The Castelão was inaugurated for the first time on 11 November 1973. In order to become a World Cup venue, the stadium was completely refurbished, a process that lasted almost two years and turned the ground into a multi-purpose arena. The result was a total built-up area of 150 thousand square metres, which includes a 55 thousand square metres promenade that surrounds the venue.
The refurbished and modernised stadium was the stage of an inaugural double round on 27 January. The first match was a goalless draw between Fortaleza and Sport. In the second match, Bahia beat Ceará 1-0. The Castelão Arena was also the stage of the semi-finals of the Northeast Cup.
The arena has 1,900 indoor parking spaces under the promenade. The pitch is 105m wide by 68m wide and the grass species used was the Bermuda Celebration. From the total of 63,903 seats, 1,675 are reserved for obese people, or people with disabilities.
In the central building, there are six floors (changing rooms, FIFA lounge - where the Cultural Centre is located -, two floors with boxes, one floor for the press and another for the broadcasting booths). The seats are retractable and numbered, and were designed to resist fire and ultraviolet rays.
The Castelão has 53 boxes, one presidential box, which caters for 80 people and an exclusive kitchen. The press will have 12 booths during FIFA events, spread through a 6 thousand square metres area. There are also 44 bars and snack bars. There are 85 lavatories spread throughout all sectors. Nine changing rooms were also built.
The arena also has a “glass skin”, which coats part of the façade. In addition to playing an aesthetic role, the structure reflects sun beams and reduces the heat.
The 36 thousand square metres roof is coated with a material that helps to reduce the heat. The material does not absorb heat and allows for the circulation of air in the stadium. Furthermore, it provides soundproofing and ideal shade for television broadcasting.
In addition to the stadium's security system, with 240 surveillance cameras positioned in strategic spots. The images will be monitored by a high tech command system. From the command room it is possible to control the access of people and vehicles to the arena, open gates and regulate the temperature in the different rooms.
As a result of having a recycling plant on the building site, 36 thousand tons of concrete, gathered by demolishing part of the old stadium, were reused when paving the new car park. Good part of the old metal structures and the roof’s steel were separated and forwarded for recycling. A system for capturing rainwater and use it for irrigating the pitch and in the lavatories was implemented. The air conditioning uses less energy and gas, and all of the wood used in the project was certified.
FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014
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.