|Cost||R$ 950 N ($ 188 M)|
|Address||Rua Cristina Maria de Assis, 202 - Califórnia, Belo Horizonte - MG, 30855-440|
Arena MRV – stadium description
How did the new stadium for Atlético Mineiro get developed?
Plans for a new stadium for Atlético Mineiro were drawn up in 2014, when architect Bernardo Farkasvölgyi (privately a supporter of the 'Roosters') prepared the design for the venue. A plot of land was successfully acquired for the arena from MRV Engenharia, the club's sponsor and the largest developer in Brazil, based in Belo Horizonte. The company later also bought the naming rights to the stadium.
In September 2017, members of Atlético Mineiro's advisory board voted in favour of the project to build a new stadium, which was to stand in the California district, in the west of Belo Horizonte. An important part of the financial plan was for the club to sell its 50.1 % stake in Diamond Mall.
Atlético had not played at its home ground since 1950, when the club left its Estádio Presidente Antônio Carlos to play in a new stadium built for the 1950 World Cup (Arena Independência). Later Atlético also played at the Mineirão stadium, which opened in 1965.
The old Estádio Presidente Antônio Carlos had remained unused since 1950, and in the 1990s a shopping centre was built in its place. The centre became a source of significant revenue for the club and, in due course, the sale of the shares allowed the new stadium to be built.
How did the design of the new stadium for Atlético Mineiro take shape?
The architectural concept for Arena MRV can be seen on our design webpage
The stadium design has been modified several times, although the final design does not differ significantly from the initial proposals. Optimisations were largely dictated by cost-saving considerations.
One change is the use of sheet metal roofing and facades, although this was originally intended to be a partially light-transparent material. The shape of the stadium has been simplified. The surroundings of the facility have been reduced, including the abandonment of a shopping centre and a decrease in the number of parking spaces. The stadium's original capacity of 50 000 spectators was also reduced. Instead, the number of exclusive boxes was increased.
The local authorities required Atlético to implement additional developments, such as cycle paths, a park, an open gym, a clinic and a youth community centre at a nearby school. The club has been involved in protecting endangered birds and compensating for felled trees.
How has the construction of the new stadium for Atlético Mineiro been going?
You can follow coverage of the creation of Arena MRV on our construction webpage
The main contractor for the stadium was already selected in March 2018 and became Racional Engenharia. In April 2019, the plot for the future stadium was fenced off. The official start of construction took place on April 20, 2020. Initially, earthworks were carried out to prepare the site for the project.
On September 4, 2020, a building permit was obtained. In November of that year, the first piles were driven into the ground and the actual construction of the stadium began. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, work proceeded smoothly. Meanwhile, in 2021 Atlético won their second ever Brazilian league title.
In April 2022, construction advancement reached 50%. On May 13, 2022, workers put their signatures on the last steel beam of the roof structure, which was installed that day, marking the completion of an important stage of construction.
In the summer of 2022, the first seats were installed in the stands. At the end of 2022, the roof and façade were completed. At the beginning of 2023, grass began to grow on the pitch inside the stadium. On March 25, 2023, the 115th anniversary of Atlético Mineiro, a ceremony was held at the stadium with the club's management and staff in attendance.
When was Arena MRV opened?
As part of the stadium's inauguration, five different events were planned under the collective term BH Festival. The first installment of the BH Festival took place on April 15, 2023, when a goal was set up in the stadium, the lines were drawn and the symbolic scoring of the first goal took place. Due to the finishing work, the first league games at the stadium will not be able to take place until the second half of 2023.
What was the cost of building MRV Arena?
At the beginning of the project, its cost was estimated at R$410 million, and when construction started the amount was already R$560 million. During construction, there was talk of the cost rising to R$700 million, while towards the end there were reports that it could reach R$950 million. Contributing to the budget was the sale of a 50.1 % stake in Diamond Mall (R$290 million), a sponsorship deal for the stadium's naming rights (R$70 million), the pre-sale of premium seats (R$450 million) and smaller commercial deals.
What are the characteristics of Arena MRV?
The facility was developed primarily as a football arena, which determines its rectangular form. The combined roof and façade consist of black and white stripes, referring to the club colours. The canopy covers the entire auditorium, with the end sections being glazed. The façade is decorated with large signs bearing the name of the stadium and Atlético crests hanging from the corners.
The stadium stood on an uneven hill just off one of the main arteries connecting the western suburbs of Belo Horizonte with the centre of the agglomeration. A raised platform surrounds the facility, and a large plaza was created on the west side, under which there is a four-level car park for 2,300 cars.
The stands are divided into three tiers, with the middle tier – which is relatively narrow – dedicated to more affluent customers. The venue has 112 exclusive skyboxes on offer. The auditorium is equipped with folding seats and can accommodate 46,000 spectators. Two video screens are suspended above the stands behind the gates. Fans have 42 bars and food kiosks at their disposal.