Maracana gets facelift for 2014 World Cup

BY foxsports • December 17, 2009

Brazil will spend $280 million to renovate Maracana Stadium, closing the historic venue next year to spruce up the centerpiece of the 2014 World Cup.

Opened for the 1950 World Cup, Maracana is expected to be reopened in December 2012, government officials said on Thursday. The facade will remain, although a roof will be added to the five-story structure.

Originally built to hold 200,000, the present capacity will be reduced from 87,000 to 82,000 at the recommendation of FIFA, the world governing body of football.

"Yes, it will hold fewer people, but with better quality," Marcia Lins, the tourism secretary for Rio de Janeiro state, said on Thursday.

Work on the stadium will begin in March, and it will be closed altogether in August in a project that could take two years to complete.

The renovation will include upgraded changing rooms, a remodeled area for the media, new seats, toilets and restaurants. The parking area will also be expanded.

Lins said the renovation would also include the regeneration of the northern area of the city.

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