January 17 – Flamengo president Rodolfo Landim has said that his club will prioritise the Maracana as the club’s home venue though is not discarding a possible future move away from the iconic stadium.
“It is great challenge to turn the new stadium project into reality,” said Landim. “The number one priority – and I am not hiding this from anyone – is the Maracana. We are with our partner Fluminense. Our agreement with Fluminense is one of exclusivity, in the management of the stadium, another thing is who plays in the Maracana.”
Last year there were reports that Flamengo wanted to build a brand-new stadium downtown Rio de Janeiro but a viability study by Caixa Economica Federal found those plans to be incompatible with transport projects in the area.
Flamengo play their home matches at the Maracana, but the club does not own the stadium. The club hierarchy sees the current situation as untenable, preventing Flamengo from growing their revenue. In their opening two home matches of the new season, Flamengo enjoyed bumper crowds with a total attendance of 79,315. Audax and Portuguesa provided modest opposition.
One of Rio’s other big clubs, Vasco Da Gama are also contemplating whether to play more home matches at the Maracana, moving away from their historic Sao Januario Stadium.
“Vasco have their stadium, but we understand that Vasco need the Maracana for some matches,” said Landim. “This has to be analysed together, and planned with an analysis of the table. With today’s demanding level, we can’t return to the past with an unplayable pitch at the Maracana. It’s possible to do this as well with the Egenhao, I have spoken to John Textor about this. We could do a rondo of stadiums in Rio to attend to everyone.”
Botafogo play their matches at the Egenhao, which served as the Olympic Stadium for Rio 2016.
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