Known for the thundering support of local fans, the grand stadium in Fortaleza went through almost entire reconstruction over the past three years. Now it's world class in many aspects, but seems to have lost some of its electric atmosphere...
Located in southern Fortaleza, the giant stadium named after Governador Plácido Aderaldo Castelo was in the past one of Brazil's most honoured stadiums, those managing to hold over 100,000 people and actually attracting crowds beyond that level.
Then there was also the astonishing support by local fans: Ceara behind the northern goal and EC Fortaleza behind the southern. Both clubs are able to attract crowds in excess of 50,000 for top games, but it wasn't even the quantity, more about quality of the rhythmic chants, like those by Cearamor back in 2010, below:
Derby rivals made the 'Giant of Boa Vista' famous around the world with similar clips, but it didn't change the fact that Castelão was far from modern, even after quite recent redevelopment of 2002. The layout was still typically Brazilian: stands located up to 40 meters from the pitch with the lower tier almost unused because of the poor sightlines.
This is why the stadium was almost completely rebuilt once again, in 2011-2013. The field was lowered by 4 meters and lower stands destroyed completely. New ground tier moved spectators from 40 meters to just 10 meters from the pitch.
The west side was destroyed completely, including its upper tier. Instead a brand new grandstand was erected, this time with underground parking facilities, offices, new player, delegate and media rooms, but perhaps most importantly – the entire stand became a premium zone with extensive hospitality for corporate clients.
The stadium also received a new esplanade surrounding it. The vast concrete terrace also provides additional facilities. In the north part offices of the state secretary of sports are placed, while in the south a new large parking is hidden under the esplanade.
Interestingly, the demolished parts of the old stadium didn't go to landfill. Concrete from lower stands was crushed on site and reused to build the southern parking zones, while all steel elements, giant screens, loudspeakers and seats installed before were donated to several cities, improving local infrastructure.
The stadium is now modern, sustainable, was built and is operated ecologically. What more could one want? Well, maybe that electric atmosphere that is now a bit faded. Once fans of local clubs returned to the stands, they faced new restrictions that impede their vibrant choreographies to some extent, perhaps decreasing the spontaneity...
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