The FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil has taken one step closer to finalising its preparations with the news that the sixth and final stadium venue for the forthcoming Confederations Cup has been completed and enjoyed the formal opening of the Arena Pernambuco.
On Monday, two teams made up of construction workers who helped build the stadium played out a friendly match as the ground's inaugural fixture, with 15,000 supporters being able to witness the first test run. The first professional game will take place between Nautico and Sporting Lisbon, who play a friendly at the Arena Pernambuco on Wednesday (via copa2014.gov.br).
The Arena Pernambuco is the smallest of the six stadia, which will host matches in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, with a total capacity of 46,106. By contrast, the Nacional Mane Garrincha and the redeveloped Maracana both hold over 70,000.
Once more, the newest stadium delivers on a host of impressive aesthetic and comfort measures, sporting two giant HD television screens, VIP lounges with 1,600 seats in total, further premium seating and a mixed seating section. In addition, there are four changing rooms, warm-up areas, jacuzzis and massage areas and technical areas for the managers within the team zones.
The Arena Pernambuco has been designed with red seats in honour of the three biggest sides in the state; Sport, Nautico and Santa Cruz all have red in their regular colours.
The stadium will host three group stage matches at the Confederations Cup, beginning with the exciting Spain vs. Uruguay clash in Group B on June 16, following with Italy vs. Japan in Group A three days later. Uruguay vs. Tahiti on June 23 will be the final match of the tournament played in the stadium in Recife.
Nautico are expected to play their club matches in the stadium from after the Confederations Cup, while it will also host one of the matches in Brazil's own World Cup group in the summer of 2014.
According to FIFA.com, FIFA president Sepp Blatter praised the work, the vision and the longevity of the ground:
I really can’t wait to come to Recife in person and visit this special project for the FIFA World Cup, which is seen as an economic catalyst for the continued expansion of Grande Recife. I'm impressed by the host city’s vision in building a stadium in an area where they wasn’t one before, and which will now be transformed into a neighbourhood that, in future, will feature nearly 5,000 houses. That’s a legacy: using the hosting of the FIFA World Cup for the benefit of the population.