With a new foiled shaped roof and a remodelled façade in the colours of Internacional Sport Club, the Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre has been modernised and is ready for the test events required for the 2014 World Cup. The first match at the new stadium was a fixture of the Rio Grande do Sul State Championship: the venue’s capacity was limited to 10 thousand fans and Internacional returned home in style, thumping Caxias 4-0. Left-back Fabrício scored the first goal at the new arena in the 21st minute. The match also served as a test event for the World Cup.
The club’s goal is to put the venue in operation little by little, until it reaches full capacity – 50 thousand people -. Some finishing work is still being done in some sectors and the surrounding area of the ground is also undergoing construction work to make the access of fans easier.
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The refurbishment works that have changed how the ground looks, started twenty-four months ago and involved as many as 1,700 workers when construction reached its peak. The total investment was of R$ 330 million, with R$ 275.1 million being provided as financing by the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES). Beira-Rio is the eighth World Cup stadium to be delivered and the second in the south region.
“The stadium is at a very privileged location. It’s on the banks of the Guaíba River, which is a great place to watch the sunset. We’re right beside a park. Three kilometres away from the main hotels. The airport is nearby. And two big roads go around the stadium, providing good accessibility”, explains Internacional’s technology manager Carla Ritter.
The project kept the stadium's main structure, modernising the stands and facilities for the public in general. This includes the VIP areas, the replacement of the electrical wiring and hydraulic pipes, adding to the stadium’s information system, replacing the pitch, in addition to the roof, which uses a metal structure and membrane. In addition, a garage building was built.
The new aspects at the new Beira-Rio that stand out the most are the façade and the foil shaped roof. The façade is made out of galvalume steel in red, white and silver. The project respected the design of the structure already at the stadium, reinforcing its vertical lines.
The structure of the access ramps to the upper stands was kept in concrete, with the aim of bringing out the tilted pillar and beams. The access to the mixed zone was also made to stand out more, where the stretch of façade is coated with a ‘glass skin’.
The roof is made up by 65 foil shaped modules, covering all places in the stadium, including the ramps and access ways to the gates. The roof is made from a heat reducing membrane. In the main modules, the membrane is semi see-through and completely see-through between the foils, which allows for light to get into the stadium. In addition, the roof is self-cleaning, using the minimum amount of water possible, as well as reducing heat absorption. There is also a secondary aesthetic outlining effect of the foil structure, which really brings out the building’s design.
Comfort and safety
With technology integrated to all sectors, the new Beira-Rio promises a different experience for its punters. “We have numbered seats. No-one stands up, nobody stands in the hallways, everyone has somewhere to sit. The stadium is divided. The public can move around freely. If a person is sitting on one side and wants to grab something to eat which is being sold on the other side, they can stroll through the hallways, which are wide. Everything is aimed at providing as much comfort as possible", explains Carla Ritter.
The distance between steps on the stands went from 60cm in some sectors, to 90cm, which provides more leg room. The seats are retractable, which also makes moving around easier. The seats use the colour red SL –C2014/D VM 764 – especially developed for the club, as it refers to red used in internacional's main jersey.
In addition, fans will be able to see the pitch better, as the stands are now closer to it: minimum distance from the stands until the corner spot is of 9.7 metres. A reduction of 15 metres in distance.
Fans will have 17 access ways available to them, two built specially for wheelchair users. With more access gates and a more modern set-up, a packed out Beira-Rio may be emptied in just eight minutes. The project anticipates the building of 14 circulation towers that will provide access from levels 1 to 6, as well as comfort and speedy moving around for punters.
In all, the new Beira-Rio will have 81 lavatories, 31 female, 31 male, eight for children and four put aside for people with special needs. In addition, there are two lavatories integrated to the dressing rooms and for servicing the shops, as well as four aimed at the press and one for the control booths.
Players will feel more comfort at the new Beira-Rio. The pitch meets international quality standards: The pitch is made up of a natural grass hybrid system, which uses the Bermuda TifGrand species, reinforced with elastic fibres imported from Europe, increasing resistance to trampling and low temperatures. The irrigation and drainage systems were also modernised.
The level of lighting at the stadium in Porto Alegre will have features similar to daylight. The stadium uses four hundred and four 2 thousand watt floodlights, so as to ensure more vibrant colours, without shadows for fans, players and those watching the match on television.
The new dressing rooms are bigger and well structured, and provide the same standard for the home and away teams. They are equipped with showers, an exclusive room for the technical staff, as well as massage, physiotherapy and warm-up rooms. There are also dressing rooms for the referees. “The dressing rooms are exactly the same for Inter's players as for the visiting teams. Referees, ball catchers and anti-doping teams all have their specific areas”, states Carla Ritter.
Renewed and ready to be a World Cup stage, the Beira-Rio shall host international derbies during the tournament. The first match to be held at the ground will be a Group E game on 15 June between France and Honduras. Three days later, in a Group B match, 2010 World Cup runners-up Holland take on Australia.
The third match to be played in Porto Alegre will see South Korea face Algeria (Group H) on 22 June. Then, on 25 June, Argentina - seeded team in Group F - takes to the pitch against Nigeria for the last group stage match to be held at the ground.
In addition, Porto Alegre will be the stage of one of the round of sixteen matches, when the first place of Group G (Germany, Portugal, Ghana and United States) takes on the second place in Group H (Belgium, Algeria, Russia and South Korea). The match will be held on 30 June.