Maracanã operator tender process suspended

Featured image credit: Martin Aarflot on Unsplash

The bidding process to award a contract to operate Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã has been suspended, it has emerged.

A document seen by the Máquina do Esporte website reveals that Márcio Pacheco, a member of the Court of Auditors in the State of Rio de Janeiro, has alleged that the bidding document does not include a financial feasibility study.

Other issues outlined by Pacheco are said to include the lack of clarity regarding the future income of the Maracanã. The State Government owns the stadium and is seeking a new operator, with the winning bid originally scheduled to be announced today (Thursday).

The tender process was launched in July, with the Government seeking a concession agreement for the “economic exploration, management, operation and maintenance of the Maracanã Complex”. This includes both the iconic stadium and the adjacent Maracanãzinho arena.

Flamengo is currently the main tenant of the Maracanã, alongside fellow Campeonato Brasileiro Série A football 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.

The decision by the Court of Auditors to suspend the bidding process will require the Government to readjust the terms of the tender.

Flamengo and Fluminense are in the running to retain the contract to operate the Maracanã, and it emerged earlier this week that premium experiences company Legends had teamed up with 777 Partners, Vasco da Gama and engineering firm WTorre to submit a separate bid.

The State Government has said that any contract proposal must be worth at least R$100.6m (£16.1m/€18.6m/$18.7m) over a 20-year period, but Pacheco has disputed both the value and duration. Maquina do Esporte reports that Pacheco prefers a contract based on a financial feasibility study and a plan that outlines the pros and cons of the prospective operator.

Last week, the Maracanã became the first stadium in Brazil to be fitted with 5G technology through a partnership with telecommunications company TIM Brasil.