Three consortia in race for Maracanã contract

Featured image credit: Rio de Janeiro State Government

The Rio de Janeiro State Government has commenced the process in earnest to secure a new long-term operator for Estádio do Maracanã, with three bidders in contention for the contract.

The Government yesterday (Thursday) began the bidding process for a concession contract that comprises management, exploitation, operation and maintenance rights to the Maracanã Complex, which includes the iconic stadium along with adjacent Maracanãzinho arena.

The contract will be for 20 years and the terms provide that, until the end of the concession, the winner will make investments of around R$186m (£30.1m/€35.1m/$37.7m) in the Complex. According to the notice, works are planned for the Maracanã to renovate the water systems, escalators, elevators, air conditioning and emissions, electronic systems and the museum.

For Maracanãzinho, repairs will be made to the arena’s roof, while a new audiovisual and acoustic system will be needed and upgrades made to the hospitality, lighting and accessibility areas.

The bidders currently in contention for the contract are made up of the following three consortia:

  • Fla-Flu (Flamengo and Fluminense)
  • Maracanã para Todos (Vasco da Gama, Legends and WTorre)
  • RNGD (Arena 360)

The Government in October launched a fresh tender process to find a long-term operator for the Maracanã, with interested parties having until December 7 to submit their proposals.

Flamengo and Fluminense last month claimed a one-year extension to their deal to operate the Complex, hitting out at Campeonato Brasileiro Série A rival Vasco in the process.

Flamengo and Fluminense are currently the main tenants of the Maracanã. 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 deal came after the Government 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 R$38m 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.

The Government has said it expects to award the 20-year contract in mid-2024. Governor Cláudio Castro stated: “With the conclusion of the bidding and the choice of a consortium that can manage and invest in Maracanã and Maracanãzinho for the long term, the State Government seeks to ensure that this sports complex, a global icon with heritage loved by the people of Rio de Janeiro, receives investments to remain among the best.”

Série A breaks 40-year attendance record

In other news, the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) has announced that the 2023 Série A season has set new attendance records.

Citing data up to the final round of games which commenced on Wednesday, the CBF said that almost 10 million fans watched matches. The average attendance mark of 26,538 per game smashed the previous record of 22,953 which was set back in 1983.