When the World Cup kicks off on 12 June, the world’s glaze will be directed to the Corinthians Arena, in São Paulo, with Brazil and Croatia taking to the pitch in the tournament's opening game. In addition, the temporary seats that will increase the ground's capacity to 68 thousand people have begun to be assembled.
Around six thousand workers were involved in the building of the Corinthians Arena, which at the height of activities had 2,500 employees in action. The project has been budgeted at R$ 820 million, R$ 400 million of which as federal financing from the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES).
Video (with English subtitles)
Construction works started on 30 May 2011 in São Paulo’s East Zone.After almost three years of construction works, a 189 thousand square metre building stands tall, with two façades that stand out on the east and west side, with corners spaning over 170 metres in the north and south sectors.
On the east side, which will be used by the general public a 170 by 20 metres panel stands out, with a LED floodlight with 34 thousand bulbs. On the opposite end, which provides access to the boxes, restaurants, press area and changing rooms, a 240 metre long and 30 metre high façade is made up of 1,350 glass panels.
“Each of these glass panels is different from the other in size, span or colour. The glass is extra clear, manufactured in Europe. They have a white colour, that does not turn into green", states Antonio Gavioli, engineer in charge of the construction works.
The biggest challenge was assembling the metal roof. The structure measures 32 thousand m², which is the equivalent to 4.5 football pitches and weighs 7.2 thousand tons. The east and west stands swing over 57 metres.
The roof was divided into 38 modules weighing between 250 and 420 tons each, lifted by cranes able to take 1,500 tons.
The grass species used was the Ryegrass, different from the other World Cup venues, which opted for the Bermuda type.
“The option was made for a grass species that could withstand cold weather, as they are stronger. We put in pipes under the grass' root so that cold water could get through. If the temperature rises, water at 6 degrees cools down the plant, keeping the root between 15 and 22 degrees", states Gavioli.
In February 2013, the pitch started to be laid down and it is ready for the World Cup. On 15 March 2014, Corinthians held a training session at the ground for the first time.
The pitch uses an automatic irrigation system with 48 sprinklers. In addition, there is a vacuum and suction drainage system. The 105 by 68 metre pitch is only 9 metres away from the stand and will be lit up by 350 floodlights.
Access, safety and comfort
In order to have access to World Cup matches in São Paulo, fans will go through a 16 thousands m² square before arriving at one of the 120 turnstiles located at the venue's 12 entrances. Internal moving around is taken care of by 15 lifts and ten escalators.
The Corinthians Arena is a 68 thousand seater, with 21.2 thousand temporary seats being used in order to meet FIFA requirements for the World Cup opening match. In addition, the seats are retractable with backrests.
There are 85 boxes able to cater for between 12 and 27 fans. There are other boxes able to hold over 80 people.
The venue also has an auditorium for 320 people, four restaurants, an industrial kitchen, 59 food kiosks and 53 lavatories.
In the external area, we find 1,900 outdoor parking spaces, plus another 900 indoors. The stadium has a command room to control operations and was designed to be emptied in 8 minutes.