Arena Corinthians

Arena Corinthians

The Arena Corinthians, in São PauloBrazil, is the future home stadium of the Sport Club Corinthians Paulista. When completed, it will be the fifth-largest stadium on the top tier of the Brazilian League and the eleventh-largest in Brazil, with a seating capacity of 48,234.[10][12]

The stadium will host six 2014 FIFA World Cup matches, including the opening match.[13] Due to the request of at least 65,000 seats for the World Cup opening match,[14] temporary seats will be added to the stadium for the tournament.[15]




Corinthians planned to build a new 201,304-capacity stadium,[16] as their own Alfredo Shürig Stadium held fewer than 14,000 people and city’s Pacaembu Stadium had to be shared with other teams. Plans to build a new stadium required a large area, and then president Vicente Matheus asked for a concession to São Paulo’s Mayor in the Itaquera region, east of the city centre. The request was accepted by mayor Olavo Setúbal on 10 November 1978 [17] and a concession for 90 years was granted on 26 December 1978 for a 197,095.14 square metres (2,121,514.4 sq ft) property.[18] The area was owned at the time by COHAB, an agency for popular housing controlled by the São Paulo City government.[18][19] The original plan was to built the stadium in three to five years.[17] The concession was renewed in 1988 for 90 years, with the condition that any construction made in the area would revert to the city at no cost.[20]

Funding was not obtained and other alternatives have been considered, like getting a concession for the Pacaembu Stadium [21] and demolishing the Alfredo Schürig Stadium making room for another,[22] among other proposals.[23][24]

Corinthians announced the construction of the 48,234-capacity stadium on 31 August 2010 with an estimated cost of R$335 million and an expected gross revenue of R$100 million per year.[25]The original plans allow for an expansion to reach 70,000 seats.[26]

Corinthians expected to get financing from BNDES and sell the naming rights for the stadium to pay the construction costs.[27]

The main architect is Aníbal Coutinho, assisted by Antônio Paulo Cordeiro[1] from Coutinho, Diegues, Cordeiro (DDG),[28] partnering with Werner Sobek who rendered structural engineering services.[29] The stadium was planned to be concluded by March 2013.[30]

FIFA World Cup 2014 Hosting[edit]

Geraldo AlckminRonaldo and Gilberto Kassab on the day Arena Corinthians was chosen to host the opening match of FIFA World Cup 2014

Accenture estimated that the World Cup opening would bring R$30.75 Billion over 10 years to the city, estimulating the city to bring the opening match to São Paulo.[31][32] A study from Fundação Getúlio Vargas estimated R$1 Billion in revenue just for the opening match, as 290 thousand tourists are expected for the event.[33]

Although Morumbi Stadium was originally selected to host the FIFA 2014 World Cup in São Paulo, they failed to provide proof of funding for a R$630 million renovations plan asked by FIFA in order to secure its spot; the stadium was then excluded from the tournament on 16 June 2010.[34] The Local World Cup Committee looked for alternatives and set on offering Arena Corinthians to host the opening game; FIFA accepted the suggestion and confirmed the decision on 10 October 2011.[35]

Hosting the opening game required modifications on the original project that raised the cost from the original R$335 million to R$1.07 billion to accommodate FIFA’s requirements. Cuts in equipment, furniture and construction costs brought the price down.[36] On top of that, due to FIFA’s agreements with Brazil, all construction related to the World Cup is not allowed to be taxed by the Federal Government; the final price agreed upon was R$820 million.[37]

A new contract was signed on 19 July 2011 with Odebrecht; R$400 million of the total were going to be financed by BNDES and the remaining R$420 million in tax credits granted by the City.[38] A 2007 law stated that those tax credits could be used by any company who established itself on the Eastern region of the city, providing a credit of R$0.60 per R$1.00 invested.[39] A new law was passed by the city legislature to deal specifically with this stadium and reduce the incentives, linking the concession of the credits to hosting the World Cup opening match and limiting the total amount of credits to R$420 million.[40] The concession was justified by the fact that it is expected that the stadium will generate R$950 million in city taxes during the six years after its opening, R$530 million in excess of the tax credits given.[31]

The financing contract with BNDES was signed on 29 November 2013, under their ProCopas Arenas World Cup program. Caixa Econômica Federal is the distributing agent.[41]

The estimated construction cost did not include estimated R$35 million [42] for adding temporary bleachers, planned to be removed after the World Cup is over.[1] They will be set on one of the sides and on the north and south ends.[43] The addition would raise the total capacity up to 72,000 seats, but the relocation of VIP areas and TV equipment will reduce the usable capacity.[43] During the tournament, FIFA estimates that the gross capacity will be 67,349 and the seating capacity will be 59,955.[44]

