The closure of the Castelão for the work in preparation for the 2014 World Cup has now been postponed so that the stadium may host matches of the second half of the Ceará State Championship. The closure of the stadium had previously been pencilled in for the end of the first half of the competition, which was on 20 February.
With the new postponement, the stadium will now be closed only on 27 of March, after the local derby between Ceará and Fortaleza, the main clubs of this State.
This decision was reached yesterday at a meeting between the State Secretary for the World Cup, Ferrucio Feitosa, the State Secretary for Sports, Gony Arruda, and the President of the Ceará State Football Federation. Apart from the state’s derby match, other matches will also be played at the stadium prior to its closure.
According to Mr Feitosa, this postponement does not place the time frames set for the 2014 FIFA World Cup at risk. “A study was conducted by engineers from the consortium, and this study found that the stadium could host games up to 31 of March. Thus, there will be no impact on the proposed schedule.”
The replacement venue to stand in for the Castelão will be the Presidente Vargas Stadium, which is also in Fortaleza and is now being refurbished. This work should have been completed back in December, but, due to delays, the City Hall has put the completion date back to March.
While the Castelão is receiving games of the Ceará State Championship, the work around the stadium are keeping to the schedule as agreed with the Local Organising Committee (Comitê Organizador Local – COL). The construction of a square and also parking facilities for 1,750 cars got on the way last December.
The more complex phase, involving the demolition and reconstruction of internal structures, including a new cover for the stadium, should start only in April.
This means that the construction firms would have 26 months to finish and deliver the stadium in time for the Confederations Cup (an event which tests the infrastructure for the World Cup and takes place in the middle of 2013).
According to Mr Feitosa, the delivery of the Castelão has been kept at April 2013, which is 24 months from now. “I believe that the construction firms have conducted a study to get the work ready in this time. The interest in this project is entirely theirs, as in the case of Public-Private Partnerships payment is made for each stage completed.
Apart from the Confederations Cup, Fortaleza is also a candidate to host one of the semi-final games and also the opening ceremony of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
After 10 months of impasses and Court action, the tender for the stadium in Ceará was won by the Arena Multiuso Castelão consortium, comprising the following companies: Galvão Engenharia, Serveng Civilsan and BWA Tecnologia de Informação. The total work, including the stadium and its immediate surroundings, has been budgeted at R$ 452.2 million (€ 200.61 million).