Estádio Raimundo Sampaio (Independência) – until 2009
|Clubs||América FC, Clube Atlético Mineiro|
|Last renovation year||1999|
|Record attendance||32,721 (Seleção Mineira - Seleção Guanabara, 27.01.1963)|
Construction of the ground in Belo Horizonte’s Horto district started in 1947 as part of preparations for 1950 World Cup. Despite the structure being a simple open “horseshoe”, it wasn’t ready until 1950, just before the event. Three games were played here, including the famous England – USA 0:1 fixture.
Initially it was owned by Minas Gerais state authorities, but after inauguration of the great Mineirão in 1965 it was acquired by América FC. First as owner, then as operator on a 30-year lease (1989-2019), América FC played their games over the years without huge crowds even when winning 2nd and 3rd division trophies. Thus, record crowd was seen here in 1963, when selections of Minas Gerais and Guanabara states fought in front of 32,721 people.
Near the end of 20th Century another club, Atletico Mineiro, became partners in use and redevelopment, helping fund a renovation in 1999. In its’ late years Estádio Raimundo Sampaio (commonly known as Independência) had one covered main grandstand and two sides of terracing. One end was opened and had a stage installed for concerts that were held here in 1997-2000.