Neo Química Arena (Arena Corinthians)
|1,122 (Disabled seats)|
|Clubs||SC Corinthians Paulista|
|Other names||Itaquerão (nickname)|
|Opening game||18/05/2014 (Corinthians - Figueirense, 0-1)|
|Construction||05/2011 - 30/04/2014|
|Cost||BRL 1.15 billion|
|Address||Av. Miguel Inácio Curi, 111, Vila Carmosina, 08295-005 São Paulo, Brazil|
Neo Química Arena – stadium description
Corinthians had been attempting to build a new stadium since late twentieth century, but their four consecutive designs had to be were dropped without going forward. It wasn’t until Brazil was awarded the hosting of 2014 World Cup that the chance became real. Despite FIFA first agreeing on much larger but outdated Morumbi, it was later approved that a new stadium should be built. Shifting from the first one to a new Corinthians stadium was subject to controversy.
Preparatory works at the hills of Itaquera, eastern district with railway depots around, began in May 2011. Already then the stadium was considered at risk of missing delivery deadlines. Financial deadlock and two tragic accidents later on led to massive delays, in excess of 6 months. As a result, despite three test-events in May 2014, the stadium was left unfinished for the 2014 World Cup.
Designed by CDC Arquitetos, the stadium also presented arguable aesthetics and functionality of some features, causing debate before groundbreaking. The sharp, angular form was sometimes criticized, while the roof, hanging over 30 meters over both end stands, turned out ineffective in protecting some of the spectators from elements.
However, the original design made the stadium stand out among all others built for the tournament and in fact among stadiums built around the world. Measuring 267x228x43 meters, the stadium is covered in white cladding – in the west its nontransparent glass, in the east it’s a system of blinds with 3,100sqm LED screen integrated into it, while the remainder is covered with composites.
Both end stands were left with only one tier and the high roof left a lot of room for expansion. This was used for the World Cup, allowing to add over 20,000 temporary seats. At peak the stands have 9 floors that comprise 3 floors of underground parking, hospitality spaces for up to 10,000 people, club offices, convention centre and all the press infrastructure required. The west grandstand offers 4 large suites (81-84 people) and 85 smaller skyboxes (12-27 people).
The project is considered project, with the majority financed by Corinthians. However, serious allegations accompanied the preferential conditions of crediting by the public sector. Early estimates suggested it would consume roughly R$ 820 million, of which 400 million would be federal funding. Final cost isn’t known yet, but is considered to be nearing R$ 1 billion.
Apart from Corinthians games and the 2014 World Cup the stadium was also selected for football part of the 2016 Olympics, also being designed to hold other entertainment events. It wasn't until 2020 that Corinthians managed to seal a naming rights partnership. But once the deal was signed, it's one for 20 long years, during which the venue is known as Neo Química Arena.
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