- Location: Cuiabá, Mato Grosso, Brazil
- Capacity: 42,900
- Opens: Early 2014
- New or upgrade: New
- Status: Under construction
- Full name: Arena Multiuso Governador José Fragelli
- Home ground of: Cuiabá Esporte Clube and Mixto Esporte Clube
- Interesting fact: Named after one of the world’s largest tropical wetlands
The Arena Pantanal in Cuiabá has replaced the demolished stadium Estádio Governador José Fragelli (Verdão).
The current Governor of Mato Grosso has purposely given the new stadium a different name: Pantanal. Pantanal is also 1 of the world’s largest tropical wetland areas partially located in the state Mato Grosso. This name was obviously given to create attention for this beautiful area with unique ecological and geological characteristics. Aside from the Amazon in Manaus, the wetland area will definitely attract eco-tourists around the world.
There were concerns that the stadium would only finish after the World Cup. However, in October 2013 a delegation consisting of members of FIFA, the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and the Ministry of Sport visited Arena Pantanal to analyze its current status. FIFA secretary General Jérôme Valcke stated FIFA is confident in the message they received from the host city regarding the December deadline.
But at the end of October 2013, Mato Grosso state governor Silval Barbosa announced some bad news about the stadium’s progress. He stated Arena Pantanal will be finished only in mid January. He stated:
“We are working as hard as we can to have it ready by December but we might need a few extra days, 10-15, to finalise things and finish installing the seats”.
The problems with the seats initially occurred since FIFA and the supplier could not agree with the price. The company Kango Brasil is supplying the seats but competitor Desk asked a judge to void the bidding process which was awarded to its rival Kango Brasil. If the judge accepts the request, the work in the stadium may have to be halted. This legal dispute involving both suppliers can prevent the stadium from being finished on time.
To make matters worse, 24 hours after above announcement, a fire broke out in the basement of the stadium. The World Cup organisers however stated that the construction work will not be delayed due to this incident.
General secretary Jérôme Valcke then confirmed the Arena Pantanal will indeed not make the December 31 deadline due to too many issues. Even the January deadline wasn’t met. It was then planned for the stadium to be finished by February, but again the deadline wasn’t met. The unfortunate death of a worker in May 2013 delayed the construction even more.
A successful test event on May 18 was the trigger to deliver the Arena Pantanal on May 21 to FIFA. Now they have the responsibility for the stadium until the end of the 2014 World Cup. But the Arena Pantanal is not 100% finished yet.
The building of the Arena Pantanal emphasizes highly on the environment and sustainability in order to meet the sustainability criteria for receiving a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certificate. Cuiaba is located in a region with a high percentage of flora and fauna (Pantanal), which makes this emphasis even more understandable. Huge parts of materials such as rubbish and waste are being recycled, and water is decanted and reused. The wood used comes from certified sources and the soil and air quality are constantly monitored. All these reasons contribute to the nickname given to the previous stadium: “O Verdão” (The Big Green), which will be passed on to Arena Pantanal.
The Arena Pantanal is considered as 1 of the 4 ‘white elephant’ 2014 World Cup stadiums. This means the stadium will be of little purpose after the World Cup. Huge expenses but with little benefit in the end. However, there are plans to use the stadium after the World Cup.
After the 2014 World Cup, the stadium will be used as a multi-purpose complex managed by companies and has an adaptable structure. Arena Pantanal can reduce its size in such a way; it makes itself highly usable for a variety of events such as trade fairs and shows.
Matches To Be Played: 4
Pantanal in Action
Construction process of the Arena Pantanal in Cuiabá
Arena Pantanal – Know the Details (in Portuguese)
2014 World Cup: Arena Pantanal