After the World Cup, Corinthians will have to retrofit the stadium for regular use; they consider that the stadium will be 92% ready for their use after the tournament.[45] The expectation is that it will be completely retrofitted by February 2015.[46] The estimated cost is R$20 million. [47]


Arena Corinthians – December 2012

On 13 November 2013, the reported progress on the construction was 94%.[48]

An accident on 27 November 2013 destroyed part of the East building, killing two people.[49] A crane fell while carrying a part of the roof destroying eight columns of the LED screen and part of an internal slab.[50][51]

An area of 5,000 square metres (54,000 sq ft) has been closed for investigation. Initial hypotheses are human error, crane mechanical failure and unstability on the terrain under the crane.[52] The structure was not affected due to the anti vandalism glass installed on the east façade.[53]

The club announced that the arena will be completed on 15 April 2014.[3]

FIFA World Cup 2014 Matches[edit]

Date Time (UTC-03) Team #1 Res. Team #2 Round Attendance
June 12, 2014 17:00  Brazil Match 1  Croatia Group A
June 19, 2014 16:00  Uruguay Match 23  England Group D
June 23, 2014 13:00  Netherlands Match 36  Chile Group B
June 26, 2014 17:00  South Korea Match 48  Belgium Group H
July 1, 2014 13:00 Winner Group F Match 55 Runner-up Group E Round of 16
July 9, 2014 17:00 Winner Match 59 Match 62 Winner Match 60 Semi-Finals


Corinthians: Owner, Operator and Tenant of Arena Corinthians

The stadium was called Estádio do Corinthians by Corinthians when it was announced.[25] The name being used in the official site is Arena Corinthians.[54]

Attempts to nickname it have been made by the local media, although none have been widely accepted. Local media outlets Estado[55] and Folha[56] refer to Arena Corinthians as Itaquerão, while Rede Record uses Fielzão.[57] The largest media company in Brazil, Rede Globo, uses Arena Corinthians[58] like sports diary Lance!.[59]

The naming rights are currently valued R$405 million by the club for fifteen to eighteen years;[60] a study by Brunoro Sports Business estimated that the value should be R$21 million per year.[61]

Many companies have been linked as possible buyers, like Petrobras,[62] Ambev,[63] Grupo Petrópolis,[64] Etihad Airways,[65] Qatar Foundation,[65] Caixa Econômica Federal,[66] Emirates Airlines,[67]Bradesco,[68] Telefonica,[69] BMG,[70] Itaú,[68] Santander[71] and Zurich Insurance Group,[72] but no deal has been announced yet.

FIFA refers to the Stadium as Arena de São Paulo.[73]


Aníbal Coutinho designed the stadium to be “a stadium that would help the supporters, that would help the team to win matches, I wanted to make the supporters get on the pitch”.[57] Aníbal leads a team of 25 architects.[74]

The complex is being built in a 197,095.14 square metres (2,121,514.4 sq ft) property.[18] The built up area will be 189,000 square metres (2,030,000 sq ft)[1] with 17,500 cubic metres (620,000 cu ft) of concrete.[29] 80% of the structural construction is made of precast elements, 40% manufactured on a 7,500 square metres (81,000 sq ft) plant on-site.[9][75] The peak number of workers on site was 2,300, recorded on November 2012.[9]

The rectangular 267 by 228 metres (876 by 748 ft), 43 metres (141 ft) tall stadium has two buildings, the main on the west side and another on the east side.[28] When measurements are taken from the pitch, the east side height is 51 metres (167 ft), the west side goes up to 57 metres (187 ft) and the north and south ends are 15 metres (49 ft) tall. The pitch sits at exactly 777 metres (2,549 ft), as explained by Aníbal Coutinho: “The number 77 is considered lucky for the club. The club is located at 777 São Jorge St. and it brings to mind the 1977 that they won one their most celebrated championships of all time” (the Campeonato Paulista of 1977).[76]

West and East Buildings

The west side has a 6,150 square metres (66,200 sq ft) façade.[1] A single entrance with reflecting pools on each side will give access to the building. VIP seats, TV crew equipment, press and most box seats will be on the west building.[28] Corinthians’ crest will shine behind the glass façade.[77] The glass has been designed with a curvature intended to simulate the visual effect of a ball hitting the net. Special 26 metres (85 ft) seamless beams have been developed to support the structure.[78] The geometry consulting company Evolute GmbH developed a paneling solution which rationalized the 5,400 square metres (58,000 sq ft) double curved freeform glass surface into 855 planar and cylindrical panels, all in hot bent toughened glass[79] This solution allowed for minimising the number of shapes necessary by 93%, reducing costs considerably. [80]

