The first match at the Pantanal Arena will be held this Wednesday (02.04) at 10:00pm (Brasilia standard time) and will see Santos take to the pitch against Mixto. The fixture is part of the Brazil Cup first round, and twenty thousand tickets have been put on sale. The crowd will sit at the lower stands - the seats are still being assembled at the upper levels -.
The ground will host four World Cup group stage matches: Chile and Australia (13 June); Russia and South Korea (17 June); Nigeria and Bosnia-Herzegovina (21 June); and Japan versus Colombia (24 June).
The stadium is in its final construction stage, with the finishing touches being done, as well as the landscaping. There will be a special traffic set-up for this first match and security operations will be conducted by over a thousand professionals. The official FIFA test-event at the venue has been scheduled for 26 Abril, a Brazilian Serie B fixture between Luverdense and Vasco.
The Pantanal Arena stands out because of its architecture design and sustainability actions. The stands’ lower ring does not go all the way round with the goal of facilitating cross ventilation in the venue. In addition, there are gardens and trees on the side openings, which lower the temperature inside the ground.
“Visually, the pitch goes all the way to the four corners of the field, going up the slopes at the base of the porticos that support the roofs. Whoever is outside has a partial view of the ground’s inside”, said architect Sergio Coelho, founding partner of the company in charge of the stadium’s project.
Built over an area of 300 thousand m², which includes a lake and woodland, the Pantanal Arena has a 90 thousand m² promenade surrounding it, which makes the moving around of fans easier. The ground was designed to host several types of events and will turn into a new leisure venue for locals, with restaurants, bars, walkway, gardens and a staircase, which may serve as the stage for concerts.
“It will be a true meeting point for the city, with a truly multi-purpose arena. I’m sure that people who come here will feel at home. We’re getting ready and will ensure safety for everyone", states Silval Barbosa, Mato Grosso State Governor. After the World Cup, the government's idea is to outsource the management of the ground to the private initiative.
With a total built-up area of 107 thousand m², the ground will have a seating capacity for 44 thousand fans, 41,390 thousand of them during the World Cup. The project was designed for the north and south sector stands (behind the goalposts) to use removable structures. Made from a metal structure, they are able to cater for 13,200 people.
“It’s as if it were a module type structure, which you can unscrew. This type of use provides for the ground's sustainable use, in other words, the project’s mobility, which allows the venue to be changed in the future. Another thing is that several finished structures are also removable. They can be changed according to the area's internal use. We have levels that can be changed into a big convention centre, or classrooms. This can be done because the paving on the floors is able to stand differently distributed loads”, explains João Paulo Borges, engineer in charge of the construction works.
Around 1.8 thousand builders are working at the Pantanal Arena building site. Construction works started in April 2010, when the old José Fragelli Governor stadium was demolished, which used to be known as "Verdão” (Big Green) and had been inaugurated in 1975. The project has been budgeted in R$ 570 million, R$ 339 million of which as federal financing from BNDES (Brazilian Development Bank).
Access and comfort
Fans coming to the four World Cup matches in Cuiabá will be able to access the Pantanal Arena through 20 entrances, located at the promenade level surrounding the ground. They may also use three tunnels that take up the venue’s underground level. After going through one of the 79 turnstiles, the crowd may use 20 staircases and 12 lifts to move around the venue's internal areas. The stands are connected through walkways, located at the ground’s four corners.
“The stadium’s access squares are all made out of concrete with a mixture of pigments, which avoid heat island effects. We ran a test that proved that the colours used reduce UV ray reflections in 30 to 40%, improving temperature, as Mato Grosso has one of the highest temperature averages in Brazil”, states engineer João Paulo Borges.
The temperature related concern was also taken in consideration when choosing the materials to be used in the ground’s façade. Divided into three parts, it has a green coloured membrane at the top and in the middle, which is perforated to allow for better ventilation.
Fans will have other services available to them, to make their experience in the stadium more comfortable. There are 32 food kiosks, three restaurants, 97 boxes and 66 lavatories spread throughout the arena, which offers accessibility to all sectors. There are three types of retractable seats. For the general public, the seats are not upholstered on the armrest, as the VIP seats. The very VIP seats are bigger upholstered and have armrests.
Measuring 105 by 69 metres, the pitch at the Pantanal Arena was laid down using the Bermuda Tigrand species, able to stand high temperatures. The pitch was laid down in buds that came from the hinterlands of the state of São Paulo, transported on refrigerated lorries.
The drainage system at the Pantanal Arena allows for all the water that falls onto the pitch to be absorbed by the soil and be reused in irrigation.
Security and technology
The security structure has 330 cameras at its disposal, 45 in the venue’s external area, which use facial recognition software and are monitored by a command and control centre. The 192m² room is able to house up to 50 professionals. The area houses monitoring stations for the CCTV system, PA system, big screens, automation, access and services control like air conditioning, LED lighting and irrigation.
There are 1,115 bars with LED bulbs directed at the façade, in addition to 340 floodlights to light up the pitch and 427 lights on the stands, directed at the fans. The PA system is made up of 16 sets of speakers and the two 76m² screens, located in two of the stadium's four corners.