São Paulo’s Estádio do Pacaembu will close for at least two years to undergo a major redevelopment that will see its capacity reduce from around 40,000 to 26,000.

First opened in 1940, the Pacaembu was a host venue during Brazil’s staging of the 1950 FIFA World Cup and still occasionally hosts games for the state’s big four football clubs. The redevelopment plan comes after the Patrimônio SP consortium, which is made up of engineering company Progen and investment fund Savona, secured a 35-year contract to manage the stadium in February.

Patrimônio SP has now revealed its plans for the venue, which include the demolition of one end of the stadium to be replaced by a nine-storey building. Four storeys of this building will be developed below ground as the developers seek to better integrate the stadium complex into the local neighbourhood.

Shops, coworking spaces, restaurants, offices and event spaces will be included, along with parking, a convention centre and amphitheatre. Campeonato Brasileiro Série A club Palmeiras is one of the local teams which uses the stadium when its Allianz Parque home is staging concerts or other events.

The Maquina do Esporte website noted that Santos participated in the original tender process for the management of the stadium and remains in talks to stage at least half of its games in the Pacaembu. Patrimônio SP projects that even with a minimum of 15 football matches per year, the stadium can still return a surplus as part of efforts to make it a multi-purpose venue.

Eduardo Barella, president of Patrimônio SP, told the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper: “With the demolition and the construction of a new building, we will attract to the complex countless other revenue sources. Rental space, parking, sale of food and drinks. Football will no longer be the main revenue, and will instead correspond to 15% of our revenue.”

Construction work is expected to begin in the first half of 2020, with delivery set for July 2022.

Image: Mike Peel