The east side will house the largest single video screen in the world,[81] 170 by 20 metres (560 by 66 ft)—3,400 square metres (37,000 sq ft). The screen has 210,000 individual LEDs; 1320 custom made luminaires will be fitted in 4 metres (13 ft) long glass sheets.[5][78] The screen is manufactured by Osram Traxon, controlled by an E:cue lighting control.[5]

Glass for both façades were manufactured by Italian company Sunglass SRL.[82]

External walls will be covered by 3 square metres (32 sq ft) white Levantina Techlam ceramic tiles,[83][84] A 12 metres (39 ft) Corinthians symbol will be on the south wall of the east side, built in inox and backlit.[28]

Both buildings will have air conditioned in all internal areas. It is planned to have 3 restaurants/sports bars and a fourth will be a sports bar during the day and a nightclub by night.[1][85]

The public will circulate using 10 escalators, 15 elevators,[1] two ramps and 13 staircases.[76] 59 concession stands are available,[1] as is an Auditorium for 360 people [74] and a 25,000 square metres (270,000 sq ft) convention center under the west building.[57] A museum dedicated to Corinthians will be set up on the east building.[86]

Interior design is signed by Gensler.[87]

There are six changing rooms. Home team changing rooms occupy 1,300 square metres (14,000 sq ft), with Jacuzziscryotherapy and a private area for the coach. The warm-up area has bleachers for 86 VIP ticket holders, separated by soundproof glass.[74][88]

All the public areas have air conditioning and are finished in marble, granite or top tier ceramic tile.[88]


There are 48,234 seats (plus 17,000 temporary bleachers during the World Cup). The stadium will have 6,000 second tier covered seating and 10,000 VIP seats.[89]

89 luxury boxes will accommodate 1,414 spectators. Distributed on the 5th and 6th floors, 87% have 12 seats, 10% between 21 and 33 seats and 4 units more than 70 seats.[90] The largest units will have more than 470 square metres (5,100 sq ft).[91]

The lowest ring of bleachers go around the entire Arena. It will hold 10,500 seats on each side plus 6,000 behind the goals, for a total of 33,000 places.[92]

The distance between the first row of seating and the field is 9 metres (30 ft) on all sides.[28]

General seating is provided by Bluecube³, using an exclusive design based on the Integra model.[93] There are four different finishes, ranging from straight chairs without arms to stuffed chairs in leather. Most seats are white. Business level and box seats are finished in black leather and made by Poltrona Frau.[94] The 600 seats have laser-engraved club crests.[95]


Werner Sobek designed the roof,[29] held in place by forty-eight 75 metres (246 ft) long trusses.[96] The west and east sides are joined by two identical structures with a free span of 170 metres (560 ft).[97]The total East-West roof length is 245.75 metres (806.3 ft).[98] Aníbal Coutinho intended to bring a paulistano flair to the construction, with structures that resembled the São Paulo Museum of Art, a symbol of the city.[91]

The height of the roof and weight of the trusses required the use of the largest Liebherr Group crawler crane available in Latin America.[99] Just the steel beams account for 4,000 tons.[100]

The roof has four layers. First, a layer of steel corrugated sheets. Above them, thermal and acoustic insulation will be provided by Polyisocyanurate sheets. A layer of plasterboard will be installed above it.[101] Finally, the entire roof will be covered with 40,000 square metres (430,000 sq ft)[102] of Firestone Ultraply TPO.[103] On the underside a flexible membrane will cover the structure.[104]

This final layer will help to collect rainwater to reuse in other areas of the stadium.[101]

The structure was redesigned to duplicate the current noise level supporters create during games. Measurements taken on Pacaembu show that sound levels reach a peak of 113dB when goals are scored.[105]

4,500 square metres (48,000 sq ft) photo voltaic glass will be installed on the end closest to the pitch of the west and east roofing,[106] generating 1.0 MWp.[107]

The entire structure measures 32,300 square metres (348,000 sq ft)[108] and weights 6,500 tons.[98]


Osram will install four scoreboards in the stadium, on the north and south ends, above the bleachers.[109] They will be set in pairs, one facing the pitch and one facing outside. The inside-facing screen will have a 7mm dot pitch. Each screen is 225 square metres (2,420 sq ft), measuring 30 by 7.5 metres (98.4 by 24.6 ft).[78]

During the World Cup, they will be positioned under each of the side roofs.[109] 3,500 flat panel TVs will be installed all over the stadium, individually or as video walls,[110] amounting to 3,100 stations.[109]


