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Flamengo studying sites for new stadium

Flamengo president, Rodolfo Landim, has said the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A football club is weighing up several options for a new stadium, as it awaits news on a public tender process for its current home, Estádio do Maracanã.

Flamengo is said to be assessing sites across Rio de Janeiro, including Parque Olímpico, Terra Encantada, Deodoro and Gasômetro, with its long-term future at the iconic Maracanã (pictured) uncertain.

Commenting on the current thinking behind a new stadium, Landim told Globo Esporte: “The current stage is to carry out a macro survey of the available areas within Rio, talking to the City Hall, identifying potential logistical bottlenecks, aspects of fan flow and feasibility analysis of each of the areas we are looking at.

“To be honest, we’re looking at a little bit of everything, seeing what’s available to try to find the best area for us to go deeper into these feasibility analyses. But the process is still very preliminary.”

Flamengo is currently the main tenant of the Maracanã, alongside fellow Série A club Fluminense. Indeed, the two clubs have also served to manage the stadium since April 2019 after they agreed what was then an initial six-month deal for the Maracanã Complex, which includes the stadium and the Maracanãzinho arena.

The deal came after the Rio State Government, which owns the venue, announced that it would regain control of the 78,000-seat stadium following the annulment of a contract with its private administrators.

The Government stated at the time that it was owed around BRL38m (£5.77m/€6.78m/$6.9m) by Maracanã SA, the group that used to run the stadium. This group was led by the Odebrecht conglomerate and operated the stadium from 2017 after securing a 35-year contract.

Regarding the situation surrounding the Maracanã, Landim said: “We are waiting for the bidding process, but we don’t know exactly what will come out. The government signalled that the process had passed through the Prosecutor’s Office, and they were going to issue the public notice.

“While we wait, we are analysing alternatives, as we do not know what will be written. We are going to participate in the Maracanã bidding process, that’s for sure. We have already closed an agreement with Fluminense, which has been our partner since the beginning of the process.

“We are happy with the relationship. I find this approach interesting. But eventually we need to evaluate other alternatives.”

Landim also believes that Flamengo’s case to pursue a stadium of its own is strengthened by the club’s financial position. He added: “At the beginning of Flamengo’s financial transformation process, it was unthinkable to build a stadium.

“There was R$700m of debt and R$200m in revenue. Today we have revenue of R$1bn and debt falling, around R$300m. This allows us to evaluate alternatives for a stadium. The fact that we always have a good squad on the field also helps to attract sponsors.”

Image: Drmarcelodavid/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size