"Gigante da Pampulha"
Mineirão at Right (Left: Mineirinho Arena) on Pampulha Lagoon.

Mineirão in 2007
Full name Estádio Governador Magalhães Pinto
Location Avenida Abrahão Caram, 1001, Pampulha, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
Broke ground 1959
Opened September 5, 1965
Renovated Closed on June 2010 for renovations for the 2014 World Cup. Will be re-opened in 2013
Owner Minas Gerais State Government
UFMG (terrain)
Operator ADEMG
Surface Grass
Capacity 75,783 (Current)
70,000 (After renovations)
Field dimensions 120 x 80 m
115 x 75 m (After renovations)
Atlético Mineiro

Mineirão (Portuguese pronunciation: [minejˈɾɐ̃w]), officially Estádio Governador Magalhães Pinto (Governor Magalhães Pinto Stadium) established in 1965 in Belo Horizonte, is the largest football stadium in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, and the second largest in the country, after Maracanã. It will be a host stadium in the 2014 FIFA World Cup to be held in the country.

It is also a football venue of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics.[1]




Mineirão construction project came before its opening in more than 25 years. In the 1940s, timid movements began, involving managers, entrepreneurs, athletes and journalists. The idea was to build on Belo Horizonte a field that followed the evolution of Minas Gerais' football.

The top three teams in the state capital had their stadiums, but they were cramped, uncomfortable and no longer supported the demand of fans. Stadium Otacílio Negrão de Lima (Alameda Stadium, Francisco Sales Avenue), of América; Antônio Carlos Stadium (located on Olegário Maciel Avenue), of Atlético; and Juscelino Kubitschek Stadium (located on Augusto de Lima Avenue), of Cruzeiro did not support more than 10,000 spectators. Atlético, the team with the wealthiest members in Belo Horizonte, planned to build a stadium for 30,000 people, after the winning the Brazilian "Champion of Champions" title, in 1937. It nearly went out of paper. But then they found a huge debt of the club, forcing the directors to allot and sell the properties that the club had in the neighborhood where the stadium would be built, Antônio Carlos Avenue, near the airport.

At the end of the 1940s, journalist Canor Simões Coelho achieved with CBD the inclusion of Belo Horizonte as one of the venues of 1950 FIFA World Cup. For this, the council would have to build a stadium at the height of the event. Official agreement was signed by Mayor Otacílio Negrão de Lima and the president of the CBD, Rivadávia Correa Meyer. The modest club Sete de Setembro was in charge of commanding the works of the new field.

The construction of Independência Stadium was slow and it seemed that would not be completed in time for the World Cup. But with the intervention of the CBD and FIFA, the city of Belo Horizonte took charge of construction, and the stage was handed over in time for the match between Yugoslavia and Switzerland on June 25 of 1950, even with many improvisations. But soon the initial excitement for the new stadium was falling apart, since the 30,000 seats available did not meet the growing number of fans. Independência was uncomfortable for the audience, and did not offer good conditions for the press.

In the early 1950s drives have begun to build a bigger stadium in Belo Horizonte. The first, initiated by engineering students from UFMG, standing out here Gil César Moreira de Abreu, consisted in the University Stadium, which would be erected in Pampulha, where the university was the owner of large land. The university chancellor would give the ground and then ask for funding. In 1956, The chairman of Minas Gerais' Football Federation, Francisco de Castro Cortes proposed the construction of Municipal Stadium, on the banks of the current BR-040, near where today there is BH Shopping. The funds would be obtained through the sale of season tickets. With the support of the President, former Minas Gerais Governor Juscelino Kubitschek, Cortes came to bring to Belo Horizonte some of the engineers who worked on the construction of Maracanã.

