At a ceremony held today, Brazil President Dilma Rousseff unveiled a plaque marking the completion of the renovation of the Castelão Stadium in Fortaleza. The 63,903-seat football stadium will host six 2014 World Cup and three 2013 Confederations Cup matches. She remarked that the arena makes all Brazilians proud, and shows the world that Brazil is capable of staging the big sporting events in the upcoming years. The ceremony was capped off with a performance by Raimundo Fagner, a singer from the Brazilian state of Ceará.
“I was in London recently and visited a stadium, and I'd like to say that the Castelão shows in all aspects, that we're capable of winning on and off the pitch. [The Castelão] shows that Brazilians are capable of conquering obstacles and deliver a project of this magnitude", stated President Dilma Rousseff. "A lot of people said that we weren't capable, but today we have started to show them that we are and the ground has been delivered. And I’d like to remind you of one thing. Today, 16 December we inaugurate the stadium at a very special moment. A moment of hard work, luck and victory, when Corinthians has been crowned the champion of the FIFA Club World Cup. This fact, regardless of any other, shows that Brazil is capable of two things. Winning on the pitch and building a stadium of this standard”, she added.
The Minister of Sport Aldo Rebelo pointed out that with the delivery of the stadium, the Brazilian people shows the country is capable of staging the upcoming big sporting events. “By delivering the first stadium for the 2014 World Cup, the city of Fortaleza and the state of Ceará are an example of how able we are of hosting the biggest sporting event in the world. And doing so competently, meeting deadlines and with a project that combines architecture beauty, modernity and efficiency".
The Ceará State Governor Cid Gomes highlighted that the stadium was delivered without any financial add-ons and before schedule. “The stadium is only ready due to the effort and work of over two thousand people who gave their all. We're going to have great matches here”.
FIFA President Joseph Blatter sent a video message to congratulate Brazilian authorities and the people of the state of Ceará for delivering the Castelão. According to him, who was in Japan to watch the final of the FIFA Club World Cup, the date is special as it is a milestone reached in Brazil’s preparation for the Confederations Cup 2013 and the World Cup in 2014. “The total renovation of the Castelão represents an excellent example of the partnership between the federal, state and municipal governments, as well as the Local Organising Committee and the Brazilian people”, he stated on the video, played on a big screen installed in the stadium’s promenade. Blatter also said to be looking forward to watch the first match of the Confederations Cup in Fortaleza on 19 June, between Brazil and Mexico.
The Castelão has 63,903 seats and had investments in the order of R$ 518.6 million, R$ 351.5 million of which from federal financing. The stadium will be the stage of six 2014 World Cup matches: four group stage matches, with Brazil taking to the pitch in one of them and another two seeded teams (D1 and G1), in addition to a second round match and a quarter-final.
Fortaleza shall be the venue of three FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 matches. Two in the group stage - Brazil and Mexico (19 June) and Spain against the African champion (23 June) - and a semi-final, on 27 June.
» Images portray the several interventions at the Fortaleza Arena
See the full coverage of the Castelão's delivery ceremony:
» See details of Castelão's architecture project
» Sustainability, one of the traits of the project of the stadium in Fortaleza
» Modern, retract and resistant seats
» Accessibility: 2,4% of Castelão capacity will be reserved for wheel chair users, people with reduced mobility and obese people
» The pitch at the Castelão will be closer; the ground will also have big screens and changing rooms for up to four teams
» Security system at the Castelão has 240 cameras
» Shops and restaurants at the Castelão will open even when there are no matches