Rio schedules auction for proposed Flamengo stadium site

The proposed site of a new stadium for Flamengo

Featured image credit: Rio City Hall

The City of Rio de Janeiro has scheduled an auction for the package of land which is intended to become home to a new stadium for Campeonato Brasileiro Série A football club Flamengo.

The auction will be held on July 31, with the minimum bidding price for the land being set at R$138.195m (£19.9m/€23.54m/$25.49m). Although Flamengo isn’t the only interested party in the site, it is in the box seat to secure it.

The City last month 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.

The winner of this month’s auction will be required to present a final project within 18 months after signing the purchase and sale agreement, and then complete the stadium itself within three years. According to Rio-based newspaper O Globo, the notice issued by the City calls for the construction of a stadium with at least 70,000 seats and establishes a series of guidelines to be followed by interested parties.

These include themed areas around the stadium, such as interactive museums and gaming zones; along with wide, accessible sidewalks and bike paths connecting the stadium to nearby residential and commercial areas.

From a sustainability perspective, the City is seeking that a new stadium includes rainwater collection and reuse systems, as well as the incorporation of solar panels and other renewable energy sources. There should also be the integration of vegetation into the project, such as vertical gardens and, preferably, green roofs, to improve air quality and reduce ambient temperatures.

A new stadium would mean that Flamengo 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 last 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 in May 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 in May detailed his vision for a new 80,000-seat stadium for the club, signalling his intention to buy the necessary land by December.