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Maracanã Football Stadium

TIME : 2016/2/19 14:41:13

Rio’s Maracanã stadium is hallowed ground among football lovers. The massive arena has been the site of legendary victories and crushing defeats – such as Brazil’s gut-wrenching loss in the final game of the 1950 World Cup to Uruguay. More recently, Maracanã played a starring role in the 2014 World Cup when it hosted major games, including Brazil’s opener. The stadium also hosts the opening and closing ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympics, as well as the football final. But no matter who takes the field, the 78,600-seat open-air arena comes to life in spectacular fashion on game day.

Games take place year-round and generally happen on Saturday or Sunday (starting at 4pm or 6pm) or on Wednesday and Thursday (around 8:30pm). Seating at the stadium is by sector, A through F. The north (E and F) and south (C and D) seats are behind the goals and are generally the cheapest and liveliest sections. East (D) and West (A) sectors have better sight lines and are pricier; these have numbered seats and are not as rowdy as the goal seats.

The ticket price is R$40 to R$80 for most games.

If you prefer to go in a group, a number of English-speaking tour operators organize game-day outings, including round-trip transportation. Leading big group tours are Brazil Expedition and Be A Local. For something more personalized, independent guide Sergio Manhães takes small groups with him (via metro) on game day.

For a behind-the-scenes look at the stadium, take a tour. A must for football fans, the tour takes you through the press box, the grand stand, into the locker rooms and then through the tunnel out onto the field. You’ll also visit a room that pays tribute to Brazilian legends who made history here, including Pelé and Garrincha. Tours (around $40) take place from 9am to 5pm, though on game days the last tour starts four hours before kick-off.