It should have been ready for the World Cup, but wasn’t. So now work is back in progress in Curitiba to deliver Latin America’s first retractable roof. Arena da Baixada to make history again.
Arena da Baixada was subject to heavy criticism of FIFA in 2013 and early 2014. It was even threatened to lose the host status late into the preparations. But having left a few features unfinished, the stadium was eventually prepared in temporary mode for the World Cup.
One major piece not done was the adjoining indoor hall. Another – the retractable roof which left for completion after the competition. And now works are again in full swing after preparations on site began in October. Assembly of steel beams to constitute the future retractable structure began behind the east end of the stadium – the only place with enough room at the extremely tight plot.
First 32-ton beam was lifted atop the stadium on November 7. Put onto rails running along the stadium it was then pushed towards the other end of the arena by workers. These are the same rails that will later be used to open and close the roof. Altogether 12 steel beams will be put in place, 6 on each end, possible to close/open the roof in under 20 minutes.
In 2015 Arena da Baixada will thus become Latin America’s first stadium with mobile, fully closable roof over the field. It’s not the first time the stadium makes history, though. In 2005 it was also the first stadium to have a corporate sponsor holding naming rights.