Rio Olympic stadium closed for repair

Wednesday 27 Mar 2013

2016 Rio Olympic Games venue closed due to structural problems with roof system

One of the key venues for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games has been closed due to structural complications with its roof system. The Joao Havelange Stadium, locally referred to as Engehao due to its location in the neighbourhood of Engenho de Dentro, was designed by Carlos Porto and completed in 2007 for the Pan-American Games. Opening just one month prior to the opening of the Games, the stadium was over budget at $192m, six times the original estimate.

The stadium has now been closed ‘indefinitely’ so that repairs can be made to the roof. After hearing of the problems with the stadium Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes told a press conference yesterday: “I asked if this represented a risk for spectators and they told me it did, depending on the wind speed and temperature. On that basis, I immediately decided to close the stadium until we had more details.”

The Joao Havelange Stadium is due to host the athletics competitions during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games but not the opening or closing ceremonies which will be held at the Maracana (currently undergoing building works and due to reopen next month). An international online stadium guide reports that the venue ‘has gotten the reputation of being a somewhat cold and soulless football stadium’ due to the large distance between the stands and pitch.

The stadium is the permanent home of football team Botafoga however both Flamengo and Fluminense are currently using the Joao Havelange Stadium for their matches while the Maracana is closed for building works. The Joao Havelange Stadium will have its capacity increased from 47,000 to 60,000 for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Firms that worked on the scheme include: Project Alpha Company; Andrade Rezende; TAL Project; Gerdau; Perfilor; Firestone; Indutech; Assembly Industrial Ltda; DW Engenharia; MBM Engenharia; and the consortium Racional, Delta and Recoma.

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