The pitch lighting is going to use 352 Osram Siteco 2000-Watt Metal-halide[5] 6000K multivapor lamps, guaranteeing over 90% of colour fidelity.[111] The 5,000 lux lighting will be completely uniform and is 50% more than recommended by FIFA.[106]Osram provides lighting for the entire complex.[5]


The field has recommended FIFA dimensions[112] of 105 by 68 metres (115 by 74 yd).[11] It will be prepared by World Sports, in partnership with Desso.[112]

The field is made up of Perennial Ryegrass, which is grown directly at the site. The original idea was to use black grass, to avoid the colors of their biggest rivals, but it was proved to be technically impossible; the option chosen was to use grass with a darker hue.[113] To improve fixation, the grass will be intertwined with 22 million artificial fibres.[114]Ultraviolet lights will be used nightly to ensure that all parts of the pitch will receive equal lighting;[85] the field is exposed to only two hours of direct sunlight per day.[115]

Worldsports uses a blend of three cultivars from DLF-TrifoliumPh.D. Ryegrass Perenne,[116] from OregonUSA.[117] DLF states that this grass has strong cold and wear tolerance and is disease resistant, combined with fast growth rate. The hue is 8.7 on a scale of 1 to 9, where 9 is dark green.[118]

The choice of using ryegrass instead of the most common and usually recommended Bermuda brought advantages like having longitudinal roots (avoiding the cleats to tangle with them) and not getting a yellowish hue easily. It also brought challenges, as ryegrass is native to cooler climates, requiring 23 °C (73 °F) to optimum growth. Since the temperature in São Paulo rarely goes below 14 °C (57 °F), a heating system will not be used.[119] A system will bring the grass roots temperature to 6 °C (43 °F),[117] pushing cold water through the 40,000 metres (130,000 ft) of drainage pipes.[120]

The grass is mowed to keep the height between 2.2 centimetres (0.87 in) and 2.5 centimetres (0.98 in).[115]

The drainage has two operating modes, gravitational and vacuum-enhanced (ISASS).[119] The vacuum draining system can handle up to 400,000 litres (88,000 imp gal) per hour, improving oxygen levels on the rooting system and cooling the pitch, even during matches.[121] This is equivalent to 56 millimetres (2.2 in) of rain drained in one hour.[122]

The irrigation will have individual sprinkler controls,[123] controlled by a computerized system. The system is formed by 48 sprinklers, twice the minimum FIFA recommendation.[119]

Information Technology and Communications[edit]

The stadium will have wi-fi and 4G LTE in all its sectors.[124] Using smartphones, the public will be able to access game stats and watch replays published on a page maintained by the stadium crew.[125]

A dedicated team will control centrally all the screens and scoreboards. Supporters will be monitored by a computer system connect with hundreds of security cameras. All services are contracted with Sonda IT.[125]


The project received both the Best Commercial Project and the Grand Prize as the Best Overall Project in Brazil on the largest Corporate Architecture event in Latin America in 2011, competing against 1,116 projects.[126]

Reception by Corinthians supporters was enthusiastic according to a poll, with 83% approval of the stadium. Opposition fans have surprisingly good approval rates of the enterprise.[127] Hundreds of supporters visit the construction site often.[128][129]


The project manager, Andrés Sanchez, believed the gross revenue would be R$200 million per year, including ticket revenue. Aníbal Coutinho, on the other hand states that the stadium was projected to generate R$150 million per year.[129] Sanchez expects expenses to be R$36 million per year.[130]

The latest review forecasts R$291 million per year in revenue, excluding ticket sales.[130]

Andres said that out of 16 naming rights properties he have secured seven buyers already, although no deals have been formalized yet.[74]


The stadium is 19 kilometres (12 mi) east of the City Centre and 21 kilometres (13 mi) away from the São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport. The nearest subway station is Corinthians-Itaquera, 500m from the stadium. It connects to a railway station with the same name. The Artur Alvim subway station is 800m away.

If all the users boarded trains to leave the stadium, it would be empty in 30 minutes.[131] On World Cup matches an express train will connect Luz and the Corinthians-Itaquera CPTM Station, making the trip in 17 minutes.[132] After the World Cup, studies will determine if the service will be kept.[131]

The metro and train stations can handle 100,000 passengers per hour. Each metro train can carry 1,600 passengers and has a 85-second interval.[133]

The site has 1,620 covered parking spaces and 929 open air parking spaces,[1] with another 2,214 spaces provided by a close shopping mall.[134]

There are 61 bus routes that stop close to Arena Corinthians.[135]