Allianz Parque, the home of Palmeiras, has continued its efforts to keep fans of the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A football club engaged during COVID-19 by staging a drive-in event for its FIFA Club World Cup opener.

Palmeiras qualified for the Club World Cup by defeating fellow Brazilian team Santos in the Copa Libertadores final last month. The Club World Cup is being held in Qatar and as Palmeiras’ fans were unable to travel to support their team, Allianz Parque yesterday (Sunday) staged the drive-in event for the semi-final clash against CONCACAF Champions League victor Tigres UANL.

Allianz Parque was opened up to 285 cars on the pitch, with ticket prices ranging from R$432 (£58/€66/$80) to R$1,200, depending on the proximity to the main stage with the big screen showing the game. Each vehicle was allowed a maximum of four fans inside, with a table placed beside it for fans to sit at.

While adhering to COVID-19 rules, the event opened four hours before the game kicked off at Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan. Former Palmeiras players were on hand as part of the activities offered.

“For Allianz Parque, it is remarkable to reopen the gates to Palmeiras fans, even more so on such special dates,” said Claudio Macedo, CEO of Allianz Parque, according to the ABC do ABC website.

“We would have liked to bring all the fans to the stadium, but given the current situation of the pandemic, we opted for the safest and most possible model to be executed. For us, it is essential to find alternatives so that the public can have fun and the entertainment industry remains active, provided that we put the safety of our audience and the entire team involved first.”

Yesterday’s game saw Palmeiras fall to a surprise 1-0 defeat against their Mexican opponents, meaning Tigres UANL became the first CONCACAF team to reach a Club World Cup final. Allianz Parque had said the drive-in venture would be repeated if Palmeiras made the final on Thursday, but it is unclear whether it will choose to do so for the third-place play-off game earlier that day.

In May, Allianz Parque announced the launch of Arena Sessions, with the goal of inviting spectators into the stadium via the drive-in format for films, shows and lectures. Arena Sessions was expanded back in July with the hosting of an esports tournament featuring some of Brazil’s top sports stars.

Image: Allianz Parque