it distinctive was the open space giving fans a magnificent view on the Salvador lagoon Dique do Tororó, part of the country’s natural heritage.
Being the largest around, the stadium played host to numerous great games. Most of them were those by EC Bahia and Vitória, two local powerhouses with large fanbases. The “Ba-Vi” derby between them was held here over 300 times (!), getting crowds of nearly 100,000 on occasions.
Official record belongs to a game of Bahia and Fluminense in 1988, watched by 110,438 people. Unofficially, however, some name a different game from 1971 as the biggest. As the stadium was reopened after expansion works (new upper tier), up to 120,000 may have been here. Official paid attendance from that game stands at 94,972, though, not confirming the theories. Of course overcrowding was not uncommon back then…
The stadium was also the site of a tragedy in 2007. On November 25 the stands were packed to capacity as the hosts celebrated promotion and one step of the stands didn’t withstand the weight of supporters. Unfortunately, as it was almost on top of the terraces, 7 people fell down onto the sidewalk around the stadium, dying instantly.
After that incident the stadium was closed definitely and already the next day decision was made to demolish it. However, works only began in 2010 with lower stands being taken down with machinery, while the remainder with explosives.
Interview: Keeping Brazilian stadium tradition alive
Arena Fonte Nova ends its World Cup hosting tonight, but its lifespan has only just begun. Here’s our interview with Claas Schulitz, the man behind a legend reborn in Salvador.
Nomination: Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova
Glorious history behind, bright future ahead – this can be said about the new Fonte Nova. Of course there are murky episodes too, but no fascinating story would be full without those.
France: Metz with new attendance record for 3rd league
There wasn’t a game at the third tier of the football ladder in French history that would get a crowd like this one. It may still be well behind global records, but 18,500 people at a regular game still sounds impressive!
New presentations: Fonte Nova from 1951 to 2013!
The old stadium had seen some great games of 100,000+ spectators, but it was also the place of a tragic accident in 2007. Closed right afterwards it is now completely rebuilt and again able to hold beautiful football. First game tomorrow!