With the design out of paper, then-state representative Jorge Carone was in charge of drafting the bill that would create the Mineirão. Part of the funds would be obtained from the Minas Gerais Lottery tickets: 10% of the value of each ticket sold was earmarked for the stadium works. The "Minas Gerais Stadium" was created with the law number 1947 from August 12, 1959, signed by Governor José Francisco Bias Fortes. The law also provided for the creation of an administration body that would manage the stadium, AEMG (who would later become the ADEMG). It was left to the architects Eduardo Mendes Guimarães and Gaspar Garreto, Changing the design of the old University Stadium, which would involve 30,000 people for a new "giant" stadium with a capacity of 100,000 people. The chosen site was located in Pampulha, in a field belonging to UFMG. The then rector Pedro Paulo Penido was favorable to the idea, since it initiated the construction of the new campus, the Mineirão serve as attractive to people then the isolated region. With the approval of the Minister of Education, Government of JK Clovis Salgado, The lending between UFMG and AEMG was signed on February 25 of 1960. So, work began on the stadium.


When they began work on the stadium in 1959, Engineers and workers were not sure they would be completed. Cesar Gil, the construction manager, faced financial crises, but knew how to use politics in favor of Mineirão. Despite the extreme control of spending, the works were facing, at each step, the depletion of resources. The initial loan of 100 million Cruzeiros evaporated in implementing the first service of its foundation. For a year and a half, the contract followed a slow pace, working with limited equipment and staffing minimum. While one group acted politically to change laws that enable the acquisition of resources and also convince the Governor Magalhães Pinto fund the construction, AEMG trying to adapt to the fragile financial situation.

The new stadium was raised to the emblem for the national engineering by offering countless examples of evolution in construction. The team of engineers Mineirão went to the extreme in the details. Passed the Maracana by a real x-ray, finding weaknesses that should not be repeated in the Mineiro field. In 1964, Gil Caesar sought in Tokyo, where arenas were built for Olympics, news about this type of work. Traders noted features and engineering innovations. Worried by the quality of the grass: tags and other minutiae.

The big question that engineers and workers were tested for their ability to perform a superstructure - a false ellipse, measuring the major axis of 275 meters and the lowest 217 meters - using conventional equipment. To evaluate and eliminate uncertainties, we designed a mini-Mineirão, called the experimental sector 15 (now housing Atlético fans) where a link bleachers and roof would be subjected to all sorts of evidence. Concrete plants, conveyors, degrees, loaders and shuttle were tested. The complexity of the work required iron bars into lengths that the industry was unable to attend. The solution came in the actual construction site, where engineers and workers solder used to promote the extension of the bars.

With available resources could be hiring more people, but bumped into AEMG lack of qualified staff. Made a public bidding for the supply of labor, it was found to be unenforceable, because the price charged - 15 million Cruzeiros - was infinitely high box for the administration of the new field. It was proved in the future, the amount requested by the companies would build a Mineirão and a half. On accountability, the "Gigante da Pampulha" (Pampulha Giant) consumed a total of 10 million dollars. Due to the lack of skilled labor available, AEMG promoted the training of masons, carpenters, ship owners and other professionals. Whole classes were formed, and hundreds of workers have gained qualifications to perform special functions. At this stage, the administration managed to gather the required number needed to play and work at a fast pace. Between August 1964 and July 1965, the building jumped from one sector (the experiment) to offer the country's most modern stadium in the world.

To speed construction and shorten the drama of the budget, Gil Caesar launched the operation 24 hours a day, divided into three shifts three thousand workers hired. The service did not stop a single minute. Acaiaca the top of the building in downtown Belo Horizonte, saw a huge flash of light coming from the sides of the future Mineirão. The administration began to reward teams for production and creativity, encouraging competition among the various sectors of the construction. The idea of "local little game" was so successful that many fronts have been completed well before the deadline. The process of full time allowed the stadium to be handed to the population in eight months. Even in the hectic pace and pressure, only one worker died during the entire construction of the arena.

On February 25, 1960, the government of the Union and the Federal University of Minas Gerais gave Minas Gerais land in the neighborhood of Pampulha, Belo Horizonte, for the construction of the stadium.

The Mineirão was planned by Eduardo Mendes Guimarães Júnior and Caspar Garreto, both architects. The structural project was undertaken by engineer Arthur Eugênio Jermann. The construction workmanship was directed by engineer Gil Cesar Moreira de Abreu. From 1963 to the date of its inauguration on September 5, 1965, approximately five thousand people were involved in the construction.

