An indigenous straw basket, full of Brazilian fruit. That is where the designers of the Amazonia Arena found their inspiration. With the façade made up of metal structures that reduce in size until they get to the roof, and seats in varied tones of yellow, orange and red, the stadium makes a reference to Brazilian tradition and nature.
“We have a great Amazon basket, which is used to keep fruit from the country, represented in seven colours. The colours in here are very interesting, they add a joy inherent to all types of functions that will be held here”, states Miguel Capobiango, coordinator of the World Cup Project Management Unit (UGP Copa). According to him the fruit are: melon, banana, pineapple, orange, mango, guava and papaya.
After three years and seven months of construction work, ninety-seven per cent of the Amazonia Arena project has been finalised. Assembling the stadium's façade and roof, which give shape to the ‘indigenous basket’, proved to be one of the most complex parts of the project. The X-shaped modules of the metal structure were manufactured in Portugal and weigh seven thousand tons in total.
Three vessels were necessary to ship the parts over to Brazil between March and October 2013. They were shipped from the Aveiro Port in Portugal to the Chibatão Port in Manaus. Each ship took on average fifteen days to cross from Europe to Brazil.
In order to move the parts from the port in Manaus to the building site, seventy lorries were used per ship. At the end, 252 membrane panels made from teflon and fibreglass were used in the metal structure. As a result, the panels are see-through, durable, fire resistant, resistant to wear and tear, as well as reflecting sunlight.
Around 2.1 thousand builders worked in the project, which covers a total built-up area of 83.5 thousand m². The Amazonia Arena will have a seating capacity for 44.5 thousand people, 40 thousand of them during the World Cup. The project has been budgeted at R$ 669.5 million, R$ 400 million of which as federal financing from the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES).
Fans at the four World Cup matches in Manaus will be able to reach the Amazonia Arena using four ramps. Around the stadium, there is a 33 thousand m² promenade, eleven metres above the ground, which makes the moving around of people easier.
The main access ways for the general public will take them to the podium, which is the ground's intermediate level. There, people will be able to reach the lower and upper stands, as well as one of the venue’s 61 boxes. Also, it is at this level where most of the 98 lavatories can be found, 16 of which have been put aside for people with disabilities, as well as the 17 food kiosks.
Comfort, safety and security
Three types of retractable seats will be available to fans. The difference between them is that in some sectors, the seats have armrests and/or foamed upholstery. In addition, 118 seats have been put aside for people with reduced mobility, 69 for obese people and over 445 for those coming to the match with a caregiver. There is a directional tactile floor, with specific signals, as well as six parking spaces.
“The public in general will not be able to park in the stadium. The car park is being readied in a nearby area and it will fit 2,500 spaces, aiming to supply for the demand of the whole complex surrounding the stadium, which includes a conventions centre, sambadrome and a gym. The car park will also be used during the World Cup for operational purposes”, says Capobiango.
Security is also ensured with the assistance of 85 cameras, which use facial recognition software and are monitored through a command and control centre.
The 105 by 68 metres pitch uses the Bermuda Tifway 419 grass species, appropriate for the region’s climate and more resistant to being trampled on.
“The pitch was laid down with buds from São José dos Campos, which were sent over in refrigerated containers, so they could be planted at the end of September. The buds have all taken root and have been at match conditions since the end of December", states Capobiango.
The pitch’s irrigation system is automated and uses 35 sprinklers, which may take water from the 120 thousand litre tanks, used to store rainwater collected by the roof.
“We have seven tanks to store rainwater or from the supplier. The rainwater is filtered and retreated before it is used. We have an area of over 20 thousand m² for collecting rainwater, which is the roof. The water is then sent to the tanks to be reused, thus, ensuring that there is always some water in reserve, in case we need it", describes the World Cup Project Management Unit Coordinator.
With Manaus' high rates of rainfall, the ground has a gravity and vacuum drainage system. To lit up the pitch, 420 floodlights will be used, providing uniform and consistent lightning, appropriate for high definition television broadcasts.
World Cup matches
The first match to be played at the stadium is the most awaited amongst the locals. On 14 June, in the big European derby, England takes to the pitch against Italy (Group D).
Four days later, on 18 June, two teams from Brazil's group will face each other at the ground: Cameroon and Croatia. The third match in Manaus will take place on 22 June, when the United States plays Portugal.
The last 2014 World Cup match to be played in Manaus will be held on 25 June. The game will see the seeded team in Group E Switzerland face Honduras, in their last group match in the tournament.