Matches: England vs. Italy (June 14), Cameroon vs. Croatia (June 18), USA vs. Portugal (June 22), Honduras vs. Switzerland (June 25)
Situated at the heart of the Amazon rainforest, this recently refurbished stadium will host a number of group stage games. The surrounding rainforest and local culture are the inspiration for the Arena Amazonia, which is enclosed by a metal structure designed to resemble a straw basket, a product the region is famous for. The stadium has also been designed with sustainability in mind to help preserve the diversity of the Amazonian rainforest. Rainwater will be collected for use in the toilets and to water the pitch, while the region’s abundant supply of sunshine will be harnessed to generate clean and renewable energy.
Arena da Baixada
Matches: Iran vs. Nigeria (June 16), Honduras vs. Ecuador (June 20), Australia vs. Spain (June 23), Algeria vs. Russia (June 26)
Home to Atletico Paranaense, the Arena de Baixada has undergone significant redevelopment ahead of the FIFA World Cup. Historically known as the Estadio Joaquim Americo, the stadium was constructed in 1914 before being overhauled in 1999, leading it to be considered one of the most modern stadiums in Brazil. Further redevelopment was completed in December 2012, which increased capacity to over 40,000.
Arena de Sao Paulo
City: Sao Paulo
Matches: Brazil vs. Croatia (June 12), Uruguay vs. England (June 19), Netherlands vs. Chile (June 23), Korea Republic vs. Belgium (June 26), round of 16 (July 1), semi-final (July 9)
Graced with the opening game of the tournament, Brazil vs. Croatia, as well as a semi-final and a host of other group games, the Arena de Sao Paulo will be one of the showpiece stadiums of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. This newly constructed venue is also a boost to the club that will call it home, Corinthians Paulista. Of Sao Paulo’s three biggest clubs, Corinthians was previously the only one that did not own a stadium suitable to host a game at the tournament. Situated in one of Sao Paulo’s most deprived areas, the stadium is expected to encourage local rejuvenation.
Arena Fonte Nova
Matches: Spain vs. Netherlands (June 13), Germany vs. Portugal (June 16), Switzerland vs. France (June 20), Bosnia and Herzegovina vs. Iran (June 25), round of 16 (July 1), quarter-final (July 5)
Rising up on the site of the original Fonte Nova, this new, purpose-built stadium will host some high-profile games at the FIFA World Cup. The original Fonte Nova was built in 1951 and hosted the derby between Salvador’s Esporte Clube Bahia and Esporte Clube until it was closed in 2007 and demolished three years later. The new stadium is modelled on its predecessor with a lightweight metal roof as well as facilities including a football museum, restaurants, shops and hotels.
Matches: Chile vs. Australia (June 13), Russia vs. Korea Republic (June 17), Nigeria vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina (June 21), Japan vs. Colombia (June 24)
This newly-built stadium in the Pantanal region has been constructed with sustainability in mind. The wood used in construction was responsibly sourced, while waste products from the building process were recycled and re-used in the project. The site air and soil quality is also monitored constantly. Built especially for Brazil 2014, the Arena Pantanal has an adaptable structure that can be reduced in size after the tournament. A variety of events are expected to take place at the stadium in the future, while local football clubs Mixto and Operario will also take advantage of the new venue.
Matches: Cote d’Ivoire vs. Japan (June 14), Italy vs. Costa Rica (June 20), Croatia vs. Mexico (June 23), USA vs. Germany (June 26), round of 16 (June 29)
Having hosted a game at the 1950 FIFA World Cup, Recife will once again play a role in the tournament, this time staging five matches at the newly built Arena Pernambuco. This new stadium, in the Sao Lourenco da Mata district, is part of a complex including shops, restaurants and cinemas. It is hoped this development will prove to be an economic catalyst for the area, with estimates that the neighbourhood around the stadium will expand to accommodate 5,000 new homes. Boasting three top Brazilian football clubs – Nautico, Santa Cruz and Sport – Recife is sure to be a passionate host city.
