World Cup 2014: Complete Guide to Brazil's Stadiums
Less than two years separate us and the start of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, a host nation that holds the game in its highest regard.
Diving into the heart of a country absolutely oozing with passion and an insatiable appetite for football, Brazil will present 12 venues, some new and others remodeled, that will echo themes of the country's approach to sustainability and the natural world.
In a glorious return to Brazil—where some consider it to be the birthplace of so many top talents—the 2014 World Cup not only will provide a fantastic tournament, but also an aesthetic that will cradle the world into a twilight zone of unbelievable creativity, enthusiasm and beauty.
Here is a look at the 12 arenas set to host in Brazil 2014.
Estadio Mineirao: Belo Horizonte
Name: Estadio Mineirao
City: Belo Horizonte
The historical and majestic Estadio Mineirao is host to both Athletic Mineirao and Cruzeiro. The stadium is slated to undergo some renovations that will change the life of the venue.
Accessibility will be improved with the lowering of the pitch surface and, with re-usable rainwater, sustainability will improve as well.
The arena will host the 61st game of the 2014 World Cup, one of the semi-final fixtures.
Estadio Nacional De Brasilia: Brasilia
Name: Estadio Nacional de Brasilia
The former Estadio Mane Garrincha will serve as demolition site for the sparkling new Estadio Nacional de Brasilia, a venue that may provide the best view of all the arenas.
Harboring efforts of environmental friendliness, the stadium will be an icon for sustainable urban planning in a country that is continuing its explosion onto the world.
Set to be completed towards the end of the year, the Estadio Nacional will host the opening match of the 2013 Confederations Cup as well as quarterfinal and third-place contests in the 2014 World Cup.
Arena Pantanal: Cuiaba
Name: Arena Pantanal
The greenery-rich Pantanal region is the site of the new, environmentally-conscious Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba. The venue is so sustainable that its nickname is 'O Verdao' or 'The Big Green.'
It can serve as a cultural and technological icon that harbors the country's dedication to sustainability.
As one of the smaller venues for Brazil 2014, the stadium only hosts four matches; it is equipped with an adaptable structure, which can be used to reduce the stadium's size to fit the needs of more intimate events.
Arena Da Baixada: Curitiba
Name: Arena da Baixada
A twice-renovated Arena de Baixada, previously known as the Estadio Joaquim Americo, will be one of the better visual sites for Brazil 2014.
Once it is equipped with a seating capacity that breaches the 40,000 mark, the Curitiba venue will serve as one of the oldest and more celebrated arenas in the country.
Estadio Castelao: Fortaleza
Name: Estadio Castelao
Fortaleza's top site will be the Estadio Castelao. The area is to be enhanced with better accessibility and attractions, including bus lanes, metro lines, a light rail, restaurants and hotels.
The Castelao will host a range of group matches, but also a Round of 16 and quarterfinal fixtures.
Arena Amazonia: Manaus
Name: Arena Amazonia
The westernmost stadium for the 2014 World Cup is the Arena Amazonia, situated centrally in the Amazon rainforest.
As a lone site far from the rest of the venues, the Amazonia will be a visual gem in a region that is rich in flora and fauna—some controversy surrounds the preservation of this region.
By design, the stadium will have further hosting calls beyond Brazil 2014 and serve as a cultural anchor point in the region.
Estadio Das Dunas: Natal
Name: Estadio das Dunas
Rising from the demolition sites of Machadao and Machadinho, the Estadio das Dunas will be another visual experience.
Mimicking the sand dunes that lay across the Natal region, the arena will take on that appearance.
Set for completion in December of 2013, the stadium will host four matches during the group stage.
Estadio Beira-Rio: Porto Alegre
Name: Estadio Beira-Rio
City: Porto Alegre
The Estadio Beira-Rio is the southernmost venue to be used in Brazil 2014 and is the biggest in the Porto Alegre region.
Nicknamed "the Giant of Beira-Rio," the arena will undergo continual renovations while still in use and will expect to approach a capacity of around 50,000.
In addition to the four group stage fixtures, one Round of 16 match will be played here, the home grounds of Internacional.
Arena Pernambuco: Recife
Name: Arena Pernambuco
An economically deprived region in Recife will receive a new arena in time for Brazil 2014 and looks to jump-start the area with additional commercial and residential expansions.
With three clubs having set up shop in Recife, what better setting to situate a new venue to exercise the world's greatest game.
Estadio Do Maracana: Rio De Janeiro
Name: Estadio do Maracana
City: Rio de Janeiro
Seven matches, more than any other venue, will be played at the Maracana, an iconic stadium constructed for the 1950 World Cup.
Sixty-four years later, it will be the selection for three elimination stage fixtures, including the final match on July 13.
As the country's biggest stadium in one of its wildest cities, the Maracana will actually have its capacity reduced to maintain better visibility. Having held record crowds of up to 200,000, the stadium will be a fulcrum point for the 2014 World Cup.
Arena Fonte Nova: Salvador
Name: Arena Fonte Nova
With a new stadium at the heart of Brazilian history and culture, the Arena Fonte Nova will have the look of the previously-demolished edifice. The original was constructed in 1951, then demolished in 2010.
Situated centrally on the west coast of the country, the new Fonte Nova will play host to six games, including a Round of 16 and quarterfinal matchup.
Arena De Sao Paulo: Sao Paulo
Name: Arena de Sao Paulo
City: Sao Paolo
There are three big clubs in Sao Paulo, but only one, Corinthians, did not have a stadium meant for hosting matches of these magnitudes.
Corinthians finally got its master venue and the Arena de Sao Paulo will be the site of the 2014 World Cup's opening match on June 12.