- Location: Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil
- Capacity: 43,000
- Opened: September 6 1914
- Opens: Early 2014
- New or upgrade: Upgrade
- Status: Under renovation
- Full name: Estádio Joaquim Américo Guimarães
- Home ground of: Atlético Paranaense
- Interesting fact: 1 of the most modern and best appointed stadiums of Brazil
Arena da Baixada in Curitiba is privately owned and operated by Atlético Paranaense. Not many stadiums are privately owned, most are owned by the state or city. Aside from Arena da Baixada, there are 2 other private stadiums hosting World Cup matches: Estádio Beira-Rio and Arena de São Paulo.
The original name of Baixada, Joaquim Américo Guimarães, was the founder and president of Brazilian football club Internacional Football Club which later would become Atlético Paranaense, the current owner of the stadium. The common name Baixada (low area), comes from the area Agua Verde where the stadium is located. This area was named Baixadao da Agua Verde in the early 20th century when the stadium was built.
In the 70s the old stadium closed down for a limited period of time. in 1984 the stadium reopened and operated for a few years. Arena da Baixada however has been demolished in March 1997. A new stadium replaced the old one and opened officially in 1999.
Since Arena da Baixada is considered as 1 of the most modern and best appointed stadiums of Brazil after the new stadium was finished, it was only expected to participate in the upcoming World Cup. It was the first stadium in Paraná which introduced Wi-Fi. Although the new stadium opened in 1999, FIFA demanded for certain changes and improvements to be applied. Meeting the FIFA requirements such as extra capacity, remodelling of the roof top cover and facilities improvements are currently in progress. Arena da Baixada is the ‘cheapest’ stadium of all 12 2014 World Cup stadiums.
The renovation process seemed to be on schedule. In August 2013 a delegation consisting of members of FIFA, the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and the Ministry of Sport visited the Arena Baixada to analyze its current status. It looked like the December deadline would be met, which meant there would be enough time to test the stadium.
Challenges however continued to occur. In October the building work was suspended due to numerous safety breaches. The work was suspended on the orders of a Brazilian labour tribunal.
Eventually Arena Baixada didn’t finish before December 31. General secretary Jérôme Valcke confirmed there were problems with the stadium. There was the problem of workers going on strike due to a delay in payments. He stated the people from Curitiba promised to finish the stadium by the end of February. However the plan for a retractable roof has been abandoned. There was simply not enough time. At the end, the February deadline wasn’t met either.
Due to so many delays, Arena Baixada was risking of being excluded from the 2014 World Cup. Project planners had till February 18 to show the stadium would be finished on time. It was really 50% 50%, but eventually FIFA decided not to abandon the stadium for the tournament.
As of May, Arena da Baixada is for 98% completed. It was initially expected that the stadium would be the last stadium to finish of all the 6 stadiums which were in construction in 2014. However due to the accident at the Arena de São Paulo, Arena Baixada should be finished earlier. Test events already took place, the first one was on the 29th of March 2014. There is not much time left, but the World Cup organizing committee were satisfied with the latest test events in May. The stadium should be ready soon for the 2014 World Cup.
Arena da Baixada is designed to be used for multiple events and will contain a business center, commercial center and a food court.
Matches To Be Played: 4
Baixada in Action
Construction process of the Arena da Baixada in Curitiba (in Portuguese)
Arena da Baixada – Know the Details (in Portuguese)
2014 World Cup: Arena de Baixada