City: Porto Alegre
Matches: France vs. Honduras (June 15), Australia vs. Netherlands (June 18), Korea Republic vs. Algeria (June 22), Nigeria vs. Argentina (June 25), round of 16 (June 30)
In picturesque surroundings on reclaimed land on the banks of the River Guaiba, the Estadio Beira-Rio is home to Internacional. Over the years, the stadium has hosted hotly-contested derbies between Internacional and their Porto Alegre rival Gremio. As the largest football ground in the south of Brazil, the Estadio Beira-Rio is nicknamed the ‘Gigante do Beira-Rio’, meaning the Giant of Beira-Rio. Having opened in 1969, the stadium has been renovated for the FIFA World Cup, and now features an innovative metal roof that covers the stands, ramps and turnstiles.
Matches: Uruguay vs. Costa Rica (June 14), Brazil vs. Mexico (June 17), Germany vs. Ghana (June 21), Greece vs. Cote d’Ivoire (June 24), round of 16 (June 29), quarter-final (July 4)
Football is a passion in Fortaleza, especially when it comes to the city’s two biggest clubs, Ceara and Fortaleza. These two clubs share the Estadio Castelao, which was entirely renovated to host the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 and now the FIFA World Cup. Following the significant redevelopment, the Castelao boasts world-class facilities, including a new roof that covers all of the seating. Access to the stadium has also been improved with the introduction of a new railway line and two metro stations. The entire complex houses restaurants, cinemas, hotels and an Olympic centre.
Estadio das Dunas
Matches: Mexico vs. Cameroon (June 13), Ghana vs. USA (June 16), Japan vs. Greece (June 19), Italy vs. Uruguay (June 24)
Built especially for the FIFA World Cup, the Estadio das Dunas will host four group games in the city of Natal. In order for Natal to become a host city for the tournament, it required a large, modern stadium, which it was previously lacking. Two of the city’s top clubs, America and Alecrim, played their home games at the Estadio Joao Claudio de Vasconcelos Machado, which was demolished to make way for the new stadium. It is designed to imitate the sand dunes that the Natal region is famous for.
Estadio do Maracana
City: Rio de Janeiro
Matches: Argentina vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina (June 15), Spain vs. Chile (June 18), Belgium vs. Russia (June 22), Ecuador vs. France (June 25), round of 16 (June 28), quarter-final (July 4), final (July 13)
One of the most famous football stadiums in the world, the Estadio Journalista Mario Filho, better known as the Maracana, will host the final of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. In all, it will host seven games, more than any other venue. The stadium was originally built for the 1950 FIFA World Cup, and at one time was the largest ground in the world, packing in crowds of up to 200,000. Today, the stadium has a more modest capacity, yet it is still the largest football venue in the country. The Maracana has undergone major refurbishment for the tournament, with improved seating and better access. As one of the most popular tourist attractions in Rio de Janeiro, the facade of the stadium has remained untouched.
City: Belo Horizonte
Matches: Colombia vs. Greece (June 14), Belgium vs. Algeria (June 17), Argentina vs. Iran (June 21), Costa Rica vs. England (June 24), round of 16 (June 28), semi-final (July 8)
To bring it up-to-date for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the Estadio Mineirao has undergone a complete overhaul prior to hosting six games at the tournament. Home to two of Brazil’s biggest clubs, Atletico Mineiro and Cruzerio, the stadium is one of Brazil’s oldest, having been inaugurated in 1965. As part of the redevelopment project, sustainable practices have been incorporated into the design, with the facility now able to capture and store up to 6,270,000 litres of rainwater for re-use. The Estadio Mineirao always has an enthusiastic crowd, whether for club games or Brazil national team matches.
Matches: Switzerland vs. Ecuador (June 15), Colombia vs. Cote d’Ivoire (June 19), Cameroon vs. Brazil (June 23), Portugal vs. Ghana (June 26), round of 16 (June 30), quarter-final (July 5), third-place final (July 12)
The architecturally stunning Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha is the second largest stadium hosting matches at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Built on the site of the old Estadio Nacional, the new stadium features an updated facade, metal roof and stands, as well as a lowered pitch to provide unobstructed views from every seat. Founded on carbon neutrality, recycling and complete access via public transport, this environmentally friendly construction project consolidates Brasilia’s status as a world leader in sustainable urban planning, creating a valuable legacy for other sectors of the local economy.