Another opening in less than a week and just like before – it’s not actually fit for a game yet, but formally finished. This time it’s the famous Mineirão, probably most renowned stadium after Maracana.
President Dilma Rousseff again took a walk on a football pitch. After Fortaleza last weekend, yesterday she came to Belo Horizonte’s Estadio Governador Magalhães Pinto (or Mineirão for short). Now citizens will be allowed to take a preview of what is awaiting them in February’s opening game as they’re allowed to visit the stadium.
It took over 2 years to redevelop the stadium and since Mineirão is a listed monument, no interferences could be made to its facades or concrete roof. Thus the ‘only’ major changes are new lower tier of seating (moved closer to the pitch) and old cover extended by new roof segments.
Capacity, earlier estimated to fall from over 80,000 to just over 70,000, eventually came even lower as it reached the 62,000 level. And all the works had a significant price tag on them, raising controversy. Though official data shows budget lower than predicted several months back, it’s still almost R$ 700 million ($336 million / €255 million).
Now more controversy sparks as the opening derby game between Cruzeiro and Atletico Mineiro may be played without away team’s following. Usually games at Mineirão were staged in front of a 50/50 shared stadium, but since Atletico has been refusing to allow away fans into their new Independência stadium, Cruzeiro are thinking of returning the favour.
A different concern for fans is new ticket pricing. Despite the stadium being redeveloped from their tax money, Reuters reports that single-entry ticket will now cost 150% more than it used to, with price growing from R$20 to R$50.