The festivities marking the opening of the stadium included parachute jumpers, music, and an inaugural football match. The events were attended by 73,201 people. The inaugural match at Mineirão Stadium was played by the Minas Gerais state team and the Argentinian team, River Plate.


Model of Mineirão following the renovations

Mineirão was closed in June 2010 for renovations[2] as it will be one of the hosts of the 2014 World Cup. The last game before closure was Atlético 0-1 Ceará, on June 6. 13 days later, the band Skank performed a free concert inside the stadium.

Atlético Mineiro and Cruzeiro will host their matches primarily at the Arena do Jacaré in Sete Lagoas between 2010 and 2011, with the Parque do Sabiá in Uberlândia and the Ipatingão in Ipatinga also being employed in some games. The teams are expected to play again in Belo Horizonte once América Mineiro's stadium, the Independência, completes its reforms, set for December 2011.[3] Mineirão's reforms are expected to end in December 2012.


The largest attendance of the Stadium was 132,834 people in 1997 in the match between Cruzeiro and Villa Nova in the final match of the state league. In this match, women and children did not pay, as was usual on that time for games played on the stadium. The paying attendance was 74,857, and there were 56,618 women and children who entered for free. For safety reasons the capacity of Mineirão had been reduced for the majority of its 40 years of history. In 2004, by imposition of FIFA, the capacity of the stadium was reduced to 72,000 people.

View of the stadium's entrance from ground level.

Since the stadium opening, three important teams in Belo Horizonte have hosted their matches in Mineirão: Atlético Mineiro, Cruzeiro and América (MG) (which also has a private stadium). Mineirão has also hosted matches of the Brazilian national team.

Atlético Mineiro is the club which has brought more people to Mineirão Stadium: through 2002, 20,887,391 people watched 1,011 matches of Atlético. In close second is Cruzeiro, with 19,544,507 attendees of 1,062 matches. These statistics do not include derbies.

The most important trophies won on Mineirão's pitch were lifted by Cruzeiro being: Supercopa Sudamericana - 1991 Brazilian Cup - 1993, 2000, 2003 Copa Libertadores - 1997 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A - 2003

One of the most remarkable matches played in the stadium was in 1969 when Clube Altético Mineiro played against the Brazilian team, which had nobody but Pelé on their squad and went to become unbeaten champion of the World Cup for the third time the year after, in 1970. This was the only defeat of this third-time winner Brazilian squad. Atlético scored in the first half (42') with Amauri, and Pelé drew the game at the beginning of the second half (5'). Dadá Maravilha was the player that scored the wining goal for Atlético, in the middle of the second half (20').

Other one was in 1966, when Cruzeiro played against Santos, which also had Pelé on their squad. Cruzeiro took control of the first half and went into halftime with a 5 x 0 lead. In the second half Santos tried a reaction, but in vain. Dirceu Lopes scored his hat-trick and settled the score on 6 x 2. For Cruzeiro scored Zé Eduardo (1' - Own Goal), Dirceu Lopes (20', 39' 62'), Natal (5'), Tostão (41'). Santos scored with Toninho Guerreiro (6', 10').

The stadium top scorer is Reinaldo, who played for Atlético Mineiro from 1973 to 1984 and swung the nets 144 times. On the other hand, Tostão played from 1965 to 1972, scored 143 goals and had the best year average (17 goals).

Historical goals scored in Mineirão

  • Goal number 1: Buglê, from Atlético Mineiro on September 5, 1965
  • Goal number 1000: Lola, from Atlético Mineiro, on April 6, 1968
  • Goal number 5000: Paulinho, from Villa Nova, on March 10, 1985

Important Matches

  • First Match: Friendly - September 5, 1965 - Minas Gerais State Team 1-0 Club Atlético River Plate(ARG) Attendance: 73,201
  • First International Match: Friendly - September 7, 1965 - Brazil 3-0 Uruguai. On this match, all the players that represented the Brazilian Team were Palmeiras' players.
  • First Derby: Minas Gerais State Championship - Oct. 24, 1965 - Cruzeiro 1-0 Atlético


External links/images

Coordinates: 19°51′57″S 43°58′15″W / 19.86583°S 43.97083°W / -19.86583; -43.97083


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