Work has commenced on a major transformation of Estádio do Pacaembu, which aims to enhance the multi-purpose offerings of the São Paulo venue.

The City Hall of São Paulo and stadium operator Allegra Pacaembu yesterday (Tuesday) marked the start of proceedings with the authorisation to demolish the Pacaembu’s south stand, known as the ‘tobogã’.

Allegra Pacaembu in January 2020 took over the management of the Estádio do Pacaembu complex after being awarded a 35-year contract. The company is planning to deliver a full restoration of the Pacaembu while respecting its history and amplifying its potential.

Estádio do Pacaembu still occasionally hosts home games for the State of São Paulo’s big four football clubs – São Paulo, Corinthians, Palmeiras and Santos. It will continue to serve as a football venue, with the new developed designed to enhance its multi-purpose remit.

Indeed, in place of the tobogã a new multi-functional building will be built, rather than a generic stand. The building has been designed to incorporate spaces for unique experiences, different to anything São Paulo currently offers.

The project envisions a large convention and events centre, built underground next to a new parking garage. To the north there will be an outdoor terrace overlooking the stadium’s pitch, while south of the building a boulevard will be introduced that will transform the current parking lot into a living space. The new building will also offer an indoor square offering a range of attraction such as cafes and restaurants.

The Pacaembu’s east and west side stands will also be renovated, creating spaces for events and hospitality. The purpose of the project is to raise the level of comfort and safety throughout the complex, transforming the ageing facility into one of the biggest and best social, sports, cultural and leisure centres in the city.

The Pacaembu complex also features a 25,500m² multi-sports centre, which will also be completely revamped while respecting the original 1940s architecture. “Our desire is to keep Pacaembu’s story alive,” said Eduardo Barella, CEO of Allegra Pacaembu.

“This work will be carried out with all due diligence and respect for heritage, oriented towards the future, starting a new phase of this icon of São Paulo. The project will provide São Paulo residents with a more democratic… and accessible public space, rescuing the original pillars of culture and leisure, in addition to enhancing their sporting use.”

The whole project is being targeted for completion by 2023, with Allegra Pacaembu estimating investment of around R$400m (£57.9m/€67.4m/$80.1m). At the peak of construction, it is forecast that approximately 500 workers will be hired.

“This is an example for Brazil of how a public power must carry out a privatisation plan,” said the Secretary of Municipal Government, Rubens Rizek. “This project respects the history of Pacaembu and the community.

“It was the result of discussions, with many changes made to absorb citizens’ suggestions, setting an example for the whole of Brazil, in addition to inducing development for São Paulo.”

Images: Cidade de São Paulo