Design & Development

Flamengo gains major breakthrough for new stadium vision

Featured image credit: Rio City Hall

Campeonato Brasileiro Série A football club Flamengo has made the first decisive step towards securing a stadium of its own after the City of Rio de Janeiro said it would expropriate land for the project.

The site identified formerly housed the São Cristóvão Gasômetro and has been managed by financial services group Caixa Econômica Federal since 2009. Flamengo expressed an interest in taking over the 86,000 square-metre site back in 2022.

The club is seeking to build an 80,000-seat stadium there but has faced obstacles in recent years as negotiations with the state-owned institution did not progress. However, Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes, who is a fan of Flamengo’s rivals Vasco da Gama, has moved to progress talks to deliver a new stadium.

“I’m a passionate Vasco fan,” Paes said. “But, first of all, I love Rio and its people. And the immense red and black fans deserve a stadium in keeping with the club’s greatness.

“Flamengo’s board of directors had been looking for solutions with Caixa to buy the Gasômetro area. The lack of progress in the conversations made me intervene so that a space, which is currently useless for the city, becomes an area where football games and major events will be held. The new stadium will help develop the port region.”

Flamengo claims that it already has 85% of the funding needed to make the project viable. A new stadium for Flamengo could reportedly cost between R$1.5bn (£236m/€275m/$296m) and R$2bn.

It would mean that the club would ultimately move out of the Estadio de Maracanã which has been its home since its construction in 1950. The Rio de Janeiro State Government this month confirmed that a consortium formed by Flamengo and Fluminense had been awarded a contract to manage the Maracanã for the next 20 years.

The Fla/Flu Consortium had appeared set to land the contract last month after submitting a higher bid than a proposal put forward by Vasco and the WTorre conglomerate. The contract covers the Maracanã Complex, which includes both the iconic stadium and the Maracanãzinho arena. Flamengo and Fluminense had already been operating the complex after signing a new short-term deal with the State Government back in November.

While seeking to secure long-term control of the Maracanã, Flamengo has never hid its long-term ambition to secure its own home. Flamengo president Rodolfo Landim last month detailed his vision for a new 80,000-seat stadium for the club, signalling his intention to buy the necessary land by December.

Commenting on the decision by Paes and the City, Flamengo said: “Our project foresees a huge financial investment in the location, capable of helping to transform the entire region surrounding the new stadium, greatly valuing the area and providing our city with a new and modern space, both for entertainment and commercial uses.

“The city and all the people of Rio will win. Flamengo and the entire Red-Black Nation will win. We would like to express our most sincere thanks to Mayor Eduardo Paes and Federal Deputy Pedro Paulo for the sensitivity they have always had regarding this topic and for their entrepreneurial and positive vision in relation to the economic and social development of the city of Rio de Janeiro.”